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Lessons from Group Counseling - Increasing Family Cohesion

In this time of added stress we are all experiencing many family units have become strained. Kids haven't been in school for months, and for some it's unclear when they'll go back. Finances may be a challenge and with limited options for things to do in our communities we all are desperate for ways to blow off steam. With so much negativity around us all the time clients ask how they can remain a happy loving family?


Believe it or not the challenges we face in relationships are often what strengthen our bonds to one another. In group therapy we acknowledge five stages of group development:

  1. Forming

  2. Storming

  3. Norming

  4. Performing

  5. Adjourning

As with grief these stages can come in waves and all serve for the benefit of the group as a whole. Your family is like a group! You have all formed and created a close circle of relationships together. Through times you have normed and found your rhythm. At times things may have been going like a well oiled machine as you all performed well together. In these tough times you may be struggling through storming. When this happens in group we take time to be sure everyone's feelings are heard and addressed. Everyone has an opportunity to air their grievances in a search for resolution.


One way I like to do this is through the use of a group quilt. We each create a square that represents us and how we feel and once complete we each share what we have made with each other. This is a simple, easy, and effective way to open up lines of communication. Once the activity is complete we can put our squares together and display our quilt as a reminder of our bond together. The instructions to try this activity are listed below!


Group Quilt

Supplies needed:

  • Construction Paper

  • Glue

  • Glitter

  • Scissors

  • Markers

  1. Grab your craft supplies

  2. Each family member makes a square for the quilt on construction paper that represents who they are and how they feel

  3. After everyone is done ask each family member to present their square and explain the decorations.

  4. Put squares together and display somewhere in the house where everyone can see it

Let me know if your family tries this and how it goes!

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