Group Forming – Psychology Final Group Research Paper
Group is two or more interdependent individuals who influence one another through social interaction. (Donelson R. Forsyth, pg.2) Group therapy is setting in a group of people support each other in making changes
in their lives. Some common concerns are discomfort in social settings, depression, relationship issues, loss, anxiety, or trauma. (The university of Maine-group therapy- see Q&A: Isn’t individual better than group therapy) The group size is usually depend on the age of clients, experiences of leader, type of group and problem to be explored. For a weekly ongoing adult group, the ideal group size would be eight participants and one counselor. For adolescent, the ideal group size would be six to eight people. For children participant in elementary school, the ideal size would be three to four people. The frequency of the group meeting is depending on the group. If the group taking place in a school setting, the meeting time would depend on the class period. For group of relatively well-functioning adults, weekly two hours group session would be good for them. In general, the high school groups and college groups typically run about fifteen weeks. Fifteen weeks should be longer enough for people to develop trust toward behavior change. The place to held meeting should be not clutter, and allow for comfortable seating arrangement. Groups usually seat in a circle because this setting could make all participants to see each other and also allow members have enough freedom of the physical movement. (Marianne Schneider Corey and Gerald Corey, 2005)
For the in-class group, we have seven participants that include six students and one professor. We usually held our meeting in the classroom, and the meeting usually runs by half hour or less than one hour. During the group meeting, we always seat in a circle.
Advantage, Disadvantage and Goal of Group
Group provides some advantages which include support, belonging, awareness, confrontation, universality, catharsis, vicarious learning, group as a microcosm, feedback, and simulation of primary family. For example, the group of physical difficulties. The group counseling with people who have physical difficulties, the advantage would be following:
1. Group can help people strive toward the resolution of some common by providing them with the opportunity to learn from one another through sharing common concern and problem and generating solutions to obstacles and difficulties.
2. Group offer members a forum for the emotional release of burdensome personal issues in a supportive setting. Realizing that others face similar problems tends to lessen the anxiety and fear that accompany various disabling conditions.
3. The group experience can partially alleviate the stress, pain, and misery often generated by physician disability and further aggravated by social isolation, separation from family and friend, and perceived alienation from one’s own group.
4. The group experience eases the transition into the able-bodied community. Through modeling and various socialization and social building exercise, group members learn and practice how to better deal with outside community and its various imposed barriers.
5. Through the group modality, leader are able to develop a more accurate and comprehensive psychosocial assessment of group members.
6. Development of social support network is often facilitated through the relationship formed during group counseling. Issues such as empowerment, hopefulness, search for meaning, and gaining spirituality require a support network to be fully explored. A successful platform for their exploration can be provided within a group context. (Hanoch Livneh, Lisa M Wilson, Robert E Pullo, 2004)
The disadvantage of the group would be following:
• It’s difficult to establish trust between all members in the group.
• It is harder to ensure confidentiality.
• There is higher risk of having causalities in group
• It is more difficult for the counselor to track all the participants.
Each group has their own goal to move on. The goal would separate two parts which include group goals and individual goal. Following are the common goals to many different types of group.
• Become aware of one’s interpersonal style
• Increase awareness of what prevent intimacy
• Learn how to trust oneself and others
• Become aware of how one’s culture affect personal decision
• Increase self-awareness and thereby increase the possibilities for choice and action
• Challenge and explore certain early decisions (most like made during childhood that may no longer by functional
• Recognize that others have similar problems and feelings clarify values and decide whether and how to modify them
• Become both independent and interdependent
• Find better ways to resolve problem
• Become more open and honest with selected others
• Learn a balance between support and challenge
• Become sensitive to the needs and feelings of others
• Provide others with helpful feedback (Marianne Schneider Corey, and Gerald Corey,2005, pg. 146)
A good group leader has to assist group member to define a personal goal. The ASGW guideline state that group leader has responsibility to assist members in develop their personal goal in a collaborative fashion. (Marianne Schneider Corey, and Gerald Corey, 2005, pg. 148)
For example, Alcoholic Anonyms (AA) Group, the goal for AA would be stop drinking, stay sobriety. For people who went to AA, AA help abuser confront difficult issues and learn to cope with life stresses more effectively. AA provide very supportive network.
