Strategies for Group Leaders In groups focused on addiction, communication

Strategies for Group Leaders In groups focused on addiction, communication about the goal of full recovery brings the members together (Gladding, 2015). However, diversity keeping the group together requires more than the communication of the common goal. This creates the need for the group counselor to consider strategies that would help in having effective group sessions for members that have little in common besides their addiction.
There are three critical strategies that the group counselor must employ. Firstly, the group counselor must assess the beliefs and attitudes of all group participants as well as the leader’s personal beliefs and attitudes (Corey, 2015). Where the beliefs and attitudes of the group members are similar to those of the group therapist, then the risk of personal biases are limited. However, on many occasions, the diversity stems from beliefs and attitudes and as a consequence, the group counselor or therapist must demonstrate diversity competence by first understanding own culture and then understanding differences.
The second strategy requires the demonstration of knowledge on how the belief and attitude differences identified affect the relationships among the addiction patients (Corey, 2015). This means that the group therapist must have a clear understanding of any stereotypes amongst the cultural, belief, and attitude differences. Knowledge of any competition based on the identified differences must also be demonstrated. Where such knowledge is limited, the group therapist must consider indigenous approaches to the handling of diversity closest to the community being handled.
The last stage is the application of skills and intervention strategies in dealing with the diverse group of addicted persons (Corey, 2015). The bottom line is that the success of the group may holistically depend on how well the group therapist or counselor handles the diversity. In order to achieve this, the group therapist must familiarize with relevant research and latest findings on how to handle diversity especially among people with mental health concerns. Notably, the group therapist must also be able to send and receive both nonverbal and verbal messages appropriately and as accurately as possible as any mistakes may be fatal (Berg, Landreth & Fall, 2013).

Author: Barry Holmes