Group Psychotherapy Preamble

Do Jelly babies form trauma bonds?

I’m often asked what’s a good preamble for a group, some practitioners just list a big long list of do’s and don’t. This can be helpful to establish rules but it isn’t a good preamble.

Here is an example of one I find quite useful, I believe it comes from the Priory in London originally:

“The purpose of group therapy is to gain insight to ourselves by listening to the sharing of others and observing their behavior. From seeing particular behavior we work to understand the general principles lie behind all disorders.

From observing and confronting the dishonesty, deceptions, distortions, diversions, delusions, evasions, rationalisations, justifications and psychological game playing of other people we learn to be aware of these same characteristics in ourselves.

We recognize that the energy and resources that we used previously in support our addictive behavior can be channeled constructively into developing new perspectives, nurturing healthy activities and creating rewarding relationships.


We see the courage of others attempting to make these changes and we commit ourselves to following their example of honesty, open-mindedness and willingness.”


  1. Here’s a copy of another preamble that is a bit more instruction-like.

    This is a guideline to assure you get the most out of attending groups here.
    • Process groups are a chance for you to share and reflect on matters concerning you
    • Please use “I” statements when you are talking about matters
    • Be aware of “cross talk”
    • Try not to rescue your peers
    • Try not to give advice
    • Have respect for each other but do not be afraid to call someone out whom you feel is not telling the truth
    • Please do not wear sunglasses or hats within the group as this obscures your face and connection to the room
    • Please do not bring telephones into the room, if you have brought yours in please turn it off
    • If you feel uncomfortable or triggered, try to remain in the room and discuss with your peers how you are feeling
    • Group starts promptly at 9:30am, be on time out of respect for others
    • Please visit the bathroom before starting group
    • Do not make notes during process group
    • What is mentioned in this room, stays in this room


  2. Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thank you


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