5 Group therapy discussion questions

As a BetterHelp affiliate, we may receive compensation from BetterHelp if you purchase products or services through the links provided.

This blog post will explore what are some Group therapy discussions questions that are generally used in therapy. 

We will also explore what group therapy is, the types of group therapy, and some general rules that are used in therapy in group settings. 

What are some discussion questions asked in group therapy?

The common discussion questions used in group therapy are often used to dosuc on various themes that are similar to individual therapy. 

These questions often explore reasons for coming to the sessions, the goals of the indiiudal members, reflecting their experiences, feelings etc., as well as to help reflect meaning to uncover insight. 

Along with this the questions that are usually used in groups also include questions that get the group processes moving.

These questions include:

Questions of intent.

That explores what brings each individual to the group, what their expectations are from the group processes, and from the intervention itself. 

For example:

Let’s go around and have each member tell us what you expect to get out of the group.

“What has brought each of you here to this group today?”

“If not for the group what else would you be doing?”

Questions that explore motivation

The questions of motivation also explore the motivation of the members such as

“Is it your own decision to come here?”

“How do you feel about coming here often- each week or so?”

Questions that explore feedback

These types of questions are often asked at the end of the session- usually every session to understand what the members thought of the session, what they gained from it,as well as how they think it could have been better. 

For example,

“What do you like best about this session?”

“Is there something you did not enjoy about this group session?”

“How do you feel at this point of your session coming to a close?”

Feelings check questions

This particular question is done at the beginning and the end of each session where each individual is asked to put how they feel in one word that is reflective of their feelings in the here and now of the session. 

Questions that link experecines

These questions are used in sessions to link the experiences of various members so as to develop a sense of universality as well as build insight. The questions can be like:

“Having heard what XYZ has said, what do you think of your own situation?”

This list of questions mentioned above is not an exhaustive list however these are the most commonly used questions that facilitate group discussions. 

The various questions that are used in group therapy can also differ according to the intent of the group and the topic that is being discussed in the sessions. 

What is group therapy?

In very simple words, group therapy is a form of psychotherapy that involves one or more trained therapists working with several people in groups and at the same time. 

The group involves discussion and psychoeducation that is facilitated by a therapist and a co-therapist that is focused on various issues and the therapeutic process itself. 

It is usually done in complementary to individual therapy and pharmacological therapy as well as standalone treatment for various issues. 

What are the types of group therapy?

There are many different kinds of groups based on what the target issue is however, groups tend to be of two kinds:

Psychoeducational groups

These types of groups are often intended to provide members with the education and the information they need to address or cope with whatever issues that the group is targeting. 

For example, AIDS support groups are designed to educate people about the medication condition as well as to prepare them to cope with the issues related to the disease effectively.

Process-Oriented group

These groups are often longer and are focused on experiences within the group such as  sharing with one another, and making connections, and developing support. These groups are often based on the discussions that occur within the group. 

Based on the discussion topics and the structure of the group itself, common types of group include:

Open or closed groups 

Where groups are either fixed in number in closed groups or the group is open to members coming in and leaving. 

Self-Help Groups 

This particular group is often not facilitated by someone who is a trained professional however, it is based on their experiences with a particular problem and wishes to help others with the same. 

For example, Self esteem workshop groups. 

Medication Groups 

The focus of these groups is to help educate clients about their medication, and their compliance to treatment and medication so as to ensure that individuals follow doctor’s instructions as well as get the support they need. Often seen in inpatient settings. 

Interpersonal Therapy Groups

This particular group is focused on group members’ interpersonal issues in their current relationships so as to understand what is going on and what they can do to resolve the issues. 

Example, assertive communication groups that work to help clients learn and practice assertive communication skills to be applied in their relationships. 

Psychodrama Groups

This type of group therapy is very unique as it applies the practice of drama and theatre in the therapeutic process and the process itself  is based on members acting out significant portions of their life so as to facilitate discussion and healing. 

What are the general rules for group therapy?

For group therapy to be successful, there are various ground rules in each group. Often these rules are set by the members themselves- based on their discussions and mutual agreement. 

However, there are some general rules that are discussed at the start of the session by the therapist that each member is responsible to maintain and uphold. These rules are:

Maintaining Confidentiality. 

This particular rule is one of the most important and crucial rules that affects the dynamics of the group and facilitates cohesion and support. 