In our group, the advantage would be there is no judging. The fact is there is no one has an experience to work with a counseling group. Therefore, all of us here is to learn how to work with a group, how to lead a group, being a leader what should we focus on, and what should we take care of. We are here to understand and help each other to live in better life. So, there is no right or wrong answer. The main goal is to learn how to be a success counselor in our future life. The disadvantage in our in-class group would be hard to lead the group. I felt when we running a group and a leader asked anyone wants to share; we would always quiet for a period. There is no one wants to start discussion.
Why Group therapy better than Individual Therapy?
Group therapy is typically half the cost of individual therapy and is therefore often a first resort for people who cannot afford private sessions or steep insurance copays. (Darby Saxbe, 2005) “Research has demonstrated that almost any concern that brings you in for counseling can be dealt with in group therapy as well or even better than it can in individual therapy.” (The university of Maine-group therapy- see Q&A: Isn’t individual better than group therapy) “Group therapy usually more efficient than individual for two reasons which are following: First, you can benefit from group even during session when you say little by listening carefully to others. You will find you have much in common with other group member, and as they work on a concern you can learn more about yourself. Second, group members will often bring up issues that strike a chord with you, but which you might not have been aware of or brought up yourself.” (Therapy groups at CAPS- see Q&A: isn’t individual therapy better?)
According to Philip G Erwin’s (1999) study, he found for people who participant in structure group counseling, they often rate more positively than individual counseling. A structure training program would help participants’ focus on current tasks and prevent excessive off-task behavior. The study also point out a structure group counseling may be useful for directing and focusing activity, experience are always interpreted and the full benefit of exercises will undoubtedly accrue to those who are most fully involved and committed.
Rule for running a group
The first rule for running a group would be Do No Harm. Second rule would be confidentiality. When we running our in-class group, group leaders always mention those two rules which would be “Do No Harm and whatever says here, stays here”. When I participant the AA meeting, they also mention the second rules all the time. “Everything says here, stays here” To provide a safety environment is extremely important in the group. The third rule for running a group would be respectful. Each group members have to respect one another includes sex, culture, and etc.
Groups always run into four stages which include Initial Stage, Transition Stage, Working Stage, and Ending or Termination Stage.
? Characteristics of initial stage:
? Participants test the atmosphere and get acquainted
? Risk taking is relatively low, and exploration in tentative
? Members are concerned with whether thy are include or exclude
? Trust and mistrust is a central issues
? Period of silence and awkwardness may occur
? Member are deciding how much they will disclosed and how safe the group is
? Common fear experienced by group members:
o Anxiety over being accepted or rejected
o Concern about the judgment of others
o Afraid of appearing stupid
o Concerns about not fitting into the group
o Not knowing what is expected
o Concern over communication feelings and thoughts effectively
? Advantage of developing here and now focus
? Dealing with the here and now energizes the group
? Members are best know by disclosing here and now experience
? Being in the here and now serves as a spring borad for exploring everyday life
? Leader attitude and behavior that generate test
? Careful attending the genuine listening empathy
? Genuineness and self-disclosure
? Caring confrontation
? Group leader issues at the initial stage
? Division of responsibility- how to achieve a balance of sharing responsibility with members
? Degree of structuring- creating a structure that will enable members to make maximum use a group process
? Opening group session- how to best open group and help member gain a focus
? Closing group session0 how to best bring a session to closure without closing down further work later on?
? Rounds: We will address next week.
