Group counseling is an ideal vehicle for moving past the “social, sexual, and status games” often played in interpersonal relationships (Yalom & Leszcz, 2005, p. 47). This form of therapy allows members to authentically experience real-life situations with other people and to discern fact from distortion in their interpersonal interactions (p. 47). In this session, I acted as a group member and two of my fellow students, Joe and Mary, acted as the co-leaders. In the following descriptions, I use aliases to refer to group members and the co-leaders.
My Reactions to the Group Process
A discussion about an interaction from the first session came up, and a member, Kathy, added her insights. Then, another member, Eliza, pointed out that Kathy always seems to avoid talking about her feelings in the group. The co-leader, Mary, asked Kathy to talk about what she had been feeling in the initial interaction that happened three weeks ago. Kathy’s apparent discomfort in this moment might have been caused by her inability to remember how she had felt weeks before. Corey, Corey, and Corey (2014) stated: “Interventions that direct members to gain awareness of what they are experiencing in the here and now tend to intensify the emotional quality of interactions” (p. 176). If Mary’s intention was to elicit a genuine feeling expression from Kathy, she might have focused on the present moment instead of the past.
The co-leader, Joe, invited the rest of the group to share their reactions.
At one point in a person life, they will participated in a group whether it is part of a specific committee, therapy, or social group. In recent years, there has been a rise in counseling within a group forum veering from the tradition individual counseling. Therapists, physiologist, and counselors believe that form of counseling is beneficial to both counselor and client. This allows the counselor to help several clients at once rather than one at a time decreasing their strenuous workload and demanding work hours. This form of counseling integrate individual that share similar issues, struggles, and experiences into one forum. This not only allows the clients to learn from the therapist but from their fellow group members. The group experience
Jacobs, E. E., Masson, R. L., Harvill, R. L., & Schimmel, C. J. (2012). Group counseling: Strategies and skills (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
In this paper, I discuss my experience with observing a group counseling session with the purpose of evaluating it in terms of how it is set up, how it is run, interventions used, culturally sensitivity, and the contribution toward my professional development as a social worker. The group setting plays a critical role in social work outside of the individual session and can be largely beneficial for clients in the forms of therapy, counseling, self-help, and support. By attempting to better understand group interventions, I will learn how to apply this strategy in aiding clients for whom this method is appropriate by increasing their social supports.
I learned two significant things about group counseling in this course. The first thing that I learned is the importance of setting up a treatment plan. The intention is to follow the client from their entrance into the program until the client is discharged. In this process the clients’ problems are identified through various assessments and as each problem is addressed, it is checked off of the list. Once all of the problems are checked off of the list, the client is considered as having completed the plan. This plan is especially important because it evokes thoughtful conversation between the client and the counselor and is the best method to gain information from the client regarding the help they want to receive. The second most significant thing that I learned about group counseling is how to design a group from start to finish. From pre group design, planning the goals of the group and determining the members to setting up the environment and structuring the sessions, each step adds its own important components to designing group counseling.
The process of running a group therapy session is a unique time to tests a person’s skills abilities when it comes to facilitating that group. This paper will mainly look at ways when it comes to my learning's of this class that I took ways; I will also show examples and skills to run a good group therapy session. This whole paper is a reflection of the many things that I took was on being an active group counselor facilitator.
Purpose of the group counseling varies from group to group. It can be therapeutic, educational, or helping people to make fundamental changes in their way of thinking, feeling and behaving (Corey, 2004, p. 7). Group counseling/therapy has the advantage of being more effective than individual therapy because, it more closely stimulates social interactions and interpersonal communication patterns than does individual counseling (Kottler, 2004, p. 260). The techniques and strategies use in group counseling are to help resolve members’ interpersonal conflict, promote greater self-awareness and insight, and help them work to eliminate their self-defeating
Adlerian group counseling can be considered a brief therapy with four phases: 1) Establishing and maintaining cohesive relationships with members: the therapy is based on relationship between equals based on cooperation and mutual respect. Both group leader and members work together toward mutually-agreed upon goals to facilitate change throughout the sessions (Corey, 2000). Through active participation in the group, members are provided with an opportunity to work on their issues and witness positive change within their peers which proves group works. 2) Analysis and Assessment - Exploring the Individual’s Dynamics: the aim is to understand an individual’s lifestyle and how it is affecting his/her current functioning in society. Group leaders can assess participants using different assessments such as: family constellation, birth
Therapists must also be aware that members of the group may abuse other members in the group; avoidance of this behavior may be avoided with proper guidelines in place and disclosure at the start of the group process for each member. A close relationship can be built between all group members as well as the therapist, Forsyth (2011) refers to this relationship as group cohesion. Tenbrunsel (2006) mentions social cohesion, as enabling unethical and selfish actions, instead of a positive feature of group life.
