Allow a reflective moment after the three minutes are up

Allow a reflective moment after the three minutes are up

This worksheet contains guided reflection and (potentially) discussion questions that you can provide the speaker, for instance, “How did it feel to speak mindfully compared to how you normally speak?”

To continue the exercise, encourage the participants to swap roles and repeat the activity. To see the other questions or print this handout for use in your group sessions, you’ll find it here.


Engaging group members in an activity that requires both busy hands and concentration is a great way to help anxious members get comfortable with one another and open up.

Cooking is perfect for this type of activity since it gets members working together, doing something fun, and it requires interaction with the other members of the group.

Further, the idea that food is a universal language is a common one, because it is one of the few things that brings everyone together! Everyone eats, and virtually everyone likes to talk about their favorite foods.

Gather the ingredients necessary for group members to work together to create a meal or snack that everyone can enjoy. Salads, sushi, and smoothies are recommended options for this activity since they don’t require a full kitchen to make.

If you want to capitalize on the atmosphere facilitated by group cooking, you can come up with discussion questions to guide the group afterward.

You’ll find more on cooking as a group therapy intervention in Farmer et al.’s (2018) paper, Psychosocial Benefits of Cooking Interventions.


This Strengths Spotting group activity aims to help participants identify and recognize psychological or character strengths in both themselves and others. One powerful benefit of conducting this typically individual exercise in a group context is that it enables each participant to get feedback on their own strengths from those around them.

This group therapy ice breaker has 4 parts; first, participants will first get into relatively small groups of between 5-10 people.

The second step is about sharing positive success stories and listening to them. Each participant first tells a story about, for example, when they accomplished something they were proud of in a relationship or at work. As those around listen to the story, they can make notes on any strengths in the worksheet provided.

Next, group members give strengths-based feedback to the speaker using the labels that they have written on (see the worksheet). They should read out loud each strength that they’ve identified and why they chose it, then give the card to the speaker. Each person in the group has a chance to be the storyteller throughout this exercise, repeating the activity each time.

  • Finally, it’s good to follow up this activity with a debriefing discussion. Open up dialogue about what different participants feel they learned, the nature of the feedback, and any patterns they noticed. The worksheet itself contains more on these and other potential discussion questions.

Strengths Spotting can be a useful warm-up for an existing team or group, and works best if the facilitator gives an example positive story to get things started. Find the Strengths Spotting Worksheet here.

Check-In Questions

As noted earlier, most therapy groups begin with each member “checking in,” providing any progress updates, and perhaps sharing something interesting about their week or something they have learned since the last session. If you are working with members that don’t jump at the chance to speak in front of the group, having a specific set of questions to guide the check-in process can be helpful.

  1. How much time do you have for the check-in? Two sentences? Two minutes? Five minutes?