I remembered the first experience when I walking to the class, I felt nervous, anxious. The first night, we had ice break activity. The purpose of the activity is to make all of us to know more about each other. When we started to run the group, I felt a little bit uncomfortable, because I am going to share the stuff with people that I am not familiar with, that really feel not so good because I don’t know I can trust them or not. Sep. 14 is the first of our in-class group meeting, we were talking about self-image. I shared my experience regarding language barriers that would make me frustrated. Jan and Terry also shared their experience regarding people misunderstand them would make them frustrated. Jan shared her experience regarding when she is not angry and people keep asking her are you angry? That would make her frustrated and then, really angry at the end.
At the begging, I felt it would be really hard to start to talk about. But, after I started, I felt it is not hard, especially, I felt all of you were respect me, and really pay attention regarding what I said in the group. All of the members support me to share my experience that was really positive to me. I felt people wanted to listen to me; they cared about what I said. None of you cut off when I was speaking. It made me felt safe and support of the environment.
A counselor to provide a safety environment is very important in this stage because most of the member would felt uncomfortable at the beginning. To provide a safety environment would keep members to stay in the group. We should give newcomer a positive experience of their first meeting. If we provide a negative experience to our clients, they would never come back.
? Characteristic of the transition stage
? Transitional phase is marked by feeling of anxiety and defenses
? Member are
? Testing the leader and other members to determine how safe the environment is
? Struggling between wanting to ply it safe and wanting to risk getting involved
? Observing the leader to determine if he or she is trustworthy
? Learning how to express themselves so that others will listen
? Thought on dealing with resistance therapeutically
? Don’t label all hesitations as a sign of resistance
? Respect resistance- realize that member resistance may be serving a function
? Invite members to explore the meaning of what appears to be resistance
? Describe behavior of members-avoid making too many interpretations
? Approach resistance with interest, understanding, and compassion
? Common fears at the transition stage
? Fear of making a fool of oneself
? Fear of emptiness
? Fear of lose control
? Fear of being too emotional
? Fear of self-disclosure
? Fear of taking too much o group time
? Fear of being judged
? Leader function during the Transition group
? Show member the value of recognizing and dealing fully with conflict situations
? Help members to recognized their own pattern of defensiveness
? Teach members to respect resistance and to work constructively with the many forms it tasks
? Provide a model for members by dealing directly and tearfully with any challenge
? Encourage members to express reactions that pertain to here and now happening in the session
? Key point in working stage
? There are no arbitrary dividing line between each stage of group
? Group development ebbs and flows- does not stay static
? Work can occur at every stage-not just the working stage
? Not all group reach a working stage
? Not all members are functioning at the same level in a working stage
? Group norm and behavior at the working stage
? Both support and challenge to take risk in group
? Leader use a variety of therapeutic interventions
? Members interact with each other in more direct way
? Healing capacity develops within the group
? Increased group cohesion fosters action-oriented behaviors
? Characteristic of a productive group
? Conflict in the group is recognized and explored
? Members are willing to make themselves known
? Trust are safety are increased
? There is a focus on the here and now
? Goals of members are clear and specific
? Cohesion is high-a sense of emotional bonding in the group
? Characteristic of nonworking group
? Mistrust is manifested by an undercurrent of unexpressed feelings
? Participants focus more on others than themselves
? Participants hold back- disclosure is minimal
? Members may feel distant from one another
? Conflicts are ignored or avoided
? Communicational is unclear and indirect
The film- Twelve Angry Men is a good movie to present this stage. In the movie, twelve juries are working on the same goal. The goal is clear and specific for them; the goal is to decide the boy is guilty or not. According the movie, we can see the members interact with each other more directed way. They have conflict during the process. For example, character number 3 had been fight with character number 8. They are focus here and now during the process, such as, they focus on every question they had been raised, and try to solve the problem together. Like the glass mark on the nose. In the film, both support and challenge take risk in the group. During the group process, character number 8 had been raise a big issues for other juries, and then, he encourage others to share their idea, also encourage them to find out more evidence to prove the boy might probably not guilty.
