At my current internship site, my largest responsibility right now is running the groups. It is a major responsibility, but I am more than excited for this opportunity to learn hands on. The challenge, however, is how to make the topics interesting! Working with mostly mandated clients, it is often a challenge to try to get the clients engaged and motivated to participate in the sessions. In my first session on my own, I tried to keep the group seminar based and planned on keeping it conversational. Quickly I came to find out that I needed a different approach. The long talks I had envisioned about triggers during recovery, turned out to take only 5 minutes – reality check. I was floundering and trying to find out how to use the remaining 1 hour and 55 minutes (can a check-out go for an hour??).
After wallowing in self-doubt and debating changing careers convinced that I didn’t have what it took for this field, I began hitting up Google, Pinterest, Tumblr and my friends and family. I was looking for anything I could think of in order to come up with fresh ideas/activities to engage my clients. No matter how hard I looked, I kept coming up with the same issue; there was no site that had a variety of ideas for group activities for young adults/adults. I had no experience to fall back on and needed experts to tell me what to do with these clients!
Luckily, my supervisor and professors were a major help in assisting me to come up with some ideas and boosting my confidence. With a few tools in my toolbox, I was able to walk into the group room with more confidence and one or two activities that ended up helping my clients engage more fully in their recovery.
That is the point of this blog. I am not here to tell you what works and what doesn’t work with clients – I am only an intern! I am, however, here to help you place a few tools in your toolbox that you can utilize when you find yourself floundering like I did.