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SynopsisThis full-day workshop can be attended as a standalone CPD or as the last in a series of four linked training sessions which overall aim to equip attendees with the knowledge and skills to undertake CBT-informed groupwork.
Session 4 will focus on identifying helpful and unhelpful group dynamics, and how to maximise positive dynamics and minimise negative dynamics. This workshop aims to enable attendees to identify and understand group-specific processes which may be helpful or unhelpful in CBT-informed groups achieving their intended outcomes. This will be achieved by presenting theoretical knowledge by setting up opportunities for critical discussion and skills practice, and by modelling interventions to decrease group-specific problematic behaviours, and interventions to increase group-specific mechanisms of change.
CBT delivered in a group format can be as effective as in a 1:1 format. Groupwork can address issues of equity and accessibility for minoritized communities (Whittingham et al. 2023). However, there are some group-specific risks that require mitigation. Furthermore, most clients prefer 1:1 psychotherapy over group psychotherapy (Haugh et al. 2019; Strauss et al. 2015), due to worries about confidentiality, fear of being criticised, or of losing control in front of other people (Piper, 2008). Therefore, training in group facilitation is essential to reduce adverse events and negative outcomes.
Whether you are new to group therapy or have experience in this area, these workshops will provide you with valuable insights and practical tips. This workshop is appropriate for mental health practitioners, either qualified in a core profession such as nurses, occupational therapists, psychologists, social workers, criminal justice workers, probation officers, wellbeing practitioners, high intensity therapists, or those with relevant experience of group work as a trainee, teacher, lay peer support worker or volunteer.Learning objectives
At the end of the workshop, attendees should be able to:
1. List traditional group participant roles and group dynamics
2. Explain how to address problematic behaviours evoked in a group context without humiliating, marginalising, or scapegoating anyone
3. Use knowledge of group development phases to establish group cohesion through an enabling, supportive, inclusive, and empowering group culture
4. Consider group environmental factors and their impact on peer interaction e.g., room layout, where facilitators stand/sit etc
5. Set up opportunities for activation of group-specific mechanisms of change such as purposeful peer interaction, feedback, and self-disclosure
6. Engage group members in learning from, and helping, each other
7. Agree group ground rules to mitigate risks of peer interaction
8. Use group process proactively for clients to develop skills in vivo
Isabel Clarke has been working to move various mental health
services within the NHS (acute, primary care etc.) in a more holistic direction
for over 30 years, and group work has been integral to these initiatives. Isabel
completed the introductory Group Analysis course in the 1990s. The approach she
has developed (Comprehend, Cope and Connect) is a third wave CBT integration,
but awareness of the underlying therapeutic factors underpins her approach to
all groupwork. You can visit Isabel’s website (www.isabelclarke.org) for more
information and to see her books and other publications.
Nicola Walker is a Lecturer in CBT at Goldsmiths, University of London. She was previously a teacher on the University of Sheffield’s CBT for eating disorders programme and taught CBT for IAPT trainee high-intensity therapists at Teesside University. Nicola's core profession is a mental health nurse, and she is a qualified Group Analyst. Nicola has run groups and set up group programmes for many years in outpatient, day patient, inpatient, and community settings for people with complex needs, eating disorders and personality disorders. She is particularly interested in how to optimise peer effects in groups.
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