Nov 16th, I believe Chris play an amazing job on working stage. During the group session, he asked couple of questions that make all of us to think about the film again. He provide the positive feedback during the group session, for example, when Terry point out the Character number 8 were like angry in the film because he is the only one who wear White. Chris gave the positive feedback to Terry, such as, “yes, you are right, when think about the film again, when he was stand in front of the window, he is the only one who were white, others were blacks.” Then, Chris made other question that made us interesting about the topic. For example, he raised the problem like, “Let’s talks about other characters in the film, and is there are anyone thinks they would change? And what they get from the group?” And, that really make all of us to discuss the character regarding what their got from the group, and what kind of issue they might changed, and how could I see the point of that person. During the group session, he listened to us, he brings issues that make all of us to find the comment, he also encouraged us to talk about their experience and he give a positive feedback.
? Tasks of the final stage of group
? Dealing with feeling of separation and unfinished business
? Review the group experience
? Preview the group experience
? Practice for behavior change
? Giving and receiving feedback
? Ways of carrying learning further
? The use of contract and homework
? Leader functions during the ending phase of group
? Assist members in dealing with any feeling they might have about termination
? Reinforce changes that members have made during the group
? Work with members to develop specific contracts and homework assignment
? Provide opportunities for members to give one another constructive feedback
? Reemphasize the importance of maintaining confidentiality after group is over
? Leader function after termination of group
? Offer private consultations if any member should need this service
? Provide for a follow-up group session or follow-up individual interviews
? Identify referral sources for members who may need further assistance
? Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the group
? Giving and receive feedback at the ending stage
The sentence completion method can enhance the quality of feedback can result in focus feedback, such as following:
? My greatest fear for you is…
? My hope for you is..
? I see you blocking your strengths by…
? Some things I hope you will think about doing for yourself are…
? Applying what is learned in group to everyday life
Members can reminded of way to translate what was learned in group and assisted in developing action plans geared to change, such as following:
? A group is a means to an end
? Change is bound to be slow and subtle
? Focus more on changing yourself than on changing others
? Decide what you will do with what you learned about yourself (Walter, 2005, lecture six)
According to our in-class group experience, we did not run into this stage. But, according to Corey’s videotape, he did present this stage very well. In this stage, it is very important for group members to bring the power from the group to outside. Being a good counselor, we have to challenge client to make contract, have homework, make them realize the unfinished business, and etc. For client, it’s all about what you learning, how did you lean, and what do you think you taking away from the group. Those are the issues present in Termination stage.
If I am a group leader who is going to run Termination stage, I will give homework to all of my group members on the session before the last meeting. The homework is to review your experience about the group. You can put your thinking, what did you learn from the group, the group experience which would be significant for you and etc. On the last day of the course, I want my group members to share what they wrote in the group. And, I would also want them to make a contract to the group regarding unfinished business. I want my groups walk out the door; and still remember the experience they got from the group. The experience would help them and encourage them keep working in their life.
What would influence the group development?
George Smith (2001) mention there are three factors that McCollom (1999) point out would affect the group development. The factors are (1) group’s relationship with its environment, (2) internal group relations, and (3) the group’s temporal boundaries. The group’s environment would influence the group relationship. Such as, the large organization can affect group process in terms of authority relations and in the defining of group tasks. Internal relations would also affect on group development. That included the composition and site of the group and skills and personalities of group members. The study shows the leadership dynamic and subgroup relations within the group are potential forces that could affect group development. The group’s temporal boundaries are also another element affect group development. McCollom notes groups are like other living system therefore, their lives are finite. Another important time-related factor is what McCollom refers to as “temporal context.” “Temporal context reers to things such as seasonal cycles or historal evenbts, presumably past, present and future, and could affect how a group operated, develops, and perhaps even changes over time.”
Role in group
There are three different roles which include leadership, observer and participant would be presenting in the group.
