INDIVIDUAL IPT TECHNIQUES TAILORED TO GROUP FORMAT Clarification
In the short term, the goal of clarification is to increase members’ awareness of what they have actually communicated. This technique is useful when a group member has said something in an unusual way or when the therapist wants to highlight a connection that the member seems to be making. To facilitate clarification, the therapist can ask a group member to repeat or rephrase a statement. Clarification is also helpful when a conflict arises among group members. By slowing members down, it allows them to explore the meaning of their feelings. In addition, the therapist should call attention to contradictions in group members’ statements. For example, the member’s affective expression may be discrepant with his or her verbal discussion.
This technique is used to identify communication difficulties and to help members learn to communicate more effectively. By asking an individual group member to recall in detail a recent interaction or argument with a significant other, the therapist can identify difficulties in communication and underlying assumptions that the group member makes about others’ thoughts or feelings. Other members can then share their reactions with the speaker. After exploring associated issues, the group can suggest alternatives to poor communication.