Initial Phase (Four Sessions)

During this phase, group members (who typically already knew each other from the community) learned about each other’s symptoms and stories, and group facilitators attempted to ensure that all members felt safe and comfortable talking openly in the group setting. Facilitators reiterated that depression is a treatable illness and explained the group rules and frequency of meetings. They also began to discuss the interpersonal problems linked to the depression, and explored previous strategies group members had employed to deal with their situations.

At each of the sixteen sessions, group members were asked to report on any improvement or worsening of their symptoms over the previous week. Group facilitators reviewed which depression symptoms participants had endorsed, and asked them to describe the past week’s events that contributed to the state of their mood. Participants were then encouraged to make connections between their experiences and their current mood.

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