When I worked at a day program for adults with chronic mental illness, we were always brainstorming new program/group ideas. Every few months, we would look at attendance, participation, and member feedback for adding or taking out groups. I have decided to put to paper various groups that are great ideas for this type of day program. Typically, groups are categorized as skill building, recovery related, expressive arts, support groups, or social activities. Below are examples from each category. 1. DBT 2. CBT 3. Health and Wellness 4. Community Resources 5. Journal/Newspaper Group 6. Chair Yoga 7. Pet Therapy 8. Wellness Goal Group-each member has 3 measurable health/wellness related goals that they work on and track during the group-obstacles to completing them, inspiration, how the goals helped them that week, etc. Goals are things that each member feels would help them in their recovery (ie reading for 30 minutes a day, calling a support person 2x/week, taking a 30 minute walk 3x/week.) 9. Members Council-a group that helps in the decision making of the agency and informs other members of the agency of the goings-on (ie interviews potential new staff members during hiring process, goes over member concerns, monthly events, etc) 10. Supportive housing issues 11. Supportive employment issues 12. Public transportation 13. Grief group 14. Computer resources 15. Shopping group 16. Voting rights 17. Budgeting 18. Open support 19. WRAP (wellness recovery action plan)-by Mary Ellen Copeland 20. IMR (illness management and recover) 21. Anger management 22. Relationships group 23. Self esteem group 24. Art therapy 25. Mens group 26. Womens group 27. Critics corner-reading short stories or poems as a group and critiquing them 28. Hope and inspiration 29. Exercise or walking group 30. Creative writing 31. Banking 32. Medicare and Medicaid help 33. Apartment finding 34. Dual diagnosis 35. Illness specific groups-ie bipolar, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia 36. Medication education 37. Mental health 38. Drumming 39. Chorus 40. Gardening 41. Self help for living on own-ie how to fix clogs in sinks, tubs, toilets, patching walls, etc 42. Cooking 43. Current events 44. Parenting Feel free to comment with additional ideas so we can come up with a bunch of groups for fellow counselors working in this environment and in need of new group!
Maureen Werrbach is a counselor who works at a hospital and provides clinical assessments in the areas of mental health and substance abuse.