Everything that is said in the group must be kept within the group and kept private. Failing to adhere to this rule often impacts the trust within the group and also hinders treatment.

Commitment to Attendance. 

This particular rule is also a necessary one as it is vital for each member to attend every session and arrive on time, as well as remain for the entire session. 

Disruption due to attendance can often lead to missing but valuable learnings, practice, and information that is necessary to maintain trust and cohesion within the group. 

A person who is late or missed sessions can also cause problems for the movement and general progress of the group.

No Socialising with Group Members. 

It is crucial to understand that the group meetings are a therapeutic practice and people are not there to simply socialise. Thus, forming close bonds with other group members are often discouraged as it can affect group processes. 

It is important that the group members maintain respectful boundaries, avoid meeting up outside of the sessions, and refrain from sharing personal information until termination  of the group. 

Communicate with Words, Not Actions. 

This particular rule is present to help encourage expression of self in front of others. That is, to express one’s self by giving oneself to assertively talk about how they feel, think, and behave. 

Expression with physical actions is often discouraged such as anger tantrums, physical closeness etc since people have different boundaries related to physical contact. 

Participate. 

One final crucial rule of the group is to participate- even if one is reluctant to and has been forced to attend the sessions. 

Of course it might be difficult for people to engage in therapy when they have been forced to, however, it is crucial that they do so so as to heal and grow personally as well as with the entire group. 

What are the benefits of group therapy?

The use of group therapy for psychological and educational interventions have the following benefits:

Group therapies allow for an individual to experience support and encouragement from others as well as help them understand that they are not alone in their struggles. It helps each member to feel less alone and isolated. 

Another benefit of group therapy is that during the process, issues related to family dynamics develop which can help resolve family related issues of interaction, insight into personal family problems as well as personal behaviours that aggravate the issues they face within families. 

Group therapy provides an opportunity for group members to act as role models for other members, so members can learn coping strategies from each other as well as receive feedback from others during their progress of treatment. 

It is often more affordable than individual treatment as time is shared.

Group settings when confidentiality is maintained provide a safe space for new skills and behaviours to be practised so that clients can carry it on to the real world. It also allows for the individual members as well as the therapist to understand how the client behaves, thinks, and responds to the world and people around them. 

Conclusion

This blog post has explored what are some Group therapy discussions questions that are generally used in therapy. 

We have also explored what group therapy is, the types of group therapy, and some general rules that are used in therapy in group settings. 

FAQ related to group therapy discussion questions

What are some topics for group therapy?

Some mental health group topics that can be covered in a group therapy include:

  • Psycho-Education about a mental health condition.
  • Teaching and learning Coping skills.
  • Learning Social skills.
  • Developing Acceptance.
  • Setting boundaries in relationships.
  • Developing self-worth and confidence.
  • Overcoming fears and phobias
  • Anger management 

How do you facilitate a group therapy session?

To be able to facilitate a therapeutic group you are required to do the following:

  • Get training.
  • Compile the right group of people fit for the target issue.
  • Set expectations up front to the clients and be clear about what the group can provide and what the group cannot. 
  • Build cohesion quickly among members
  • Get feedback regularly.
  • Identify and address ruptures between members of the group.
  • Terminate effectively as well as provide additional support sources to members. 

How do you evaluate the effectiveness of group therapy?

The most common method of evaluating the effectiveness of groups is through pre-intervention and post-intervention surveys that are taken before the start of the first session as well as the end or termination of the group. 

When group therapy is not appropriate?

Group therapy is not appropriate with the following type of people:

  • Individual who have experienced abuse of any kind since self disclosure of members might trigger others, 
  • Individual who are in need for cirsiis interventions such as suicidal cases. 
  • People with extreme levels of mental disorders that are unable to function on their own. 

What makes a good group therapist?

When it comes to the skills of a good and effective group therapist, most of it has to do with empathy, personal warmth, flexibility for the therapist to be able to adapt to various situations. 

Another important skill of a good group therapist is to be able to be assertive as well as the ability to confront group members so as to encourage healthy progress and authenticity. 

References

Ackerman. C. Your Ultimate Group Therapy Guide (+Activities & Topic Ideas). Positive Psychology. Retrieved on 19th December 2021. https://positivepsychology.com/group-therapy/

Souders.B. Therapy Questions Every Therapist Should Be Asking. Positive Psychology. Retrieved on 19th December 2021. 

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.