In thinking about a group I might lead someday, I can think of quite a few reasons where utilizing dyad’s would be beneficial. A dyad is “an activity where pairs of members discuss issues or complete a task” (Jacobs et al., 2016, p. 216). These dyad’s are valuable tools in the counselor’s tool kit as they can be used to help break the ice in a group and create energy, help with processing of information, and allow certain group members the opportunity to talk together, or for the leader to keep certain group members apart. The three dyad situations that I feel would be the most helpful in groups that I would lead would be to help break the ice, for processing information, and to get certain group members interacting together.
The initial stages of a group can be stressful and awkward, and people are immediately beginning to feel each other out whether they are doing this consciously or not. After introducing the purpose of the group and laying some ground rules, I believe that dyad’s would be a nice way to get people to start talking to and getting to know each other. This might be something I would want to do several rounds of in the first session, so more people are introduced to each other, or perhaps as a opening exercise for a few group meetings. Once people have started mingling and talking, it might be easier to get them to be comfortable talking during the group session.
Processing information can be challenging for some people, and as we know about different learning styles we know that some people are visual learners, some are hands on learners, and others learn by listening or hearing. By breaking the group into dyads, it gives some members of the group the chance to begin to verbally process what they are learning and experiencing, and it also reinforces the information for those who learn best by hearing.
Finally, I would use dyad’s to get certain group member’s to talk to each other. Some people in the group might have a difficult time opening up and talking in front of the whole group, but are perfectly capable of talking in small groups or in a dyad. Using this technique allows them to still participate and share their thoughts, but without the stress of the whole group experience. Also, perhaps two people in the group have very similar reason’s for being there, and you want them to be able to talk together. Putting them in a dyad would facilitate this experience. Or perhaps two people have very different coping techniques, but both could help the other learn to manage in a new and different way, so you can put them in dyad together so they can share what works for them or helps them. Using dyads strategically can be of huge benefit to the clients in the group, and can allow you to get more accomplished than if you strictly worked with the group as a whole.
Jacobs, E., Schimmel, C., Masson, R., & Harvill, R. (2016). Group counseling: Strategies and skills. Cengage Learning: Boston, MA.