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Group therapy Essay

Group therapy refers to a small group of individuals usually between 5 and 10 meeting face to face with a therapist who is trained. It involves giving therapies to individuals in a group. During these meetings, the group members are the ones who decide on what should be discussed. Group therapy encourages interaction between the group members where they are encouraged to give each other feedback (McClure, 1990). It creates opportunity for each person to learn more about how they can interact with the others and also try different ways of behaving.

Group therapy provides some form of safe environment where members establish trust that makes it possible for them to discuss personal issues and be honest. The members are committed to the group and are expected to maintain confidentiality of the sessions contents such that they do not disclose anything discussed during the sessions to outsiders. It also includes support groups. Group counselling Just like in group therapy, group counselling refers to a small group of individuals of about the same number of between 5 and 10 who meet on weekly basis with a trained counsellor to discuss and resolve their problems.

These problems could be family, personal, social or educational. Counselling groups unlike therapy groups are usually run in agencies or counselling educational institutes. Unlike therapies where any topic can be discussed, group counselling deals with specific problems that are non-pathological that the members usually are aware of before joining the group. Unlike group therapies which include changing the members personality and behaviour, these sessions do not involve changes in personality that are major.

Their purpose is to make the members be able to change the way they relate to their friends, facility and authority such that they are better, stop engaging in undesirable activities and become more organized. T-groups T-groups are also referred to as human relations training groups or sensitivity-training groups. It is a techniques used to learn of human behaviour. The group involved in t-groups is larger than those of group therapy and counselling. Interaction amongst the participants is highly encouraged as it is through it that they get to learn about themselves.

T-group meetings have no agenda or explicit goal as is with the already discussed groups two groups, the meetings are led by a facilitator who leads the members interacting with each other and encourages them to share their emotions such as ranger, warmth, fear or even jealousy and envy as a response to the other members actions during their interactions (Aronson, 1996). T-groups emphasizes on emotion sharing rather than achieving some defined goal. The purpose for the members to learn the effect of their actions or words and the emotions they trigger in the individuals they communicate and interact with.

Its aim is for the members to develop interpersonal communication and also self-understanding hence change attitudes that are harmful to other people (Aronson, 1996). Personal-growth groups These are groups that are formed to help individuals develop personally. These groups focus on helping individuals achieve their goals and vision. They are more like therapy groups but more task oriented as they focus on specific goals of resolving psychological problems so that the members can get better (Mowbray, 2002). These groups are more active and involve more participation from the members.

Unlike other groups, they are not programmed hence are more real. These groups take individuals away from their normal work or school schedules and makes concentrate on other important personal issues that are usually ignored. The group size is the same as those used in group therapy and counselling sessions. The main purpose of these groups is to enable the members learn about each other and discover their roles and value to the community. They provide a form of support system fort t he members. They involve activities such as games, going out for hikes and picnics, writing drawing, role play amongst several others.

Self-help Groups These are groups usually formed in rural or other places where individuals are not so well off financially. The members volunteer to join the group with the common goal of eradicating poverty amongst themselves. It is characterized by the members saving and making contributions which are then used to either start a business enterprise or a common fund from which the members can borrow money from to do their own business projects. This group is the largest of all the discussed ones as it can have up to thirty or even more members. Its aim is to improve the living standards of the members. Structured groups

These groups are usually used in organizations and schools to solve tasks. They have some form of structures laid down by the organization which are designed to guide the individuals in the group so that they function and behave to execute the existing tasks as stipulated by the laid down structures to achieve the organization’s goals. These are however not just used to achieve the organization’s goals. They provide opportunities for interpersonal environment to be created which makes it possible for the members to learn from each other. The goal is to develop personal growth and competence and amongst the members.

The members also develop good communication and critical thinking skills as they attempt to find solutions to the tasks and problems they tackle in the group. These groups focus more professional competence than personal characters as it is with the other groups. I would be interested in leading personal growth groups as they are more open. This kind of groups is not limited as anything can be discussed during the sessions. Current trends imply that most individuals are concentrating so much on their education and profession that they have forgotten other aspects of life that are important.

Most people have also not identified their value and role that they can play in the community. Leading such a group will be a great contribution on my side to the community. The activities involved in this group are attractive and can easily convince people to join. Besides, it does not deal with individuals who have psychological problems implying that it is easier to get people participating. These kinds of groups are also not as common as the others implying that it would be easier to get members. Question 2 2. 1 Given the limitation of the situation described, how might you screen more effectively?

