Online group therapy sessions are a wonderfully convenient, accessible way to help clients benefit from peer support on top of your professional treatments.
While they’re perfect for dealing with specific issues, challenges, or goals that participants have in common, however, they traditionally require a little more management from you as a professional.
If you offer therapy or peer-support programs, workshops, classes, or coaching, this guide covers everything you need to know to run flawless sessions the easy way with Quenza.
Before exploring this guide, we recommend trying out Quenza’s $1, 30-day trial. Quenza’s unique software toolkit will help you deliver seamless interventions and programs for anxiety, and contains everything you need to craft professional custom treatments that help them achieve their wellbeing goals.
Doing Group Therapy Online: The Basics
Online group sessions are a convenient, efficient way for therapists to support clients with their mental health when face-to-face sessions aren’t preferred, appropriate, or available.
While online group therapy is relatively new compared to e-health, or even individual e-therapy, there is already good evidence supporting its effectiveness.
Because it is a professional mental health solution, it requires digital practitioners to apply two skillsets:
- Group therapy skills, knowledge, and experience, and
- Telehealth competencies.
If you’re already experienced with running group therapy sessions in person, the good news is that Quenza’s unique tools and features are easy to learn, use, and make the most of.
With this step-by-step guide, even a first-time telebehavioral health practitioner can learn to run seamless, unique, and beautifully effective group sessions in a flash!
How To Run Group Therapy Sessions with the Quenza Platform
Quenza’s HIPAA- and GDPR-compliant platform has all the tools you need to build your group therapy sessions from the ground up, and learn to improve your programs with feedback-informed treatment.
Everything you need to start and run your group sessions can be found in your Clients tab, where you can navigate to “Group” to begin.
Here, you can:
- Create your group from existing or new Clients
- Share Activities with participants
- Develop and send Pathways, and even
- Export your group’s results.
How To Create Your Group
Before you start your sessions, you’ll need to allocate participants to your group, and depending on its size, there are three ways to do this:
- Inviting them individually from your client list
- Sending email invites to new participants, or
- Importing up to 50 members from a spreadsheet.
Inviting clients one at a time from your existing contacts works well if you’re smaller groups or a handful of team members, but if you’re running larger classes or groups, you may find it much faster to upload a spreadsheet (here’s our template).
You can view your group participants at any time from the same Quenza tab, where you can also set your group to ‘inactive’ once a certain program is complete:
Here you can also share single therapy activities, feedback forms, intake forms, and other resources efficiently with each group of clients at once.
How To Send Activities
With your group therapy members all on board, you can share Quenza Activities right away to begin your program, workshop, or class.
Simply click on your Activities within your Group menu to select an Activity from your library:
We’re sending this Eye of the Hurricane Meditation Activity right away, but it’s also easy to pre-schedule your therapy exercises, forms, and other content to be delivered automatically in the future.
This feature isn’t just a brilliant way to save time, but it’s also very handy for those resources that might easily slip your mind – like post–session rating scales, evaluations, and other critical feedback forms.
As soon as you hit ‘send,’ Quenza will automatically deliver your chosen Activity to each group participant simultaneously, and they can start on it right away:
Of course, engaged group members ask questions, and it’s exactly what Quenza Group Chat is designed for.
For each workshop, class, program, or therapy group that you run, it’s possible to connect all your members via a special instant messaging channel for that specific group:
Your group therapy chat is an ideal place to answer questions or resolve any issues at once for the whole group, saving you from unnecessary email back-and-forths. Like Quenza itself, it’s also entirely HIPAA-compliant, so your clients have a private, secure way to support each other if you’re running a mental health coaching or peer-support program.
How To Craft and Send Pathways
A fantastically efficient way to get the most out of Quenza’s online group therapy platform is by drip-feeding entire programs (Pathways) to your participants.
By creating Pathways for your group, you can ensure every member has access to your course, program, or curriculum and all your sessions run smoothly with everyone on the same page.
