All across the world there are many groups that aim at self helping, be it concerning a specific problem or life in general. Such groups are Alcoholics Anonymous and the Narcotics Anonymous and they turn to using some therapeutic tools like the group therapy in order to improve one or more aspects of their lives. The presence in these groups is a possibility of sharing experiences, thoughts, to find encouragement and hope, to exchange different methods that worked in some situations for some people and so on. For the two groups mentioned above, the group therapy has been one of the main instruments even starting from the 1930’s. When people realized the large number of benefits obtained through group therapy, they included it in other forms of therapies as well, such as psychotherapy.
What’s different in group therapy from the one to one therapy is the fact that a person learns that he or she is not alone and there are others who face similar problems. It’s easier to identify issues when everybody’s sharing experiences and, at the same time, easier to find solutions. Some key concepts are vital for the group therapy, such as trust, character building, self esteem and self discovery.
For a lot of people it’s hard to just open up toward a therapist and it’s even harder to do that in a group. This is why in a group the therapist must turn to ice braking games, in order to help everybody relax and attune to the group dynamics. Trust is a very important thing especially at this stage, so a few trust building games are usually a good solution for this.
From the ice breaker games, the funny intro is one that is very often used. This means that each member of the group need to present himself or herself and say three funny things about themselves, so on the overall a relaxed environment is facilitated. Such funny things can be walking with hands in the back pockets, whistling while jogging, talking while sleeping, etc.
Another way to relax the atmosphere and induce good moods to all the participants is imitating some celebrities. This is one of the methods that almost always generate laughs and joy in such a therapy group.
Since we already mentioned how important the trust is in such group, trust building games are obviously very important. Such a game is the Blind Artist and in this game is blindfolded and asked to draw on a black board what the others from the group describe.
Walking backwards is another trust related game. One person from the group is the one who should guide only by speech the rest of the people in the group, who try to avoid obstacles set on purpose in a chaotic manner by the therapist by walking backwards and not looking.
A spinning bottle can be used for a game of sharing positive and negative experiences, or strengths and weaknesses. Mark the bottom of the bottle with a + and spin the bottle in the middle of the group. The person in the direction of the + has to share a strength and the one in the opposite side has to share a weakness or negative experience.