According to the described scenario, the number of individuals who need counselling is overwhelming making it impossible for the counsellors to do individual counselling. Individual screening however has to be done before the clients can be put into therapy or counselling groups. In a situation such the one described, effective screening could be done by the counsellor first having a personal face to face conservation with the client in which the client gets to talk about what they feel their problem is and what they want to achieve at the end of the counselling or therapy sessions (Yalom, 2005).

During this conservation, the counsellor gets to identify and establish the kind and magnitude of the problem the client has. They then determine the best therapy to prescribe and which group to assign the client to. Identifying the problems makes it possible for clients with the same problem to be put in one group making it easier for them to identify with each others problems. During the one on one conversation, the counsellor also get to know the schedule of the client so that they arrange the counselling sessions in a way that their time does not conflict with does not conflict with the client’s work or school schedule.

The counsellor also explains the rules, regulations and goals of the agency or any session so that the clients understand what is exported of them before they resume counselling and therapy sessions with the counsellor whether it is individual or group (Mills, 1995). The counsellor should ensure that they get to know and understand their clients, their problems and all their needs before enrolling them. If you worked in a busy clinic, describe alternatives to individual screening sessions? (1 page) Alternatives to individual screening sessions include group counselling and group therapies.

These methods however are challenging and require a lot of professional skills for them to be successful as they have potential of intensifying instead of eliminating problems. The counsellor has to use some selection procedure so that individuals are not just put in a group because they all seem to have psychological problems that follow a particular common pattern, the counsellor needs to know the clients and understand they assign them to a group and develop a program for that group (Kanas, 2006).

The size of the group should be adjusted so that it is manageable, the counsellor should have someone to help them if possible so that each member’s progress can be monitored. The rules of the group and expectations required of the members needs to be communicated in the early stages of the programs. Groups are advantageous as they enable the members to interact with each other and understand that they are not alone in their situations.

This form of counselling though characterised by many highs and lows, is said to be more effective that personal screening if well conducted as it enables the members to recover faster than individual screening. 2. 2 If you found yourself with a suicidal member at your initial group meeting, how might you handle the situation? It has to be understood that suicidal individuals usually feel helpless and about the situations they are in.

Usually these individuals are in a mental state of depression which makes them feel hopeless about the problems they are facing, the mind gets into a state where the choice to continue living conflicts with one of ending the problems and stress they are experiencing. Usually such individuals should not be left in isolation as it is in privacy that they can carry out suicide. Having a suicidal member in a group that has patients who have other problems that are not suicidal can have negative effects on the group. It could even give some of them undesirable ideas.

This is why selection procedures for group members are important. However in the event that such an individual is found in the initial group. I would let them talk but not for a long time. Just introductions and some few words about their situation. I would then interrupt firmly but gently if they continued talking as letting them talk to the others who are not prepared could scare some off. This is a situation that needs initial individual counselling before the individuals can be assigned in to groups. Besides, such individuals need to be in groups with members who are in the same situation.

The initial meeting would therefore not involve individuals talking much about their situations, just introductions. What to say to the suicidal member. Suicidal individuals need all the encouragement one can give. I would cheer the individual up and let them know that they are going to learn more about how valuable life is. I would let the individual know that he is not the only who had problems as there are several others around him who are facing the same or worse situation. I would assure him of that counselling sessions would help him learn how to live life to the fullest and enjoy it.

I would let the individual know that he was going to get all the assistance he may require at the centre. I would let the individual know that they are okay and that they were not evil as it was often thought about suicidal people. How to address the group about this situation I would let the other group members understand that being suicidal was just one way of dealing with problems that some people adopted especially when the problems became overwhelming. I would ask them to give the individual all the support he may require and offer him friendship so that he would feel lonely or isolated. 3. My point of view on the discussed fact

According to section B of the ASGW Best Practice guidelines which deals with best practice in performing of group leaders, part B. 4 of the section which concerns itself with therapeutic dynamic and conditions requires leaders to manage communication flow within the group and protect the members from any form of physical harm or trauma may be psychological or emotional (Janice et al, 2003). All leaders must comply with these codes of ethics in their practice as it is illegal to divert. All leaders who maintain the position described are thus unethical for failing to protect group member’s rights.

According to the codes of ethics that guide this practice, leaders need to need to protect the rights of the group members. Abuse, coercion, intimidation and pressure from peers are all things which can cause trauma to the group members and as such, need the group leader to always intervene. As much as the goal of forming groups in this context is to allow members to interact and improve on their social behaviours, leader intervention and protection is mandatory in times of serious conflicts. The leader does not have to intervene all the time but in the event that the conflicts become violent then they have no choice but to intervene.