“Leadership is influence, operating, and improving. Influence client by providing purpose, direction, and motivation. Operating is an action taken to achieve the sort term goals of accomplishing the overall goals. Group leader would operating planning & preparing, executing, and assessing. Improving is group leader strive to improve everything entrusting to them. Group leader would improve on people, training opportunities, and resource for clients. There are five different leader styles which are following:
1. Directing leader style-
? Leader Centered
? Don’t solicit input form clients
? Give detailed instructions
? Supervise execution very colsely
2. Participating leader style-
? Center pm the leader and the group
? Leader ask clients for input, information and recommendations
? Make final decision themselves
3. Delegating leader style-
? Giving clients the authority to solve problems and make decision without clearing them thought the leader.
Transform clients by challenging them to rise above their immediate needs and self interest:
? Is developmental, emphasizes personal growth and organizational enhancement
? Empowering and mentally stimulating client (first as individuals then as a groups)
? Leader communicates intent then steps back and let clients work.
The impact of transformation leadership on the group would be following
? Recruiting-selection, promotion, and transfer
? Approach to training
? Leadership education
? Job design and assignment
? Organizational structure
? Motivating clients to work by offering reward or threatening punishment
? Prescribing tasks in writing
? Outlining all condictions of task completion
? Management by exception-focus on failures” ( Walter, 2005)
Our in-class group is hard to assign a group leader each time.
The first time experience to participant the group is a treasure for group leader, because the emotion, feeling that you had at that moment would guild you to understand a new comer’s emotion and feeling.
Being an observer in the group, I have to know who is participant the group, the position of their role, to understand the whole process regarding what type of the issue bring to the group, the interaction between the members, and etc. Those are important to address.
For our in-class group, I tried to put myself to be an observer every time. Being an observer I have to know who set where, and the interaction between the members. On Nov 16th, Chris was a leader to lead us to running to the group regarding the topic to discuss the film of twelve angry men. We were set in a circle, the turn would be Chris, Dr. Walter, Darrel, Terry, me, Daniel, and Jan, (left turn) The stage would be working stage. Chris asked couple of questions that make all of us to think about the film again. When Terry point out the Character number 8 were like angry in the film because he is the only one who wear White. Chris gave the positive feedback to Terry, such as, “yes, you are right, when think about the film again, when he was stand in front of the window, he is the only one who were white, others were blacks.” The question that Chris had raised, make us interesting on the topic. I do believe he create an amazing job on Work stage. He listened to us, he gave issues that make all of us to find the comment, and he also encouraged people to talk about their experience. For example, he raised the problem like, “Let’s talks about other characters in the film, is there are anyone think they would change? And what they get from the group?” that really make all of us to discuss the character regarding what their got from the group, and what kind of issue they might changed, and how could I see the point of that person.”
To observer AA meeting, make me realize what is AA, how’s the group function, the interaction between the members. AA is self-funning group. People would attend AA because they want to stop drink. Stop drinking is their specific goal. In the group, I saw the connection between the members which was they all had drinking problem; therefore, thy found the common between them. During the group session, I saw safety, trusting, and confidentiality. They all focus on themselves, not other people, not the relationship with any one else. They just focus on themselves. They shared their life stories, they might cry in the group. The advantage for people to attend AA was there was no judge. For me, to attending AA is a great experience to combine with our group counseling course because I saw the group running exactly what I learned. I saw what is AA, the goal for AA, how could AA running, what would AA provide to people, and the interaction between the members.
? Participant- usual participant experience. Add the feeling, and what do I see in AA
In our group session, I do have more chance to being a participant. I still remember the first experience to participant the group. I am anxious, nervous, and not comfortable to talk to people who I am not familiar with regarding my problem in my life. Attending our group meeting make me realize there are some connect between us. For example, when we discuss self-image, I found the common connection between all of the people in the classroom. The language barriers make me frustrated when people misunderstand. Sometimes the tone and the statement were all make me frustrated. Jen and Terry also talked about what people misunderstand them, which would make them frustrated, too. Jan shared her experience regarding when she is not angry, and people keep tell her or ask her regarding “you are angry”, that would make her frustrated and angry at the end.
