Respond to at least two of your colleagues by recommending strategies for improving the effectiveness of their group therapy sessions. Support your recommendations with evidence-based literature and your own experiences with clients. Support your responses with evidence-based literature with at least two references in each colleague’s response with proper citation.
Colleagues Response # 1
Older adults have experienced a lot of challenges in life that should be talked about which focuses on using psychotherapy therapeutic approach to resolve. Their developmental stage is different and unique from other stages such as children, adolescents, and young adults. For a facilitator to understand the adult’s challenges is very important and reduce their challenges because sometimes they are afraid to share them with others who are not within their age. When the younger clients start coming to therapy sessions, the older clients think that their issues are part of young adulthood which will lead to successful therapy. Group psychotherapy benefit the older adults because they are set up in small groups to focus on interpersonal therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. The therapist will help the elderly clients to develop healthy social behavior and ways in interacting with others using interactive skills. The group interact well with the therapist by using psychotherapy that focus on psychodynamic approach. Using this approach helps the elderly clients to reduce the fear of shame. Listening and addressing issues that comes up during the group session help reduce any biasness. Another sensitive approach during the therapy session is reminiscence group therapy where the therapist will provide structured settings where the elderly clients can share their previous experiences among their peers, and it involves direct interpersonal interaction as a way of creating universality of their issues. In this therapy session, a standard socialization platform for the elderly clients is provided.
In this group therapy session, it is done in a controlled setting where clients that are involved are between 60-65 years of age. The main important focus during the therapy is to promote social behavior and interpersonal interaction within their age group and also to improve their social and quality of life at their last stage of life. During the session, some issues came up and some degree of resistance were also involved during the therapeutic process. For example, some of the elder clients were not opening up to express themselves. The group session provided sometimes for the clients to share any age-related issues and social contact at the same time receiving any informed feedback from the therapist. “As a clinical psychologist, identifying such resistance in the interactive process ensures the success of the therapy” (Cheston & Jones, 2009).
Some challenges came up during the therapy session while working with this age group such as cognitive challenges which may hinder the process of education. During a normal process of aging, there are different changes that will affect the client’s level of cognition which will affect their learning process at their age. To get some information from an adult sometimes is difficult because some of the clients are ashamed and bothered by the therapist thereby them showing low cooperation. Another challenge that they encounter is therapy planning which involves the adults to be involved and cooperative during the sessions. Some of the clients may feel threatened due to the clam environment while others might not, and this will warrant their setting to be tricky to accommodate everyone. These counteracting preferences are normal parts of aging (Cheston & Jones, 2009).
The best method for the therapist to use during adult sessions is group therapy because it will handle the psychosocial and cognitive concerns that may arise with the adults. Also, the therapist will provide a focused method to care to the adult in addressing their challenges that affect them during this stage of life. This is will help the therapist and the adults to improve the effectiveness of the therapy.
Colleagues Response # 2
The group I observed last week was a group of couples in group couples counseling. They were in week 5 out of 12 weeks of group therapy. There were 6 total couples in the group, mostly in their 40s and 50s. This group, nearing the midway point of group therapy, was in Tuckman’s norming phase. In the norming phase, group members are beginning to settle in and their roles within the group are becoming defined. They are resolving differences, appreciating each other, and respecting their leader. They are able to ask for feedback from each other and are able to make strong commitments to the group (Tuckman, 1965).
I also witnessed Tuckman’s performing stage, where goals are achieved (1965). In this phase, the leader does a lot of delegating and developing of team members. It is evident that the leader (my preceptor) is working towards this goal as she frequently asks members to provide their own feedback when other members speak.
Some issues that were present during this group include the common issues in group settings, such as some members not feeling comfortable enough to participate and others monopolizing the group. Some of the techniques my preceptor used were behavioral modifications such as behavior exchange procedures and alternating of “caring days” as couples cognitive behavioral therapy techniques (Nichols & Davis, 2020).