PDMT Group Topics Workbook

PDMT GROUP TOPICS by L. Georgi DiStefano, LCSW

The Paradigm Developmental Model Of Treatment GROUP TOPICS WORKBOOK presents a comprehensive variety of skill-building topics for use in your substance abuse/DUI group treatment setting.

This workbook incorporates themes inherent in the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and utilizes motivational interviewing techniques and an assortment of cognitive behavioral group exercises.

Group topics are designed to stimulate the contemplative and action stages of change. There are 35 topics with several exercises/activities per topic with each comprising a group session. Objectives and information for counselor preparation are included for each topic.

As a group cycles through the topics, clients gain an increased understanding of the relationship with alcohol and other drugs, while they strengthen skills in problem-solving by 45 certified Counselors at the San Diego State Driving Under The Influence Program.

This group material is compatible with and facilitates the PDMT exercises utilized in individual Counseling.

About the author:
L. Georgi DiStefano, LCSW


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What the treatment community is saying…

“Over the span of her 30 year career, Ms. DiStefano has been a dynamic leader in the fields of Social Work and Addiction. Once again, she demonstrates exceptional leadership, providing a client-centered practical approach for clinicians working with those struggling to cope with addiction, mental health, and other psychosocial issues. This book is a beautiful compilation of theory, research, and evidence-based practice, and a must read for any professional working in AOD treatment.“
-Melanie Barker, MPH, LCSW
Executive/Clinical Director, SDSU DUI Program


“The PDMT provides an array of group topics that are easy to use and thought provoking. The topics can be used as is, or adapted to the current program curriculum. What I found particularly helpful are the goals, objectives, and implementation strategies to assist the counselor with group facilitation. Not only are the topics effective in addressing addiction and recovery, but address ethical and moral issues that may contribute to relapse. I truly believe the PDMT has the potential to be utilized in many therapeutic programs.”
-Ken Wiggins, AS, CATC
Counselor, SDSU DUI Program


“In the last year, with the PDMT group topic implementation, I have seen a dramatic improvement in overall client engagement and program satisfaction with our mandated client population. While addressing the very real problem of drinking and driving, group topics, such as self-examination and self-regulation, encourage clients to take responsibility regarding AOD use, while also offering a broad application to many other areas that impact their lives, including relationships, employment, finances, and ethics.”
-Abby Oberg, IMFT, MCA, CSC
Counselor, SDSU DUI Program


“Using the PDMT model and interventions has assisted many clients in identifying and achieving individual goals, taking steps to change, and maintaining those changes. Clients have expressed feeling the groups are relevant to current issues and have contributed to an improvement in their overall sense of well-being.”
-Judy K. Gellert, CADC II, CCJP
Counselor, SDSU DUI Program


“In utilizing the Mindfulness group topic, I experienced that participants were enthusiastic to come up with alternatives for someone other than themselves in how to be more mindful. This purposeful disassociation created an opportunity for me to introduce an alternative to the exercise…how they can be more mindful in their lives and how they would like others to be more mindful of them…what ensued was an interesting mix of awkwardness, frustration, and a certain excitement in having to reflect on the two, which some had never considered. After sharing, the group concluded with how AOD use can interfere with being mindful.”
-Hank Davenport, CADDTP
Counselor, SDSU DUI Program


“Since the PDMT Model’s implementation, I have observed tremendous growth in the counseling skills of our agency’s staff. This model has provided a framework to guide counselors in truly ‘meeting clients where they are at;’ helping clients to explore where they are, and where they are going, be it abstinence, harm reduction, or recovery. The PDMT model is not only an effective modality to address AOD issues, it can be used to be used to identify and treat a broad scope of behavioral problems.”
-Oscar Almendarez, RAS II, CSC
Counseling Manager, SDSU DUIP


“Group topics have provided an opportunity for members in treatment to reflect on their past transgressions and move toward acceptance. Many members enjoyed the cognitive framework that empowers personal choice to take action and ‘choose their attitude in any given circumstance.’ Many members reflected that the DUI group experience and stories have had an impact on reducing or abstaining from alcohol.”
-Cordelia Woodhouse, CAAD
Counselor, SDSU DUI Program


“I was involved in implementing and training our staff in utilizing the PDMT individual interventions beginning four years ago. As a staff, we strongly encouraged Georgi to develop group’s topics in the PDMT spirit. I have been fortunate because my groups participated in the initial research as the “pilot groups.” My clients, when critiquing the new topics, felt that everyone was able to benefit from the group experience, more because the focus is “seemingly” not on AOD use, but on real life experiences. I have found the group brings their AOD use into the topic. There also seems to be more connection and trust among group members, including first conviction participants. Thank you, Georgi!”
-Gail Donner, CAS
Counselor, SDSU DUI Program


“Our group has had an energetic and highly participatory experience using the PDMT group topics. Members have responded with interest and intrigue to concepts presented and tools for skill development that can be mastered to benefit their lives, such as developing rituals and routines to support change. They have expressed awareness that the practice of ritual requires mindful attention, and if consciously practiced could provide both comfort and support in times of stress.”
-Rozanne Miller, LCSW
Counselor, SDSU DUI Program

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SDSU Driving Under The Influence Program