TIP: Teaching Skills

One of the primary objectives of group is to teach skills.  Examples of skills include thinking, emotional regulation, goal setting, problem solving, refusal skills, moral reasoning, etc.  Therefore, all the activities on this blog have a skill-focus.  The activities are not just because they are fun, they always have a purpose.  Most CBT groups have a certain structure or flow to them.  Regardless of the topic at hand, the emphasis in a CBT group is on practice, role-play and feedback.  The assumption is that this practice will increase the client’s efficacy to attempt the skills in the outside world.  Here is an example of how to teach skills that follows a tell-show-try rhythm.  In the next post, I will cover a different way of thinking about teaching skills.

AGENDA:  Set the structure and tone for the group describing how the group will progress and what the focus of the group will be.  It helps clients to know what to expect in group.

QUICK CHECK-IN:  Conduct a quick check in that is relevant to the topic you will be working on, a quote you have on the board, homework assigned, or specific questions you want answered.  Be careful that the check in doesn’t take up too much of group.

TELL: This requires articulating the skill or topic you are focusing on and answering questions about what the skill/topic is, why it is important, and, how to apply the skill.

SHOW: Once you have introduced the topic and provided information/education about the topic, it is helpful for clients to see what you are talking about.  This could include you demonstrating a skill, doing an exercise using an example for the whole group, providing examples, etc.

TRY: This part of group is essential for clients to learn skills and develop new neural networks for the skills you are teaching.  This part of group can include exercises, roleplays, dyads, triads, worksheets, etc.  It is a way to have clients personalize the material where everyone is active.  The activities in this blog will help with this.  For more ideas about the “try” portion, see this post: TIP AND ACTIVITY: Shifting the Shape of Group and Stress-related Activities

SUMMARIZE: Summarize, or ask group members to summarize, what was covered in group.

What is one thing you will do differently to increase the emphasis on skills in your group?  Share it in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “TIP: Teaching Skills

  1. I will be utilizing many of the tips you have shared here as keeping the group engaged is part of my passion! Thank you for your hard work and insight!


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