Structured group treatments have emerged in the last few years as a viable mode of helping people. They are defined as those groups taking place within a specific amount of time using specified exercises and/ or treatment to accomplish a pre-determined set of educational and/or therapeutic goals. Such groups often focus on the stresses caused by such things as predictable developmental needs (leaving home) or unpredictable life crisis (divorce) by teaching skills otherwise left to chance. Underlying problems such as anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem may also be modified by structured treatments.
The following outline will help in the writing, developing, and eventual application of appropriate structured programs. (Drum and Knott, 1977) Following these instructions is a structured treatment for divorced/separated persons developed by Margaret Hoopes and tested by Vogel-Moline (1979). Moline found significant increases in self-esteem and significant decreases in depression among the persons who participated in this eight week structured treatment.