Description Of Intervention

I format my group psychotherapy class to have didactic sessions and chapter presentations during the first half of the semester. These presentations are conducted in a therapeutic circle and are thus, an introduction to the group psychotherapy sessions, which occur during the second half of the semester. This particular intervention, which inviolves students presenting the chapters in the book as their initial experience with learning how to create dialogue in a group, was taught to me by my professor in graduate school. The initial class meeting usually entails a mixture of both anxiety and excitement, and then proceeds for several class meetings with intellectualization as the prominent feature.

With the intention of introducing more emotion to the class environment, I introduce a "special exercise" at the halfway point of the first half of the semester, toward the end of the didactic portion of that particular class. Previous to this point in the semester, on the first day of class, I mention that the 2002 American Psychological Association's ethical guidelines outline that students are not required to disclose personal information about themselves (APA, 2002). A developing sense of cohesion at this point typically allows for the exercise to be effective. The instructions, which are adapted from Irvin Yalom's Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy (Yalom, 1995, p. 7), are as follows:

Do Not Panic

Do Not Panic

This guide Don't Panic has tips and additional information on what you should do when you are experiencing an anxiety or panic attack. With so much going on in the world today with taking care of your family, working full time, dealing with office politics and other things, you could experience a serious meltdown. All of these things could at one point cause you to stress out and snap.

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