Group Dynamics

How might clients feel if they discovered that their substance abuse therapist had no personal experience with substance abuse? Would they feel betrayed? Lied to? Would they even care? Does past recovery experience influence the effectiveness of a substance abuse therapist? Therapy is an intensely personal journey, and it is important that clients trust their therapist to successfully guide them through the process. For this Discussion, review the media titled “Audio Therapist: Colleague Calling.” Think about how you might respond to your colleague on the phone. Consider the relationship between effectiveness as a therapy group leader and firsthand experience with the recovery process. Use your own words in clear terms, as though you are speaking directly to a colleague. With these thoughts in mind:Respond to the colleague. Include how you would explain to your colleague how she can convey her effectiveness as a group therapist. Provide the rationale for your response to the colleague. Be specific and use current literature to support your response.

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CPSY 6250/PSYC6250/PSYC8251: Group Process and Dynamics
Colleague Calling – Week 8
Program Transcript
FEMALE SPEAKER: Thank you so much for taking some time to provide a peer
consultation to me. I’ve heard you speak at professional meetings, and I really
respect your opinions.
I wanted to get your take on a situation that has come up. In a nutshell, for the
last three months at my facility, I’ve been doing group therapy for substance
abuse in an intensive outpatient setting. I did a little bit of group work during my
training, but that was years ago, so I’m a little rusty. I feel like I’ve been managing
fairly well, but there is one group member who has been extremely challenging.
Specifically, he keeps asking me if I’ve ever used or had a problem. He turns the
focus away from himself, and onto me and my background. I smoked a little pot
while in college, and occasionally have a glass of wine with dinner, but that’s
about as extreme as I get. So, I see his point, but don’t want him to take over the
group. He’s right in that I don’t know what it’s like, so can I still be effective with
this population? What should I say to him about my personal use? How should I
handle this?
© Laureate Education 2012

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