Our In-class running group, we had been discussing different topics that full in our life. The first time experience would be a trouser for me because the feeling I got at the moment would be the same feeling that newcomer might have.
“Self-disclosure is a central behavior in group counseling, which is fundamental to all therapeutic factors in group work. The behavior is particular sensitivity to cultural differences when comparing collectivist authoritarian societies with individualist, democratic ones.” (Zipora Shechtman, Aya Hiradin, and Samahar Zina, 2003) Counselors are ethnically responsible for developing skills to communicate effectively with clients from other cultures. Therefore, a white counselor should be striving to obtain both actual experience and information about specific Black cultural group and their worldviews. The counselor should take time to find out from the client about those aspects of his or her culture that are particularly significant to the counseling relationship. Counselors also need to acquaint themselves with how their cross-cultural clients refer to themselves and their own communities. A professional counselor should create a positive regard, and empathy, has the potential to span cultural boundaries. (Jurdora J. Spangenerg, 2003)
There is a real study of a support group for Asian international students by Loetta L. Carr, Miki Koyama, and Monica Thiagarajan (2003) They point out to assist cross culture groups especially international students, counseling has to know the culture values, beliefs, and etc. For Asian students, they think to see counseling as shameful and embarrassing because a cultural stigma is often attached to emotional expression in their societies. A professional counselor has to build up support, safe environment when he/ she work with multicultural group. In this study, “the support group is seeing for socializing; practicing English; addressing academic, personal and social concern, and acculturation stresses; and receiving support from culturally sensitive counselor.”
I am an international student in U.S.A., I could understand when people coming from different country their emotion, and thinking. My experience tells me to help those students to give support and a positive feedback and listen to them are the best way to encourage those students to move on. I still remembered the pain of prejudice, and non-respect. Therefore, those are good lesson for me when I face people who coming from different ethic group.
The first day of the counseling session, I was nervous, anxious, little bit afraid, don’t know what should I talk to others. Until, I was kind families, understand, and comfortable to be with each one of the classmate.
Who else do I see the growth for our in-class group?
I did have chance to work with each participant in our class. And, I got deep impression of Jan. Jan had two experience to lead our in-class group. I personal felt she did the first one better than second one. But, the second one, she did pay attention on
On Dec. 7th, is the first time, I had an experience to work with Jan. we have to practice training exercise number one which is a college student who have a problem regarding her school. She thinks she is not good enough in U of C. And, she is the first person to pursue a college education in her family. In this case, I was a student, and Jan was a counselor. When we role play this case, I felt she really concerned about my case. Her questions were right on target. For example, is there are any problem that makes you cannot concentrate on your reading? How about your time management? How many courses do you take this semester?
She also did a good job regarding referral. Such as, she suggests me to find a tutor. I felt what she had been done on the role play; she did followed ADDRESSING, ADDIE, and BASIC ID.
o A- age and generational influences
o R-religious and spiritual orientation
o S-socioeconomic status
o S-sexual orientation
o I-indigenous heritage
o N-national origin
(Walter, Lecture #10, 2005)
What else do I learn from the class?
On Nov. 30th is my first time to being a counselor. I volunteer to be a counselor with Dem’s case. Terry was a role of Dem. I took the chance to be a counselor because of two reasons; first, I never have chance of role play for the counselor. Second, I really want to see what I grew after taking many of the counseling courses. Third, I felt more comfortable to role play in front of you-Dr. Walter because since I have class with you, you always support me a lot. Being a success counselor, there are five different parts that we have to pay attention, which are Attending, paraphrasing and summarizing, Reflect the feeling, Getting Concrete, and Referral. (1) Attending includes- direct eye contact, body language/post out, focus, listen to client, smooth and clam. When student come to your office, a counselor should stand up and welcome the student. The office should be always open and welcome. (2) Paraphrasing and Summarizing- is to stop client rambling. Counselor should make a clear statement regarding what client told you. You may make clear statement about client’s feeling. In this part, I