IDEAS FOR THE
"INTERACTION STAGE" OF
MULTIPLE FAMILY GROUP THERAPY
©1994 by Lewis N. Foster
1. Help members talk to each other by moving and restating.
2. Be open about what you are doing.
3. Use the middle of the circle. Fish bowl families or others in the groups who have common roles.
4. Create a situation. Role-play a family situation using one member from each family.
5. Get the adolescents to give advice to parents in the group.
6. Have each family chose a spokesman to present the family's concerns to the group. Give the families 10 to 15 minutes to pull these concerns together. Paper and pens can be provided.
7. Do single family therapy in the fish-bowl to resolve issues, make continuing care plans, set limits and consequences, etc.
8. Have one identified patient (IP) switch families with another IP and take on her/his role in that family, then process.
9. Do family sculpts in the fish-bowl.
10. Make a list of questions and have group memberís pull one from a bowl to read aloud. Invite each group member to answer the question.
11. Invite families to ask for feedback from other families after they have completed work in the fish bowl. Direct the families giving feedback to share what came to mind about their own situation while the family requesting feedback worked in the fish bowl.
12. Put IP's in the fish-bowl and have each tell where they see the other: in treatment; progressing on treatment goals; with family relationships; etc.
13. Have daughter play wife and/or son play husband while mother and father observe. Then have husband and wife discuss what they felt, felt and learned.
14. Have the IP play two roles with family or single family members and switch chairs. Identify one chair as the sober/straight IP and the other as the addicted\drug using IP. Have family members identify the role they want to talk to. Encourage honesty and have each person give permission to other members to be honest with them.
15. Utilize the QUESTIONS FOR MULTIPLE FAMILY THERAPY GROUPS during interaction stage to set-up interactions between family members and/or group members.
16. Get everything in the open and talk able which gives options for new behaviors.
17. Have each family member share the list(s) of "worms" that they completed as a homework assignment from last week.
18. Keep it moving, and monitor your timing and pacing.
19. Involve the kids by asking them questions.
20. Roam about, listen and monitor each family's progress constantly and show interest in each person.
21. If someone gets upset, process with the person, family, and group when and if appropriate. Focus on input, experience and reflection.
22. Take a one down position if needed.
23. When you don't know something, say you don't know.
24. Ask for other opinions rather than lecture. Facilitate the participant's (family's) sharing their wisdom.
25. Share your thoughts, concerns and questions.
26. Lead by following (for example if a family or someone comes in acting upset) and focus on the process.
27. Use the handout: "Ways Men and Women Control Each Other."
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