Discussion of Case
Fragmentation of the group is invited by the lack of screening. Because of the procedures that were used to gather this group together, members are unclear about the goals and the purpose of the group and about what is likely to occur. No time was devoted, even at the initial session, to introductions or to explaining how groups function.
As an alternative, the memo could have been more explicit, containing basic information about the group. In this way, members would have had more information from which to decide whether or not they wanted to apply for the group.
The leader might have arranged for at least minimal contact with the members on an individual basis. If it would have been impractical to meet with candidates either individually or as a group before admitting them to the group, the first session at the least could have served as an orientation meeting, so that in some ways the members might have been screened by the therapist or self-selected for continuing in the group.
In this case, members would have had a chance to discuss the basic purpose and structure of the group, and time would have been allowed for members to get acquainted.
Rather than focusing the entire first session on the depressed person, this leader might have arranged for an individual crisis intervention session, even if brief.