Sharing Pathways with your group therapy participants is just like sending Activities, and you’re free to select any custom Pathways you design as soon as they’re saved in your Library. Alternatively, you might want to share a pre-made Quenza Expansion Pathway like the Daily Exceptions Journal we’re sending here.
Pathways lend themselves excellently to a whole range of group therapy contexts, whether you want to:
- Craft care pathways that take clients from assessment, through exercises, to evaluation
- Create, launch, and manage an online psychoeducational course with distinct e-learning modules
- Offer an online complement to your face-to-face work, as part of a blended learning framework
- Or simply let your software do the legwork when it comes to sharing therapy forms.
How To Export Results
Another way Quenza helps you deliver seamless, well-organized online group therapy sessions is by automatically collecting exportable group data for all your participants.
You can view all your HIPAA-compliant group data as PDFs on your phone or laptop by heading to the “Export” tab as shown:
In a nutshell, Quenza’s group therapy tools are designed to help you run your online sessions exactly the way you want to, using engagingly unique Activities and Pathways while ensuring your therapy program flows seamlessly from start to finish.
3 Ideas To Make The Most of Your Group Sessions
If you’re mainly experienced in personal therapy, the concept of group work is very similar. Very often, there’s no reason your tried-and-tested psychology activities can’t be adapted to suit a group context with a few simple tweaks.
In Quenza’s Expansion Library, you’ll find convenient, ready-made templates that may inspire you to build customized, group-specific Activities for your sessions – take a look at some of these templates and ideas.
1. Collective Goal-setting
An initial group therapy session is the perfect opportunity to facilitate collective goal-setting, which allows your clients to clarify their objectives and craft a path forward.
Simply put, participative group goal-setting is where you create the right conditions for your clients to establish:
- What they hope to achieve
- How that translates into action, and
- The first steps they’ll take.
Quenza’s Reframing Avoidance Goals to Approach Goals and Realizing Long-Lasting Change By Setting Process Goals are two very relevant templates that you can use to get started.
2. Icebreakers and Social Skills
Icebreakers and social connection exercises go a long way toward creating strong working relationships and an environment that’s conducive to peer support.
Some games and activities that your clients might enjoy completing as part of a group include Quenza’s:
Activities that encourage clients to identify and leverage their strengths are almost always brilliant in a feedback-rich environment.
You may want to share some of these activities with your group members, and invite them to share their results with their peers:
34+ Activities and Games To Include In Your Pathways
Besides the exercises we’ve already mentioned, here’s a list of resources where you might find your next group therapy activity.
- If you’re a mental health coach, this guide explores our 17+ Best Coaching Exercises and shows you how to apply them – including the popular guided Brief Needs Check-In Meditation for couples, group, or personal coaching
- This guide to our 11 Best Psychology Interventions To Apply with Online Clients is focused on evidence-based therapy interventions and solutions
- Six of our best internet-based therapy interventions – including the iCBT Cognitive Restructuring exercise – are available in this linked article, and
- If you’re treating patients with stress, panic, or worry, it’s worth learning How To Treat Clients with Anxiety Online with Quenza.
There are a few added layers of complexity when it comes to digital group therapy, but Quenza’s tools are uniquely developed to ease out all kinds of pain points in your workflow.
With the right Activities, Pathways, and client touchpoints in your programs, there’s no reason you can’t deliver brilliantly effective client journeys for all of your members together, so why not give it a go?
As always, we’re keen to hear how you’ve used Quenza in your online group therapy sessions. If you have any tips, ideas, or suggestions for your peers, join in the conversation below!
We this guide helped you. To start running your online group therapy sessions today, start Quenza’s 1-month, $1 trial.
Quenza is designed to help you deliver coaching and therapy sessions easily online, and includes everything you need to enhance your professional impact and your client’s therapy outcomes.
- ^ Weinberg, H. (2020). Online group psychotherapy: Challenges and possibilities during COVID-19—A practice review. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 24(3), 201.