- What kind of tone do you want to create through the check-in? Playful? Serious? Connecting?
- Is this a group that is familiar with check-ins and has been meeting together regularly?
For example, if you have time for a longer check-in from each member, a phrase like “tell us the story of…” can be a good prompt for members to share more than a few words. If you’re short on time and just want a quick update, using “say a few words on.. anotherdating.com/de/chatiw-test/.” may be the better option.
For more tips on facilitating check-in and the role of personal interactions between group members, have a look at the videos we’ve linked to below.
Many of the exercises and activities described above can be applied to group therapy with younger members, but some are more appropriate than others.
Icebreakers and Trust-Building
This section includes over two dozen different ideas of icebreakers that are appropriate for both teens and adults in group therapy.
In this icebreaker, participants are asked to organize themselves into smaller groups based on a category, such as favorite color, favorite food, number of siblings, etc. It will help teens to get more comfortable interacting with each other and learn something new about the other members.
This activity requires group members to physically interact with each other, so it may not be appropriate for all groups. All members get in a circle and take the hand of someone who is not right next to them, then try to unravel the knot they have created without letting go of anyone’s hand.
Fear in a Hat
This icebreaker is best applied in a setting where everyone is at least somewhat familiar with the other members of the group. Everyone writes down their deepest, darkest fear on a piece of paper. These pieces of paper are gathered and placed in a hat. Each member will draw one fear each, read it aloud and try to identify who wrote it.
Trust-building activities are also great ways to get group members comfortable with one another and encourage a safe and secure place to share.
Pair off the group members. If there is an odd number of members, the therapist can pair with a member to make it even. Instruct each pair to blindfold one member and tell the other member to guide them around the room in search of a particular object or objects. If there is enough time, the partners can switch when the object(s) has been found.
This extremely simple exercise simply divides members into pairs and requires them to look into each other’s eyes for 60 seconds. Maintaining prolonged eye contact will help group members get comfortable with each other, practice an important part of social interaction, and connect with each other on a deeper level.
This classic trust exercise is still a great way to build trust within a group. Have each member take their turn climbing onto a table and falling backwards into the arms of the other members of the group without looking behind them. This one is a classic for a reason – it works!
Silent Gratitude Mapping
This engaging gratitude activity is a great opportunity for teens and adolescents to exercise their creativity and express themselves. You’ll need a whiteboard or a large piece of paper and different colored pens. Split your larger group into smaller groups of between 3 and 5 teens.
Instruct each member to reflect for a few moments on things in their lives that they feel thankful for. Once a few minutes have passed, they can write them on the paper or whiteboard. They should create a line that flows from each item (they can be circled or in a heart) to a reason for their gratitude.