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Psychotherapy Group Guide to Improve Mental Health


Like any other type of therapeutical intervention, group therapy utilizes its screening and interviewing techniques, specific methodology, and procedures aimed at the improvement of patients’ mental health conditions. Group psychotherapy concentrates on collective discussions and experience exchange that is impossible during individual sessions. As a member of a group, a patient feels support not only from the professional but also from the group mates who are similarly seeking help.

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A successful psychotherapeutic intervention needs to be based on a detailed manual. The description of the elements of the groups provides the initial information about the patients, their issues, and common characteristics. Announcing techniques and member recruitment, as well as screening and interviewing require particular attention with regards to the mental health issues of the target population and the aims of the group therapy interactions.

The manual addresses the primary functions of group members and the leader to establish the types of cooperation during common sessions. Therefore, the psychotherapeutic group manual is an essential document necessary to articulate the purpose, main participants, methodology, and ultimate goals of the interventions targeting specific mental health concerns among the chosen population.

Description of the Elements of the Group

The new psychotherapeutic group will include a limited number of participants experiencing depression. It is relevant to start a psychoeducational group that will not only provide an opportunity to cure patients but also contribute to the scope of the population’s knowledge about mental health issues (Wheeler, 2014). Because depression is one of the most frequently occurring mental disorders among teenagers, it is relevant to limit the target population to adolescents aged 13-18 years old (O’Shea, Spence, & Donovan, 2015).

The participants should be the students of local schools with similar family and cultural backgrounds to enhance the similarity between the members as a prospective facilitator in the group treatment. The group will be of a closed type without an opportunity for new members to join the therapy process after its beginning (Wheeler, 2014). It is suggested that the best results are achieved by the therapy groups consisting of approximately six or eight members (Wheeler, 2014). Thus, in an attempt to increase the effectiveness of the interventions implemented during the sessions, it is relevant to form a group of 8 people selected upon interviewing procedures.

It is anticipated that a homogenous type of group will deliver more positive results due to the common characteristics of the members. The patients who “display similar symptoms of a disorder” will have an opportunity to reflect on their issues as represented by others, thus allowing the leader to concentrate on the exact symptoms. The primary location where the meetings will be held should be the clinical room, although the interventions will not be limited to one place with the possibility to conduct group discussions in a more relaxed atmosphere.

The duration of the sessions will be limited to one hour as frequently as two times a week. It is going to be a long-term psychotherapy group that will aim at the full recovery of each member. There will be one leader establishing the meetings and recovery process conduct. The selection of practical group elements is relevant due to their contribution to the ultimate goal achievement. Also, it is appropriate for the chosen population to embrace teenagers of 13-18 years old suffering from depression.

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Announcing the Group and Member Recruitment

The group announcing is crucial at the stage of population selection and forming a psychotherapeutic group. Since the target population is adolescents with depression, it is necessary to provide available information about group initiation in appropriate facilities of mental health institutions where target individuals apply. The description of depression symptoms and the target age of the participants will increase the relevance of the members to the group requirements.

To start member recruitment, it is necessary to contact the parents of those teenagers who have experienced such a disorder and sought therapeutic help. It is essential to deliver information about the benefits of group sessions for the patients so they would consider it over the individual interventions. Thus, when providing informative messages for prospective members of the group, it is vital to underline the advantages of the initiative and the positive outcomes it promises.

Screening and Interviewing Potential Members

Upon the selection of the prospective population, the leader of the group needs to apply to screen and interviewing tools to identify and choose the members of the group. Screening as a method of diagnosing an issue will be conducted in a form of diagnosing interviews and questionnaires for both teenagers and their parents. Specifically developed questions will help to derive core characteristics that will be decisive for the choice of the participants (O’Shea et al., 2015).

They will address, the severity of symptoms, the duration of their occurrence, the cultural background of a child, and his or her school achievements. These pieces of information will serve as the basis for similar patients’ detection which will facilitate their productive interaction in the group. Upon the completion of the diagnosis screening, the interviews concerning the agreement to participate in a psychotherapeutic group will be conducted. The ultimate number of participants should be comprised of eight teenagers.

The Functions of Group Members and the Leader

Group sessions provide multiple benefits for the patients seeking counseling or psychotherapeutic help because the group participants are allowed to interact and share their personal experiences. Such experience exchange contributes to “symptom resolution, particularly among depressed or anxious patients (Wheeler, 2014, p. 416).

Thus, the primary function of any group participant is to contribute to the common recovery process by his or her personal experience sharing and reflection on the discussions held during the sessions. The group leader needs to act professionally and ethically in all cases to provide health benefits for the patients (American Group Psychotherapy Association, n.d.). The primary function of the group leader is to conduct timely and consistent group discussions providing equal opportunities and advantages for each patient.


In summary, to start a new psychotherapeutic group, it is essential to select the target population. The initiated group will be of a psychoeducational, homogenous, closed type concentrate on 13-18-year-old teenagers with similar backgrounds suffering depression. The group meeting will be held in-clinic facilities with an opportunity to relocate to more informal places for a better therapeutic effect of the discussions. The sessions will be held twice a week and will last for one hour.

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The target population will be limited to 8 participants upon screening and interviewing conducted with teenagers and their parents. The type of the group and the tools of its selection contribute to the efficiency of the group interventions due to the similarity of symptoms and background of the chosen members. The exchange of experiences will facilitate the recovery and establish more trust in the relationships within the group that is essential in the ultimate goal achievement.


American Group Psychotherapy Association. (n.d.). Web.

O’Shea, G., Spence, S. H., & Donovan, C. L. (2015). Group versus individual interpersonal psychotherapy for depressed adolescents. Behavioral and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 43(1), 1-19.

Wheeler, K. (2014). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

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