Session Format and Counseling Approach

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Avoid asking “why” questions of members (e.g., questioning their actions or motivations).
Avoid making generalizations.
Make sure that the group is not dominated by one or two members and that everyone in the group gets time to speak.
Steer participants away from lengthy stories of using that might act as triggers for others.
Session Format
Counseling Approach
Permit clients to depart briefly from the session’s topic if the discussion seems beneficial to all clients in the group.
Focus on the members; do not assume a position of authority or monopolize the discussion.
Encourage group members to accept and support one another.
Listen to clients, help them clarify what they are saying, but do not speak for them or provide answers.
Source: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Counselor's Treatment Manual: Matrix Intensive Outpatient Treatment for People With Stimulant Use Disorders, 2007