Leaders have to protect every member from any form of abuse through intimidation and pressure from other group members. This is done by ensuring that the members adhere to the rules which I believe will have addressed such issues. The leaders otherwise have to let the members interact and express themselves as freely as possible as long as conflicts do not get to the point being violent, abusive or intimidating. Otherwise according to the ASGW guidelines, the leader has the responsibility of protecting group members, rights. 4. Discuss the relevant ethical and professional issues.

How to respond to a group member who would extend such an invitation. The ethical professional issue in this context is diversity. The ASGW guidelines require that leaders respect diversity and be sensitive to the differences in their clients which include race, sexuality, gender, economic class, religion amongst others. The group leader has to understand that clients hold different views on these issues and they could cause problems if not well handled. The lady in the discussed scenario seems to think that the group leader is gender discriminative as she believes that introducing him to her husband made the leader side with him.

The leader hence has to address this problem in accordance with the guideline that requires him to be sensitive to diversity. In order to deal with a group member who extends such an invitation, I will have to do some consultation before taking any action. This is because it is a situation that might interfere with my practice as it could force me to deviate from ethical codes of conduct. I would ask individuals who drew more experienced on how I should handle the situation as it involves going to observe members (husband and children) who are not themselves members of the group that I lead.

In the event that I get a go ahead, I would have to discuss with the group members on why she is inviting me and what she expects from the invitation. I will have to remind her of the rules and what is expected of her during my visit and after. The client will have to understand that failure to comply with the rules could result to her being forced to leave the group. I would explain what my reasons for visiting her husband and children are and the criteria I will use to make any decision. She will have to understand that this profession allows no biases of any nature.

Since the group allows no secrecy about members’ situations to be kept, I would also let the other group members know of the invitation so that no matter the results of the visit, the other members will be aware of it. I would also ask her to let her husband and children know that I will be visiting. The husband will have to be told the purpose of my visit so that I can get maximum cooperation from all of them. 5. Advantages and disadvantages of co-leadership. Advantages It is possible for two leaders to make a model that deals with communication and resolving conflicts within the group.

It is easier to come up with this model as there is combination of efforts. Having two leaders creates opportunity for diversity in the group. The diversity could be inform of interpersonal style as each leader has their own style of doing things, having many ways of solving problems is beneficial for any group. There also is diversity of cultural resources as each leader has a different cultural background from the other. There also provide the group they are leading diverse theoretical orientation.

Apart from providing perspectives that are different, having two leaders provides the group with more expertise than one leader. Having more than one leader makes observation of group members for reactions to be more effective. It also makes division of labour or responsibilities possible such that one leader concentrates on one aspect of the group while the other one concentrates on another aspect. This eliminates cases of negligence. Co-leadership also makes it possible for group members to get more attention from the leaders so that their progress is noted and any need is addressed.

Disadvantages. It is more costly to have more than one group leader. Usually co- leaders are not in a position to choose the person they want as a partner, this at times cause conflicts whose impact on the group could be very costly. The co-leaders who are different individuals usually are required to agree and choose the same theoretical theory which can at times be hard or result to conflicts. In the event that conflicts or competition develop between the two leaders then the group suffers a lot. 6. If I would be willing to see Brenda individually I would not be willing to see Brenda individually.

This is because of the fact that she hesitant to raise the issue in the group. Seeing her individually may display a negative picture to the other group members who could also stop talking their issues in the groups and want to be seen individually or even lose their trust in me as their leader as they may perceive me as being biased. It will also be against the rules and expectations. Possible advantages and disadvantages of seeing her for one or more sessions. The possible advantage of seeing here could be that I may be able to establish the exact problem that she has with the group and how valid it is.

It may enable me to solve the trust problem if in deed it does exist because confidentiality and privacy of the contents discussed during the sessions is very vital in this profession. Seeing her may encourage her to develop trust for the group again and prevent her from leaving. As a leader I will therefore be able to fix her problem as well as assess the reservations she has towards the group. The disadvantage is that it may encourage other members to want to have individual sessions. Some may even lose their trust and confidence in the group and in me as the leader and stop expressing themselves as they were.

This will deter them from making any progress. The group could also lose membership citing irregularities or biases. 7. Specific things I’d want to teach members about how to confront one another in appropriate, responsible ways. The guidelines for effective confrontation. I would ensure that the group members understand that in all their interactions and confrontations; they avoid actions or statements that could physical harm or emotional and psychological trauma to other members of the group. I would encourage them to adhere to the group rules and what is expected of them during their interaction and confrontations.

