Ideas for the

"Social Stage" of a

Multiple Family Therapy Group

 1994 by Lewis N. Foster

1.  Have everyone share who they are, where they are from, how they spend their time, and how they have fun.

2.  Invite each participant (including staff) to share their first name and the name of an animal that begins with the first letter of their name, Llama Lewis for example.  Each person repeats the name and animal name of the person(s) before them, and then gives their name and animal name.  This continues until the last person repeats all the names and animal names. 

3.  Hand a ball of string to one participant in the multiple family therapy groups.  Invite them to share their name and one thing they like about themselves.  They then toss the ball of string, while holding the end of the string, to someone across from them.  This person shares their name and one thing they like about themselves, holds the string, then tosses the ball of string to someone across from them.  This is repeated until the ball of string is used and the group has created a web in the middle.  Have someone pull his or her string and notice how it affects everyone else.  Have someone drop his or her string and notice how every one else is under the influence of the person's behavior.  This is a nice way to enter the interaction stage.

4.  Pass a roll of toilet tissue around the circle and have each person take the number of sheets they think they will need during the group.  When the tissue has returned to you, have each person share one thing they like about him or her self for each sheet of toilet tissue they took.  Be creative and have fun.

5.  Have everyone write on a piece of paper that you provide, "Something they want to forget or sweep under the rug."  Have everyone put the folded paper in a box and at some point in the MFGT session have one person at a time pick one from the box and read it as though it were their statement.  Let others in the group share their thoughts and feelings.  Jean Wade @ McLeod Addictive Disease Center, Charlotte, N.C.

6.  Ask the group to respond to the question, If Ed McMahon and Dick Clark from the American Family Publishers were waiting for you with an $11,000,000.00 check when you arrive home today, what would change about your life?  Mary Helen Baum, CNS, William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute, Columbia, S.C.

7.  See the "Multiple Family Group Therapy Evaluation and Session Guide" form.

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