This blog is dedicated to all you fearless group facilitators out there, often working with mandated clients, and frequently struggling with delivering the same curriculum over and over. As a provider of mandated treatment to people in trouble with the law, I have had my share of experience using a variety of different manuals. Despite the often excellent quality of these manuals, I frequently have found myself frustrated by the lack of variety of exercises to cover the topics in a depth-full and engaging manner. This means not only that I am not as engaged or alive as I could be, but my clients won’t be active and engaged in group either.
If your clients are not active and engaged in group, if they are checked out and not present, then they are not receiving the full benefit of the treatment you have to offer. Behavior change doesn’t happen this way. While responsibility for learning ultimately lies on the shoulders of the client, we also need to do our part to facilitate groups in ways that engage clients, that help build discrepancy and have them tussle with it. This is no small feat! And thus ongoing learning and practice, our own here and now growth becomes part of the power of this work. In this way, I believe that engagement in group leads to enactment of the skills outside of group. And that is my ultimate goal – to provide you with interesting and pertinent exercises to activate and engage clients so that they can enact actual behavior change.