GROUP THERAPY: A RAY OF HOPE…. A VISION FOR TOMORROW
In treatment of mental illnesses many aspects play a very important role e.g. correct data collection, medication, counseling, group therapy and proper after care. Group therapy is the form of therapy that forms the basis for better improvement for patients in NITYANAND REHABILITATION AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE CENTRE that is situated in Katraj, Pune and that has also started a branch at Hinjewadi, Pachanegaon.
It is the group therapy that forms a sound basis for patient’s recovery and its maintenance in form of functionality and social skills. The individuals who suffer from mental illnesses always have some degree of impairment in some or the other field as social, occupational, family, marital, economic etc.[regression] It becomes very important after their symptoms are in control that they seek group therapy to prepare them for rehabilitation in main stream.
There are some criteria listed below to suggest as to who can participate in Day Care:
♦ Those who do not have acute symptoms.
♦ Those who agree to participate in group therapy.
♦ Those who can participate in therapeutic self disclosure.
♦ Those who can maintain consistent attendance for the group therapy sessions.
♦ Those who are not excessively impulsive.
♦ Those who can involve in process of developing generalized trust in the group.
♦ Those who accept their illness to some degree.
There is no age bar for the Day Care except the extremely old patients. The admissions to Day Care are done by counselors or doctors who have fairly good information about the symptoms, family background and their psychosocial problems.
From Freud’s point of view it would be Ego Training, i.e. it is the work done with the patient’s SELF so as to build their awareness about themselves and the illness that they can manage and live a better life.
Following are the benefits the patient’s and their family members get when they follow the necessary course of treatment in the Day Care:
♦ Training or retraining to build up or revive basic independent living skills.
♦ To bring out the awareness of impairments those come with the illness.
♦ To give insight about the mal adaptive behavior patterns and change them with the adaptable or desirable ones.
♦ To educate them about the importance of all modalities of treatment including medication, counseling and aftercare.
♦ To rehabilitate the patient in the family by educating and training them to handle their behavior till they learn to perform individually and willingly.
♦ To entertain the patients meaningfully and giving them awareness to take care of their feelings and thoughts.
♦ To improve on the patient’s communication skills.
♦ To improve the patient’s socialization that is affected due to the illness.
♦ To motivate the patient to earn and develop skills important to assimilate oneself in the family and society.
♦ To learn coping skills and adjustment skills to avoid further dysfunctionality or burn out in the patient and the family respectively.
The treatment facility at Nityanand Rehabilitation Centre offers a calm and peaceful atmosphere where clients are able to concentrate on their individualized treatment in a relaxing and non-stressful setting. From many methods used in the process of group therapy, some that Nityanand’s Day Care uses that ensure a better understanding of how clients can take care of many aspects in a life are
♦ Drama therapy – one act play, role plays, psychodrama, dialogue
♦ Music therapy
♦ Dance therapy
♦ Art & craft
♦ Group therapy
♦ Nature therapy
♦ Recreational activities
♦ News discussion
♦ Self expression
♦ Movie watching
♦ Monthly Newsletter
♦ Clay Modeling
♦ Jogging track – morning walk, evening walk
♦ Cricket, Basketball, Badminton
♦ Tree plantation, Gardening
♦ Sand Sculpture
♦ Garden Decoration – using marbles
♦ Recreational activities at riverside
♦ Different types of competition
♦ Exercises – yoga, aerobics at the garden
♦ Exhibition & stalls of different products made by patients
♦ Awareness generation programs
♦ Street plays
Objectives of Group Therapies
1] To help the patients to identify their emotional and behavioural disturbances & to learn to cope up with these issues.
2] To help the patients to overcome their shortcomings to boost their confidence.
3] To help them to reintegrate into the mainstream of society.
4] To give them an opportunity to learn new skills & develop their potential.
5] To enhance their strengths and unidentified qualities.
6] To enable them to resolve their issues on their own.
7] To develop their coping mechanisms.
8] To help them to introspect.
9] To develop their perspective in order to identify their problem areas.
10] To strengthen their capacity to identify their feelings.
11] To learn to overcome their own negative feelings.
The Therapeutic Group Emerges in : Activity group; support group; problem-solving and psycho-educational group; and psychodynamic group.
An activity group aims at engaging patients in various activities and helping them gain initiative, activeness and confidence and leadership qualities through involvement in several meaningful activities.
A support group works as an emotional and practical support for those who start opening in the group for taking further support.
The psycho-educational group performs a very important task for rendering the patients’ and their family members with necessary insights about the respective illness.
|The most profound work regarding alterations in thoughts as well as personality is done through a psychodynamic group.
The Day Care Centre at Nityanand has a kind of group that works flexibly in all forms to deliver best results.
Process of Different Group Therapies
Drama Therapy - Patients are divided into 4 or 5 groups. They make a story, form dialogues on a given topic. Topic is associated with their emotional & behavioural issues i.e. impulsiveness, inconsistency, manipulation, introspection, dependency, self help, real self ideal self, responsibility, efforts etc.
Music Therapy - Different types of musical activities & games are conducted. Everyone gets an opportunity to sing in front of the group.
Dance Therapy - Different types of dance are facilitated. Patients are motivated to learn new dance steps and encouraged to form their own steps. Each session is based on creative dance steps. It helps them to lose their inhibitions.
Nature Therapy - Patients are encouraged to plant different types of plants. They learn to relate themselves to their plants. Patients are helped to identify their positive behavioural changes in cause of nature therapy. They are exposed to all natural things such as trees, fresh air, water, stones, soil, flowers etc. All activities are focused on enhancing positive feelings, relaxation, energy, self awareness and sensitivity.
Structured Recreation - Each session includes an activity or a game to learn & develop motor skills, social skills, creativity, intellectual capacities & concepts, life skills, communication skills, team building, confidence building etc.
News Discussion - Patients are divided into groups and asked to discuss different types of news and articles. Each discussion helps them to increase their social bonding, general knowledge. Patients learn to form their opinions on different social issues.
Group Work - This session is based on different types of emotional and behavioural issues such as self image, decision making, self esteem, inconsistency, irresponsibility etc. Facilitator asks different types of questions to patients and encourage their participation in the discussions. Patients learn to identify their personal issues & learn to cope up with those issues.
Self Expression - Patients are asked to express and share their feelings with the group. Topics are based on their relationships, habits, dreams, aspirations, past experiences etc.
Information Group - Patients are encouraged to discuss different social issues such as corruption, poverty, unemployment, physical & mental health, scientific information, cleanliness in public place etc. It helps them in the process of reintegration. It channelises their sensitivity towards social issues.
Mirror Therapy - Every morning patients are asked to observe & evaluate their mirror image on the specific criterion based on self care. Through this activity, patients become aware of their positive & negative self care issues. They also learn to present themselves.
Movie Watching - Different types of motivational, inspirational movies are shown to the patients. Patients are encouraged to discuss the movies. They share their thoughts, opinions, feelings and learnings after watching the movies.