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Group as a Social Lab

Group counseling sessions are a safe space for members to learn and practice social skills. Practicing these skills during a group counseling session with a set of non-judgmental peers can help you feel confident in implementing them in your daily life. 

Here are some skills you can practice during your next group counseling session:

If You Relate To People By: You Might Experiment With:

Complying, giving in, being self-effacing

Saying no.

Resisting suggestions; holding back

Taking a risk; trying something new.

Always talking; filling any silence with words because you feel uncomfortable.

Being silent for a minute; getting in touch with uncomfortable feelings; talking about those feelings.

Waiting for someone to say something, then reacting

Initiating something yourself, for someone else to react to.

Always smiling, even when annoyed or angry.

Talking without smiling when feeling sad or angry


Simply responding with what you feel (e.g., “ I have an impulse to explain”)

Trying to get people to stop feeling a certain way.

Simply accepting the way they feel; at the same time exploring your impulses and feelings

Being polite; not showing anger or judgment

Saying and/or showing your feelings

Expressing anger easily

Checking to see what feelings are underneath the anger.

Deflecting praise

Accepting praise and trying to take it in

Feeling bored but being too polite to say anything about it.

Talking about your feelings of boredom.

When attacked, defending yourself.

Not saying anything in rebuttal-but exploring the feelings you have.

Being afraid-and hiding your fear

Being openly afraid; letting everyone know it.

Always complimenting others.

Telling others how you really feel about them.

Trying to get everybody to approve of you.

Being what you are and accepting that some people may not approve

Giving advice

Reporting “I feel like giving you advice” – but not doing it.

Always helping other people.

Asking for help, letting yourself be helped.

Always asking for help.

Helping someone else.

Controlling your feelings and suppressing them.

Experiencing your feelings and exploring them.

Keeping things secret.

Disclosing something about yourself that is hard to say.

Playing it safe.

Taking a few risks.

In trying these experiments, the important thing is to do something that feels difficult. Old, familiar ways of behaving will probably not result in productive experiments. Moreover, a new behavior may seem difficult at first, but with practice, it gets easier. Then, you can add the new behavior to your repertoire (your range of options) so it’s available whenever you need it.

Contact Us

Mary Forney Hall Room 306

Physical Address:
1210 Blake Avenue
Moscow, ID 83844-3140

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3140
Moscow, ID 83844-3140

Phone: 208-885-6716

Fax: 208-885-4354


Web: Counseling & Testing Center


Mary Forney Hall Room 301

Physical Address:
1210 Blake Avenue
Moscow, ID 83844-3140

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3140
Moscow, ID 83844-3140

Phone: 208-885-5138

Fax: 208-885-4354


Web: Strategic Plan