According to Jacobs, Schimmel, Masson & Harvill (2016) the use of dyads allows group leaders to pair group members together for a number of reasons like; reducing member anxiety, getting members to open up and to provide group leaders a time to gather their thoughts.In my experience conducting education groups for teenagers, I used dyads for a number of different reasons.
Teens Making A Change (TMAC), a youth leadership development group, was an open group.For as many regular members there were just as many new members weekly.To create a comfort level for new members to the group I would pair them up with a member that attended group on a consistent basis that was familiar with the rules and culture of the group.The paired members would interview each other and then present each other to the group.I allowed a question and answer time period allowing the new members to tell the group a little about themselves, while becoming familiar with the structure of the program.
In presenting discussion topics to TMAC I used dyads to get the teens talking about the topic (Jacobs, Schimmel, Masson, &Harvill, 2016).The pairs went around the room and presented what they felt and their understanding of the topic.Using dyads allowed for to understand how much the teens understood about the topic and how deep I needed to go into the topic over all or if there were areas of the topic that the teens were not that familiar and could use additional information or resources.
The third way I used dyads was if I had a member that may have been having difficulties with a topic, their day, or if they appeared to need additional support or encouragement from me or one of the groups volunteers.During those times I used dyads to have the teens discuss current news events or to discuss their highs and lows of the day; sort of a warm up exercise (Jacobs, Schimmel,Masson, & Harvill, 2016).This was beneficial because the group maintained positive structure and I was able to meet the needs of the member in need process their issue or concern.What I also discovered, there were pretty interesting topics and discussions birthed from the dyads.
Jacobs, D., Schimmel, C., Masson, R., & Harvill, R. (2016). Group counseling; Strategies and skills. 8th edition. Boston, MA. Cengage Learning.