The 8 session group work ran in the evenings at the KASP building Wed 4th May – Wed 29th June 2022
Clients who were on the waiting list for counselling were invited to participate in an 8-session group programme. Clients were given information about the group through a KASP counsellor, this was then followed up by a phone call from group facilitators. The group content aimed to be more needs led, this was achieved through scoping content and ideas with group members at the initial stages.
Six people were invited to attend with 3 people attending and completing the group programme.
How the sessions progressed
All sessions start with a group check in, assessing how people are feeling and what their week has been like. Creating a welcoming, friendly, and person-centered environment is key to creating the conditions for clients to feel safe and relaxed.
A baseline questionnaire was completed on week one, this gave staff an insight into key challenges clients were facing, support networks and ideas for content for future group sessions.
- Group Outline
- Group Agreement
- Getting to know each other
Masks Art Activity – What are we masking?
Specialist Workshop (Anxiety)
Understanding trauma and the brain
- Coping Strategies
- Self Care
Art Activity: What do our hands hold?
Input from KASP counsellor – what to expect
Art Activity: Affirmations and vision boards
On the final week the group all met up to celebrate their progress and enjoyed a meal together
- Increased connections with others in similar situations
- Improved self-care strategies
- Increased understanding emotions and impact of trauma
- Improve readiness for counselling
A key strength of this group was the positive relationships the clients built with each other. From feedback the group content was adapted to include more art activities as the clients really enjoyed this. The time was adjusted week 4 to allow 2.5 hours of group time as clients feedback the sessions felt too short.
Due to the small group size one session was cancelled as only 1/3 clients were available.
“I have made real friendships”
“What I have really enjoyed is the togetherness and will take away more self-love and techniques to help me cope''
“Being able to talk freely about my feelings has really helped, I felt appreciated by everyone”
“I feel accepted and heard''
“I was so nervous about coming to group and it’s been the best thing I have done. I really needed it as was struggling''
The feedback from all 3 clients was positive with all clients now in a peer support group that they will operate themselves in their local area.
Clients reported the biggest impact of attending group was connecting with others and feeling like they could be themselves and share what they felt comfortable sharing.
The input from the KASP counsellor was very well received, dispelling some myths about what counselling is and isn’t. It inspired some group members to explore volunteering / career options in the voluntary sector.
Clients overall felt the group could have run over more weeks and for a longer session time.
It may be worthwhile to explore ahead of new groups possible progression pathways.
One client suggested an online group and advised there may be merit in offering online support groups whereby people could remain anonymous if they had concerns about a face-to-face group.