Thursday, June 3, 2021

Retelling the Story


Warning: This activity is not an introductory group therapy activity or an ice breaker. Rather, this activity should be done in a group that is a safe environment for all group members and the group should be prepared to be supportive and open with one another as sensitive topics will be discussed

Background: Sometimes group therapy is used to share, discuss, and process various personal stories and experiences that may have been traumatic or hurtful. However, for this exercise, the purpose is to retell some challenging personal experiences however doing so while ending on a positive note by emphasizing gains made in spite of these adversities.

Directions: Group members should take turns selecting a topic from the list below and then tell a story of a personal challenge based on that topic. However before telling the story, make sure of the following:

Make sure that you are comfortable enough to share this story right now in this group. If you are not ready to share an experience, then there is no pressure to do so right now. Choose a topic and a story that you are mentally and emotionally prepared to share at this time.  

Be prepared to end your telling of the story with the positive ending including gains you have made in spite of your struggles.

Further points to review as a group before starting this activity and discussion:

Everyone should agree to listen, pay attention, support one another without criticism or judgement. It is critically important that people listen to one another when discussing sensitive topics


The point of this exercise is not to tell war stories “I had it worse that you did” – Everyone’s experience is unique and there should be no comparison or ranking of who had it the hardest. No one should feel afraid to be judged by their story


The point of this exercise is not to say it was a “good thing” that certain experiences happened. Rather, the point is to focus on good things that are now being experienced in life today, in spite of these past negative experiences.


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