Group Proposal

Foci of group counseling * Counseling groups: - problem specific and growth oriented

* Members typically don not need personality reconstruction

* Concerns relate to developmental tasks of life: - Situational crises - Relationship problems - Life transitions - Dealing with self defeating behaviors Why is group counseling increasing? * Research indicates that group counseling is effective for both remediation and prevention

* Cost effective: Allow counselors to work with more people * Group members gain insight * Group members practice new skills * Groups can be both therapeutic and educational or combination Examples of group counseling goals * To increase self acceptance, self confidence, & self respect

* To learn to express emotions in a healthy way * To learn more effective social skills * To make specific plans to change certain behaviors * To become more compassionate Advantages of Group Counseling * Members work toward specific goals * Serves as a microcosm for society- conflicts inside groups mirror those outside * Group offers understanding and support * Sense of belonging * Members learn ways of being intimate, caring, and challenging * Opportunities to practice behaviors in the groups * Learn how to bring these insights into their life outside of group *Group members will develop a picture of who their want to be and come to understand what is preventing them from being that person Group Process

* Process is best experienced by active group participation. A group is more than the sum of its individual participants. It is the interaction between group members who through interdependent roles produce the outcome. * Each group culture or style of interaction is unique to its specific situation and circumstances. Important variables in group process include its purpose, leadership style, structure, size and developmental phase.

* For instance, in the initial stage of a group encounter, security concerns dominate with the interplay between trust and mistrust. Process reports of group interaction at this infant stage will generally include the following: “the group culture will be one of suspicion, caution, random testing, probing and withdrawal” (Klein, 1972, 67).

Some of the roles performed by group members are * Initiator * Mediator * Follower * Clown * ???? * What is your own typical group interaction?

Group Leadership Group leadership is the process of providing focus and direction to a specific group of people.

The Art of Facilitation * Leadership can easily be associated with charismatic qualities that make a person stand out from others, with the assumption that some are by nature destined to lead and teach, others to follow and learn. The concept of facilitation in contrast focuses on empowering the gifts and abilities of the other.

* Facilitation in the caring profession demands the development and exercise of effective skills in connecting caregiver and care-receiver in a collaborative working relationship. * Facilitation is the art of actively and skillfully employing a wide variety of functions and roles that ultimately result in displacing oneself.

Tasks of the Facilitator DIRECTING * Structuring the group and setting the tone * Clarifying goals and expectations * Building group connections MANAGING * Resolving points of conflict * Normalizing tension and discomfort * Being a non-anxious catalyst for confrontation CONSULTING * Defining one’s position and ideas * Sharing leadership role * Incorporating diversity and creativity SUPPORTING * Celebrating group performance * Letting go to support group process * Preparing for closure & evaluation issues * Self-Differentiated leadership centers on being a leader while facilitation centers on negotiating group process. Facilitative leadership focuses on its various group tasks. In contrast, self-differentiated leadership is primarily person- rather than skill-oriented. Self- differentiation in leadership is a matter of personal maturity and integrity – maintaining a self while staying connected to others.

The Integrity of Self-Differentiated Leadership * Self-Differentiated leadership centers on being a leader while facilitation centers on negotiating group process. Facilitative leadership focuses on its various group tasks. In contrast, self-differentiated leadership is primarily person- rather than skill-oriented. Self- differentiation in leadership is a matter of personal maturity and integrity – maintaining a self while staying connected to others.

* Self-differentiated leadership is about the capacity of a leader to maintain his or her self while still remaining connected, a balance that no one does well but all can learn to do better. Self-differentiation in a leader is about the capacity to see things differently, to persist boldly in the face of resistance, to be willing to be vulnerable, to learn to endure (if not come to love) solitude, and to muster up the self-regulation that is necessary when a leader’s initiative inevitably triggers sabotage