I would teach them to develop friendship and compassion for each other so that in the event they face confrontations, they do not have to involve violence. I would teach them problem solving skills to use so that their problems do not get out hand. The guidelines to effective confrontation include having issues clarified, specifying what the problem is, exploring one’s options, preparing to confront if one decides that it is the best option and asking permission from the group leader to confront. Confronting should be done in love so that harm and violence is avoided.

8. When extra-group socializing can be a form of resistance. Extra-group socialization can be a form of resistance in group therapies especially if it involves individuals being offered as scape goats during the social activities. Some of the activities may also force members to get involved against their wishes. This makes them develop negative attitudes the entire group which could affect the therapy and counselling sessions as well. These activities may also involve some members not cooperating as they may not be interested.

This could cause the rest of the group members who are participating in the socialization activities to develop negative attitude towards the individuals who did not cooperate in the activities. The magnitude of their intolerance to the “uncooperative members” can so big that it affects the therapy and counselling sessions in that they develop resistance because of these members. Benefits of this practice This practice is very beneficial as it helps the individuals to relax themselves and do what they love doing which is good for their health.

These activities also break the monotony of just sitting and listening to each other talk. Talents could also be discovered during these activities. How to deal with the situation when socializing hampers the progress of the group as a leader. In the event that such a situation occurs, I would talk to the group members and explain to them the benefit of the practice but emphasize that it may have to be stopped because of the impact it had on their progress. I would guide them on how to involve themselves in activities they loved without forcing others to participate.

I would ask everyone to do what they wanted to do at free will. In the event this failed to work then I would have to monitor the extra-group socialization sessions to ensure that nothing that hampered their progress went on. Under extreme cases I would have to stop the extra-group socialization sessions as the groups progress is the most important thing in this case. The main difference between groups that have a predetermined ending times and those that have an undefined ending time is the level of awareness and therefore preparation they can attain.

Question 9 a) Predetermined ending time In such groups termination is a process that can be included within the group activities. This reduces the role of the group leaders is developing awareness on group termination and the need to ensure that all objective that the group set forth to accomplish have been met. Ensuring that the objectives have been met and communicating the need to ensure all activities are brought to a close owing to the expiry of the time that the group was to be in existence should be spread to all team members.

Other activities that ensure the team experiences has a lasting effect on individual team members include increased interpersonal interaction to develop stronger personal bonds and relating the experiences that have been learned from the group experiences. b) Undefined ending Time In addition to the group bonding strategies and relating the experiences that have been learned from the group experience it is important that group members be made aware of termination of the group. The reasons for termination of the group have to be communicated to all group members and strategies developed to ensure that issues pending are brought to a close.

It is further important to elaborate the fate of projects or objectives that have not been met. Developing an open platform where group members can share their take on termination is important in ensuring that the developments made during group interaction are preserved and inculcated within individual team members. An understanding of the mixed emotion and feelings as a group leader is important in ensuring that group members come to terms with the fact that the group has to be terminated despite ongoing projects.

The main objective under this form of group is to ensure that developments made are preserved and any value generated is sustained. 10. Discuss some ways you might help members to create a support system for themselves once they leave a group. How would you prepare them to cope with setbacks and failures they might experience once they have left the group? Developing a clear picture of what the group members should expect in the practical environment is important in ensuring that they are ready for challenges that the real word may throw at them.

Ensuring that team members are aware of the fact that failure is a reality they will be faced with and they have to keep seeking their mission irrespective of setbacks may also ensure awareness on the practical environment. Including sessions where group members are allowed to freely interact with the real environment and assessing challenges and experiences that they have in interacting with others in the social environment ensures they are ready for real world experiences.

Lastly, ensuring that group members develop formal relationship that would act as support systems and encouraging group members to visit each other and maybe meet after a given period may also motivate team members into dealing with challenges presented by the environment outside the groups. Word count: 4300. References Aronson, E. (1996). The Social Animal, sixth Edition. New York, NY: W. H. Freeman and Company Janice et al. , (2003). Handbook of Group counselling and Psychotherapy. New York, NY: SAGE. Kanas, N (2006).

Psychodynamic Group Therapy for Patients with Personality Disorders. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy 56 (2), 245-51 McClure, B. A. (1990). “The group mind: Generative and regressive groups. ” Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 15, 159-170 Mowbray, R. (2002). Personal growth Groups as an Alternative cultural form. New York, NY: Routeledge. Yalom. L. (2005). The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy, 5th edition. Abingdon, MD: Basic Books. Mills. T. (1995). The Sociology of Small Groups. 2nd edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.


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