The first time I personally experienced attending a group therapy was part of my course. Through this experience i can say that group therapy can be very powerful in healing a person emotionally and since the members were from the same class, where we all have similar goals. Group therapy helped all of us to establish meaningful and intimate relationship and we also recognised commanality of members needs and problems and to develop a sense of bonding and we became very close and we could also be there for each other during emotionally trying times.It also helped me to increase self-growth, self acceptance and self –confidence among oneself and group members. Group therapy is a powerful venue for growth and change. It also helped me in expressing my emotions in a healthy way.
As I began the Group Process and Dynamics course, I was excited to become educated and experienced with group counseling. Group counseling is a topic I have enjoyed in the past and have continued to be fascinated by. I have learned the elements of a group process through observation and research. The group process consists of several elements that come together when the group begins and ends when the group is terminated. I have observed group norms, group cohesion, the generation of trust, the manifestation of resistance, the emergence of conflict and resolution, healing forces, the reactions of group members, and the various stages a group develops through (Corey, Corey, & Corey, 2010). Throughout this course, I was able to derive a conceptualization of groups. From this course I will take with me the understanding of how effective group counseling can be for individuals. Groups have been known to be as effective as individual therapy and a great source of treatment. Group counseling is designed as a part of a treatment plan that helps individuals and guide them through change. Group counseling is a versatile practice, which can be used in several settings and with different populations (Corey et al., 2010). This course has given me the opportunity to reflect on my own personal leadership style, the challenges that may arise, and an action plan to continue my group leadership knowledge and skills.
In the past few years, community agencies have increasingly used groups since various groups have become a common feature of today's society. Some of the most common groups in today's society include groups for women, men, parent education, children, HIV/AIDS support, and those for reducing substance abuse. Due to the increased use of groups by communities, there are various approaches that have emerged including group counseling and group psychotherapy. Group counseling is a designed preventive and remedial approach to meet the needs of specific population in the society like women, men, the elderly, adolescents, and children. On the contrary, group psychotherapy is a re-education process of the present and past through conscious and unconscious awareness.
Looking for new and more effective ways to treat the issues of their clients, counselors and therapists may often begin to consider leading a group therapy session. Group therapy is a form of therapy in which a therapist either treats or provides psychoeducational skills to a small, carefully planned target group of individuals in an effort to ameliorate the issues and dysfunctions of each individual in that particular group of patients together (Scheidlinger, 2004). In this group, therapists often utilize some of the psychotherapy theories such as Gestalt, transactional analysis, psychotherapy or psychodrama which they often use to treat clients individually.
Group counseling may be adverted to as a course of counseling, which takes a group of people coming together under one or more trained therapists, who simultaneously facilitate them and promote them to help one another to overcome their challenges. The group members are usually peers who may not necessarily face the same problem, but their problems may be linked. According to Jacobs, Masson, Harvill and Schimmel (2012), all members in a counseling group wish and desire personal growth. This kind of therapy has been employed over the years and it has produced excellent results in the lives of the group members.
The counseling session goes through various characteristics. At the very earliest stage, the participants test the new relationship with the leader and with each other, and the leader, in a way, experiments too with the new relationship with the participators assessing which techniques would be best to employ with them and whether or not there is a match. As with all acquaintances, some work and some do not, and the earliest stages of the group session are a prelude to the future of the success of the group. Exploration is tentative, members learn the rules of this new game and the leader, in turn, learns how to act with participators.
This article closely examines different ethical, legal, and treatment issues that arise in school group counseling. The author starts by looking at some of the psychological issues that effect school aged children. He also suggest some appropriate topics to offer group counseling on such as a divorce group, a drug and alcohol abuse group, or a physical abuse group. The article goes on to explain several different types of group intervention such as educational guidance groups, counseling groups, and therapy groups. Five different stages of groups; forming stage, storming stage, norming