Group therapy doesn’t have to be discussions about feelings and personal experiences. There are several ways in which you can spice up your group therapy sessions. Read on to find out different exciting ideas on how to make the group therapy more fun and productive. Psychotherapist Ali Miller, MFT said, “[T]here is encouragement to both talk about your life outside the group and also to talk about the dynamics within the group.”
- Art Therapy
According to a study, art therapy was successful. This therapy has helped its participants in the areas of perception, personal integration, emotion regulation, behavior, and insight and comprehension. “Art Therapy gives voice to clients’ experience and stories, as well as provides empowerment for their lives,” says Elena Lamaak, MA, LMHC.
Holding a group art therapy is not as difficult as it might seem. You and your group may hold a painting session or a pottery class. Art has been a frequently used mode of expression for people. In art, participants can express their emotions and experiences that they couldn’t do so in words.
Centering on culture can be a great way to start your group therapy sessions. Discussing culture can promote tolerance, challenge perceptions, and learn more from each other. Interestingly, researchers found out that some cultures are more friendly to mental health and illnesses than others.
If you want to discuss different cultures in your group therapy, host an adult version of a show-and-tell. To do this, ask your participants to bring a token that represents their family culture or history. Then, have each one of the participants explain what these tokens mean. You can also give a portion of the time for the participants to ask questions to each other.
Music brings everyone together, so this is a good idea to start your group therapy session. Similar to art therapy, music therapy allows people to express their thoughts and feelings that couldn’t usually be expressed in words. Moreover, it is found that music actually reduces stress. Before, it is believed that music strengthens bonds, connects people spiritually, and fosters group cohesion. “Music has such a large impact on our lives! It crosses cultures, age groups and has an effect on everyone. It can make you smile, dance, sing, cry, instantly recall memories like they were yesterday and process emotion.” As explained by Abigail Saneholtz, Psy.D.
To start a music therapy, just bring a guitar and let the music do its thing. You may sing popular songs or make your own lyrics. Encourage your participants to bring an instrument of their own. Also, try to give compliments along the way. Some participants get shy because they think they’re not good at singing or playing the instruments. But, most of the time, that’s not true.
This is an activity from the Lesley University. Lifeline is an activity that lets participants review their life and see how far they have come. It is effortless to do and only requires a pen and a piece of paper.
To do the activity, a participant must make two points on the paper, labeled ‘birth’ and ‘now.’ They must be connected by a straight line. On that line, identify three high points and three low points of your life. Then, join these points with a zigzag line. After accomplishing this, have each of the participants explain what they drew and what it means to them.
This is a fun activity that allows each participant to reflect on what the right thing to do is. First, have your participants discuss Kohlberg’s six stages of morality. Then, make a book of laws regarding this discussion, including at least one page on these topics:
- World Laws
- School Laws
- Society Laws
- Romantic Relationship Laws
- Friendship Laws
- Self Laws
- Family Laws
There are several ways to make your group therapies more fun and effective. If you are looking for more ideas, then don’t hesitate to try one of these methods.