Cohesion – n.; the action or fact of forming a united whole;
Synonyms: unity, togetherness, solidarity, bond, coherence
The concept of “the power of the group” is well known and well documented. Just about everyone is familiar with many of the wise sayings about the effectiveness of working together in groups such as:
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”
“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself”
“Nothing truly valuable can be achieved except by the unselfish cooperation of many individuals”
- Albert Einstein
Specifically when it comes to substance use issues, the power of the group is quite evident as research has repeatedly shown that group support can be extremely valuable when dealing with an addiction.
In addition, by now you likely have discussed the power of insight and motivation as the key factors that inspire positive change. Insight involves being aware that a change is needed, and motivation obviously is the drive to make that change happen in a successful manner. When insight and motivation are working together, inspiration and positive progress are sure to follow.
How does being part of a cohesive group help with the critical process of developing insight and motivation?
One simple answer is based on just doing the math by comparing one person alone to a group of people together:
Consider the difference between just one person recommending that you change something when compared to a trusted group of people suggesting the same thing all together? – A group can help with insight building when there is a sense of trust and cohesion
Also consider the difference between one single person supporting and encouraging you in a positive manner when compared with a much larger group of people whom you trust doing the same – A group can be a force for motivation when there is cohesion and unity
Therefore a group can be very effective and powerful for building insight and motivation needed for positive change, provided there is a degree of group cohesion.
On the topic of cohesion, consider the following questions for group discussion:
What are some qualities (such as trust, honesty, etc.) that are important for there to be group cohesion?
What are some strengths and other positive attributes of this group when it comes to building group cohesion?
What are some things that this group may need to work on in order to be even better?
ALSO - For five new group activities - Go to:
(Scroll down to "Icebreakers and Group Cohesion Building" about 3/4 of the way down the page)