I would appreciate some comments on how to apply HPCT to a group
therapy situation with adolescents. I am taking a look at how
groups are run at the Residential Treatment Center(RTC) where I
have beem Clinical Director for the past almost two years. Each
resident is offered at least one session of individual and one
session of group therapy per week. Other than insisting that a
group therapy session take place each week, I have left this
aspect of treatment to the consulting clinical staff to do as
they see fit. I am beginning to feel that I need to take a more
active role in this area.
Some of the problems we are running into with our groups: The
groups are often chaotic, more so on the boys side than the girls
side. The residents are sometimes stirred up by the group
discussion and act out afterwords. The residential living staff
complain of having to deal with this. The residential living
staff participate in the group therapy and the clinical staff
feel powerless to influence how they participate. The
worthwhileness of the group therapy is being called into
Some issues which occur to me:
What are the distinctive purposes of group therapy? Some of my
To sharpen observational skills as you see your peers
interacting with each other.
The levels of perception can provide some
Trying to improve skill at reading other
To improve communication skills as you verbally express
yourself in the group.
Expressing your intentions clearly.
Being aware of signs that you may have
To learn more about yourself from the reactions of
other people to you.
Receiving comments about your actions and
Picking people in the group who are like you
and unlike you.
How should the meeting being organized to reach these goals? Some
of my own thoughts--
Some easy-to-understand summary of HPCT should be part
of what happens.
Some statement of the group self-image should be made.
This involves stating the purpose of the group clearly.
Participation in the group should be voluntary after
the resident has participated in the group for a while.
Some development of group norms(principle level
perceptions) should take place.
I would really appreciate any comments you have about basing a
group therapy on HPCT ideas.
To: general CSGnet members
From: David Goldstein
Subject: group therapy based on HPCT