A digital myStrength account is a place for individuals to work towards their personal health goals at their own pace. But, as clinicians at our partner organizations are finding out, these tools are also excellent resources for group settings. Judy Schwarzkopf, LCSW, a clinician at Preferred Behavioral Health in New Jersey, shares some tips for how she uses myStrength in two support groups she manages:
6 Ways To Boost Group Therapy Through Digital Behavioral Health Tools
- Give participants something new. In some cases, individuals may attend a group for a long time. Finding new teaching tools and approaches to keep these clients engaged can be a challenge, Judy says. “Some of these people are coming to therapy for a really long time - for weeks, months. They want to hear a new voice. myStrength resources provide that.”
- Help promote computer/internet literacy. For someone who is not computer or internet savvy, learning these skills (and/or finding access to technology) can be challenging. Introducing digital tools in a supportive group setting can help demystify technology. Individuals may then be motivated to set up a personal online account and open the door to exploring the myriad benefits of computers and the internet.
- Spark discussion with metaphors and activities. Judy uses myStrength tools to provide metaphors to guide discussion and teach concrete skills for wellness and coping. She recalls one video in particular that used the metaphor of a forest to visualize depression. It sparked weeks of conversation. The video became a touchpoint for the group and a way to be able to come back to a shared experience. Want to see the video? CLICK HERE
- Use modules as a guide for sessions. Working step-by-step through entire myStrength modules has been a powerful tool for Judy’s time-limited group. “It’s a journey that they can do together,” Judy explains. “Yes, they go home and redo [activities] and think about them for themselves. But while they’re in group, they’re doing it with other women, together, so it’s not a journey they’re going through alone.”
- Encourage teamwork and leadership. Facilitators can guide the group through setting up a single myStrength account for the group. Everyone participates in creating a user profile reflecting the challenges and issues they feel collectively. At each subsequent meeting, a different participant gets to be the leader in choosing what myStrength tools to work through together that day.
- Give clinicians fresh ideas and save time. The demands on clinicians have never been higher. myStrength provides hundreds of evidence-based tools and activities at your fingertips. “As a clinician who doesn’t have a great deal of time to develop materials, [myStrength] has been very, very helpful,” Judy says.
Digital self-care tools are a flexible, affordable way to expand staff capacity and increase engagement. Contact us to start the conversation of how myStrength can help your organization achieve its goals.