Essay, Pages 7 (1588 words)
The purpose of this paper is to reflect on past role-play sessions throughout the course. My team partner was Beatrice. We were only able to do a couple of sessions together so this paper will reflect upon a couple of sessions and a third-person perspective and opinion. Topics to be discussed and identified will be events, patterns, experiences, personal boundaries, self-disclosure, and integration. It is the purpose to provide my point of view, insight, and perspective with peer-reviewed sources on the reflection of participation in a counseling-oriented group both small and or large therapy groups.
“Group Counseling is a form of therapy, that people benefit from shared experiences. Usually, it’s focused on a particular issue like obsessive-compulsive disorder or anger management. While a therapist usually manages the group, contributions from other members are considered valuable since all in the group share similar issues.” www.wisegeek.com/what-is-group-counseling.htm.
Identity of any patterns, events, experiences, situations that stood out during sessions.
The description of being a group leader and of being a member.
Types of Groups
There are four types of groups: contacting, acquiring, relating, and tasking groups. Tasking is focused on achievement, relating emphasizes on the options for movement within each person’s life, acquiring are directed towards learning outcomes, while in contrast to contacting groups that are focused on the growth of individual members.
This type of group was interesting to me since my goal is to work with adolescents. “The developmental nature of psychoeducational groups proved very useful when working with children’s self-concepts and attitudes toward school” (Villalba, 2003, p.
264). The structure of this group is to increase the feeling of self-worth for the individuals that are participating. This is also helpful in different cultures. The pattern identified with this type of group is that it can be applied and is being used in many different settings such as; hospitals, mental health agencies, correctional institutions, social service and all of this is outside of the traditional educational setting. This provides hope for me personally since I’m interested in my degree to be in a hospital and or correctional institutional setting.
In my opinion, this type of group is important to build cohesiveness especially for inmates that have been separated from their families for long periods and repetitively. “Cognitive-behavioral approaches for offenders and mandated clients work well, especially if the psychoeducational group is structured on a topic such as stress management, problem-solving, or life skills.” Morgan (2004).
It is important to be an effective leader, one that is compassionate, objective, present, and actively listens to their clients’ needs and concerns. The end goal is for the client to leave with a sense of accomplishment and tools to cope. A leader oversees managing a group, can manage time, and capable of redirecting the focus when necessary. It is also important for a leader to be cognizant of their member’s approach to activities and if they are ready. In 2000, Furr advocated for a six-step process in designing a group.
Stating the purpose
Designing experiential activities
According to Furr, these steps will assist a counselor to lead to a purposeful and meaningful outcome.
What I’ve learned.
What I learned from this reading is that a leader needs to be compassionate, have an “open door,” approachable demeanor, trustworthy, credible, dependable, however displaying authority within reason. Trust between members and the counselor is earned over sessions along with respect. The other aspect I learned is that every group is different, and a leader must also know to take charge of a group. Sometimes members will discuss or be repetitive so a counselor should know when to divert or assist the client to come to an end to what they are sharing. It’s a task that takes practice and skill.
“Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits. They are built out of a mix of conclusions, beliefs, opinions, attitudes, past experiences and social learning.” (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_boundaries).
There are different terms for personal boundaries such as, “bubble space, old stone wall, too close, invading my space, etc.” We each have our definition of what we consider personal boundaries to mean to us. Some of us have a higher sense of expectation of what we want it to be. It’s a different variable in group therapy and plays an important and significant role.
According to Ill from the Catholic University of American Libraries, there is a reason to establish therapeutic boundaries as patient advocates. It requires that there are therapeutic boundaries between counselors, patients, and families.
Boundaries assist people to take care of themselves, in a sense it’s like putting up walls to prevent from being hurt. When these are not established in a group therapy setting there runs the risk of lines being crossed. There are boundary violations that can take place. They can begin subtly or strengthen over time. Certain behaviors can develop, feel, and can act out. Some of these can include a feeling of shame or guilt, feeling like the victim, avoidance of conflict, and or putting the needs of others first (Pennington et al., 1993).
It is important to recognize the personal relationship you wish to establish between you being the leader and the group members. It altars for different groups and it is wise to handle relationships in a professional manner and to immediately end or pay attention to if lines are being crossed. It’s always okay to revisit the boundaries that have been established.
When Beatrice and I were able to have a session, we were both having some family difficulties. With me, it was with my middle daughter and she was with her son and husband. I felt hesitant at the beginning to share any personal information but then reminded myself that this is what we are studying to do. This is the nature of what we will be doing. Once I started to talk about my situation my feeling was all or nothing. Beatrice provided some insight, related to my situation, disclosed some of her situations and shed some light on my situation as well.
What I discovered about myself is that it wasn’t that hard to disclose and vice versa. You share a part of yourself and provide some hope to others and receive hope as well. Theory and research have suggested that counselor self-disclosure can be an effective technique if used for purposes that benefit the client (Cosby, 1973; Doster & Nesbitt, 1979; Halpern, 1977; Hendrick, 1987; Rogers, 1961; Strickler & Fisher, 1990; Watkins, 1990; Weiner, 1983). Self-disclosure is defined as “verbalized personal revelations made by the counselor to the client” (Watkins, 1990, p. 478).
Some guidelines should be established at the beginning regarding self-disclosure. They’re also pros and cons to self-disclosure and as a counselor, it is important to be aware of them. If a leader chose to share it should be at the best interest and benefit of the group. Leaders should also use caution as to not to disclose too much information as well. As with anything else, there should be a balance so that the group stays on task and the attention does not get shifted.
Integration in group therapy consists of different tools and approaches based upon the individual’s needs. It can be applied to any age group or setting. Group interaction as discussed in our readings and the nonverbal and verbal behaviors were interesting.
This model shows the differences between the clients and how clients are distant, integrated at times too much but all fall in different areas. Treadwell, Kumar, Stein, & Prosnick, 1997. It is important to recognize the behaviors that are associated and how to promote a positive environment and change the atmosphere so that there is more cohesiveness.
As for me, I prefer the group observing group method. It requires the group to make two smaller groups and one group observes and vice versa. “the intent of this activity is to help members focus on common concerns that outweigh differences and to begin working harder on shared agendas.” (Hensley, 2002). This is helpful with constructive criticism, different perspectives, feedback, and helps to think outside of the box.
For example, with kids that have Autism Spectrum Disorder, some form of intervention may be sensory integration and group therapy. The sensory part is for the neurological process that organizes sensation from one’s own body and the environment that they live in and how to cope or adapt to it.
In closing the entirety of this course has been interesting and has helped me to understand the necessary provisions, guidelines to be an effective leader. At the same time, I realize the importance of reaching out to peers and colleagues and to not take on more than what I can handle. I have a responsibility to future clients but for myself as well. Pre-planning, structure, goals, and time will develop me into the leader and counselor that I wish to become.
Rushton, Cindy Hylton. Armstrong, Linda. McEnhill, Marilyn. Wed, Sep 16, 2015. Establishing Therapeutic Boundaries as Patient Advocates. Retrieved from Carla E., and Murdock, Nancy L. Characteristics of Therapist Self-Disclosure in the Counseling Process. The University of Phoenix Library. Retrieved from Rajeev. Pradhan, Kajal Ray. Wong, Joyce. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, Vol. 4, No. 8, pp. 1536-1542, August 2014. The University of Phoenix Library. Retrieved from