Addiction Counseling: Preparation Stage of Group Development

Addiction Counseling: Preparation Stage of Group Development

When carrying out a research on the stages of group development, depending on the method of collecting data used, there are specific questions for each stage. Questions that are asked in one stage may not be ideal in another stage. The different stages of group development include; pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and recurrence. These stages of group development may be experienced in the three stages of treatment depending on the nature of the group which include the early stage, middle, and the late stage. The stages are differentiated by the condition of the clients, effective therapeutic strategies, and by optimal leadership characteristics. It is the client’s stage of development that determines which group models and methods that are appropriate for a particular time (USDHHR, 2005).

The questions below are ideal in the preparation stage. In this stage clients still use the substance, but they are intending to quit since they have noticed the good side of quitting the behavior and the effects of addiction. The clients’ plan to change starts in this stage. The questions should be asked as they are ordered to enable the flow of information.

  • What are some uncertainties in your life growing up?
  • How do you think these uncertainties contributed to your addiction?
  • Many people struggling with addiction have either a parent or both
  • Parents who are addicted themselves. Perhaps your mother or father has gotten sober or perhaps not in neither case; how could you use their experience as motivation now?
  • Briefly describe the "glamour" of your early days of using drugs or alcohol?
  • As you sit here what is your perspective of that "glamour"?
  • How has your addiction progressed over time?
  • What do you mean by wanting something for nothing?

These types of questions are important in understanding the client motivation for changing substance abuse behavior. The responses from these questions will explain why the client wants to change and what he/she has passed through while in the drug addiction behavior. Asking these kinds of questions gives theoretical orientations that are important in whichever tasks the group is trying to accomplish, what the group leaders observes and responds to in a group and types of interventions that will be initiated by the group leader (Miller, 2010).

Concerning a group setting that deals with alcohol and drug addiction in a group setting, the best type of questions will include; how did you start using drugs; what was your parents’ reaction towards your behavior change; what consequences have you experienced while in the behavior; and do you have the intention of quitting (Miller, 2010).


Miller, G., (2010). Learning the Language of Addiction Counseling. Hoboken : John Wiley & Sons

US Department of health and human resources (2005). A treatment Improvement Protocol TIP 41. Retrieved on 22, March 2012 from


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