Analyzing Group Techniques
There are many psychotherapy methods used to help in addiction recovery and mental conditions among individuals. They include family therapy, individual therapy, and group therapy. In group therapy, there may be more than five individuals who do not have any personal relationship outside the group therapy. In group therapy, the therapist actively participates and helps the members with their individual and interpersonal problems (Ezhumalai et al., 2018). Therapy focuses on current problems that individuals are facing. Group therapy helps to reduce negative symptoms and improve social functioning and interpersonal relationships (Ezhumalai et al., 2018).
Interpersonal Group Therapy for Addiction Recovery Demonstration
There are many techniques that can be used in group therapy to help clients recover from their problems. I have identified one technique that the therapist is using in group therapy. The first technique in Leighton and Ashwood’s video is relapse prevention. The technique that the therapist is using is interpersonal process therapy. The therapist allows Jimmy to share the issues he is facing. This enables the other group participants to participate in the conversation. Jimmy states that he can share that he stole his mother’s medications because he trusts the group members. Other group participants have also shared their struggles.
In an interpersonal process, the environment is less organized. The therapist is in charge of the group and creates a conducive atmosphere, leading to trust among the group members. Interpersonal therapy improves the participants’ behaviours and moods. Interpersonal psychotherapy addresses the client’s social deficits and manages unresolved grief (Cuijpers et al., 2016). This technique can be used in individuals with substance use disorders, as is in the case of the group in the video (Cuijpers et al., 2016). This technique has been well used by the therapist.
I noticed that the therapist did well in being an effective leader and moderator in the discussion process. The therapist did not interrupt Jimmy or force him to talk quickly. She gave him time to reflect and share his struggles. She did not interrupt the conversation and only stepped in when she felt she needed to clarify issues. She asked Jimmy to share what aspect of the group made him comfortable to share the secret he had. Jimmy said trust. This means that the therapist has created a good environment that promotes trust among the group participants. Ezhumalai et al. (2018) note that a therapist should be extensional, and when a certain aspect comes up, they should extend the discussion. A therapist should also give insights to the members but avoid premature interruptions. These are two aspects that the therapist did well on.
There is one aspect I think the therapist did not do well. He was not empathetic towards Jimmy. Jimmy started talking and then struggled to produce words, probably because of shame. The therapist told him, “Could you go on, please?”. This approach was not empathetic, in my opinion. I would have taken a different approach in this situation. When Jimmy shared how he used to steal his mother’s, he was overwhelmed with emotions. He felt ashamed of what kind of a person he was who stole his mother’s drugs. He possessed momentarily before continuing. Instead of telling him to go on, I would be empathetic and put myself in his shoes. I would tell him I understand how he feels and take his time and share when comfortable. This would make him feel loved since the therapist identifies with his feelings.
The main insight I have gained from watching the group therapy video is the role of a therapist in group therapy. A therapist is supposed to be a leader and an enabler. They should avoid any unnecessary interruptions. They should also give clients time to share when they are comfortable. The clients should not be forced into sharing. A therapist should be empathetic and build a conducive environment that promotes trust. This will allow the group members to share their struggles without fear of judgment comfortably. The insights I have gained will help me become a better therapist.
There are many difficult group members that a therapist can encounter. One such client is a monopolist. A monopolist wants to talk all the time. They are anxious when silent, and when other people try to talk, they try to reinsert themselves in the conversation (Yalom & Leszcz, 2005). The monopolist disrupts group cohesion, and others may not open up. I will not shut him out since this can affect his recovery. I will help the monopolist become self-observant. I will encourage the group members to offer him continuous and empathetic feedback on how his behaviour affects others. I will also be direct but empathetic. I would use statements like, “Jacob, I think it would be best if you let others talk since there are important things they want to tell you.”
I would anticipate finding different behaviours during the different stages of group therapy. There are five stages of group formation. They are forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjournment (Ezhumalai et al., 2018). In the forming stage, I expect the members to try to be accepted into the group, with the more vocal individuals dominating the conversation. In the forming stage, I anticipate managing many conflicts due to polarization in the norming stage. I anticipate cohesion and togetherness among the group members. In the performing stage, I anticipate the efficiency of members in achieving their objectives.
Group therapy has several advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are a sense of belonging among the participants, a reduction of loneliness and isolation, a support network, and participants learning coping strategies from one another (Malhotra & Baker, 2021). The disadvantages include difficulty speaking for persons with social phobia, personality clashes, and breach of confidentiality (Malhotra & Baker, 2021).
Cuijpers et al. (2016) is a scholarly article since it has been published in a reputable journal known as the American Psychiatry Journal. It has been divided into sections with appropriate citations. The qualification of the authors has also been stated. Ezhumalai et al. (2018) is a scholarly source since it has been published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, and the affiliations of the authors have been highlighted. Malhotra & Baker ( 2021) is a scholarly source since it has been published in NCBI, a reputable US government website.
The video has offered useful insights on how to be an effective group therapist. It is critical to promote trust and be empathetic as a therapist. A therapist should be an enabler and a leader. There may be challenges, such as difficult members, and good therapists should anticipate these challenges and learn how to handle them.
Cuijpers, P., Donker, T., Weissman, M. M., Ravitz, P., & Cristea, I. A. (2016). Interpersonal psychotherapy for mental health problems: A comprehensive meta-analysis. American Journal of Psychiatry, 173(7), 680-687. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2015.15091141
Ezhumalai, S., Muralidhar, D., Dhanasekarapandian, R., & Nikketha, B. S. (2018). Group interventions. Indian journal of psychiatry, 60(Suppl 4), S514. https://dx.doi.org/10.4103%2Fpsychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_42_18
Malhotra, A., & Baker, J. (2021, July 25). Group therapy – StatPearls – NCBI bookshelf. National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549812/
Yalom, I. D., & Leszcz, M. (2005). Theory and practice of group psychotherapy (5th ed.). Basic Books.
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Select one of the group therapy video demonstrations from this week’s required media Learning Resources.
In a 3- to 4-page paper, identify the video you selected and address the following:
What group therapy techniques were demonstrated? How well do you believe these techniques were demonstrated?
What evidence from the literature supports the techniques demonstrated?
What did you notice that the therapist did well?
Explain something that you would have handled differently.
What is an insight that you gained from watching the therapist handle the group therapy?
Now, imagine you are leading your own group session. How would you go about handling a difficult situation with a disruptive group member? How would you elicit participation in your group? What would you anticipate finding in the different phases of group therapy? What do you see as the benefits and challenges of group therapy?
Support your reasoning with at least three peer-reviewed, evidence-based sources, and explain why each of your supporting sources is considered scholarly. Attach the PDFs of your sources.
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