Developing, Managing ad
Evaluating Groups
Acknowledgement
 This PowerPoint has been adapted from instructional
materials developed by Dr. Maureen McGuire-Kuletz,
The George Washington University for the Group
Counseling class of the Master’s in Rehabilitation
Program.
Various Types of Groups
Task facilitation groups
 aims to foster accomplishing identified work
goals
Psychoeducational group
 aims to educate group members who want to
acquire information and skills in an area of living
Support Groups
Professional Training Standards
for Group Workers
 ASGW (2000) has recommendations for what
constitutes competence as a group facilitator –
 Knowledge competencies: course work is essential
 Skills competencies: specific group facilitation skills
are required for effectively intervening
 Core specialization in group work: task facilitation
groups; psychoeducational groups; counseling
groups; psychotherapy groups
Groups: Process & Practice - Chapter 2 (7)
Ethical and Legal Issues
in Group Counseling
 Informed consent
 Provide members with adequate information that will
allow them to decide if they want to join a group
 Some information to give prospective members:
 The
nature of the group
 The
goals of the group
 The
general structure of the sessions
 What
is expected of them if they join
 What
they can expect from you as a leader
Groups: Process & Practice - Chapter 3 (1)
Psychological Risks
of Group Participation
 Although there are benefits to participating in a
group, there are also potential risks that group
leaders need to monitor —
 Members may be pressured to disclose and
violate privacy
 Confidentiality may be broken
 Scapegoating may occur
 Confrontation may be done in an uncaring manner
 Group leaders may not have the competencies to deal
with some difficulties that arise in a group
Groups: Process & Practice - Chapter 3 (3)
Confidentiality
 Confidentiality is the foundation of a working group
 Leaders need to define the parameters of confidentiality
including its limitations in a group setting
 Members need to be taught what confidentiality involves
 Leaders talk to members about the consequences of
breaching confidentiality
 Leaders remind members at various points in a group
of the importance of maintaining confidentiality
Groups: Process & Practice - Chapter 3 (4)
Some Legal Safeguards
for Group Practitioners
 Take time and care in screening candidates for a
group; and for preparing them on how to actively
participate
 Demystify the group process
 Strive to develop collaborative relationships with
the members
 Consult with colleagues or supervisors whenever
there is a potential ethical or legal concern
 Incorporate ethical standards in the practice of
group work
Groups: Process & Practice - Chapter 3 (7)
The Role of Group Leader Values
 Essential that you are aware of your values and how
they influence what you think, say, and do in groups
 Groups are not a forum for you to impose your values
on members
 Purpose of a group: to assist members in examining
options that are most congruent with their values
 Group members have the task of clarifying their own
values and goals, making informed choices, and
assuming responsibility for what they do
Groups: Process & Practice - Chapter 3 (6)
Forming a Group: Setting Yourself
Up For Success
 Five areas for a practical proposal for a group
 RATIONALE – What is the rationale for your group?
 OBJECTIVES – Are your objectives specific and attainable?
 PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS – Have you considered
all the relevant practical issues in forming your group?
 PROCEDURES– What kinds of techniques and interventions
will you employ to attain the
stated objectives?
 EVALUATION – How will you evaluate the process and
outcomes of the group?
Practical Considerations
in Forming a Group
 Group composition (depends on what type of group)
 Group size (up to 12 but 7 or 8 work best)
 Open versus closed group
 Heterogeneous versus Homogeneous
 Length of the group (12 to 15 weeks best)
 Frequency and duration of meetings (1/wk; 1hr 30mins)
 Place for group sessions
 How will you go about getting the information out about
your group
Desirable Characteristics of a Group
 Group balance (ideally dynamic balance b/w cognitive reflective
members who talk about their feelings – intellectualizes and emoters
– express feelings; self-blamers and blamers of others; genders –
differing viewpoints)
 No poor-risk combinations (extreme crisis or suicidal, unable to
conceptualize or verbalize at the level of the group, paranoid,
psychopathic, sociopathic, drug or alcohol involved in a
heterogeneous group)
 Member acceptance of each other
 Willingness to self-disclose (certain level of ego strength)
Questions for Screening
of Potential Members
 The type of group determines the kind of members that are suitable
or unsuitable
 The key questions are
 Should this person be included in this group at this time with this
leader?
 Other questions -What methods of screening will you use?
 How can you decide who may benefit from a group?
 And who might not fit in a group?
 How might you deal with a candidate who is not
accepted to your group?
Questions
 Explore
 Motivation for joining group
 Ability to deal with & comment on interpersonal
interaction of interview
 Ego strength
 Environmental stressors (acute & chronic)
 Interpersonal relationships (friends – closest
prolonged friendship, degree of intimacy with
members of both sexes)
What are some advantages of a group
setting?
 Group setting offers support for new behavior and
encourages experimentation
 The group is a microcosm of the real world – allows
us to see how we relate to others
 Group setting provides an optimal arena for
members to discover how they are perceived and
experienced by others
 Groups help members see that they are not alone in
their concerns
Initial Stage
Characteristics: Initial Stage
 What are the main characteristics of a group during the initial
stage?
 Participants test the atmosphere and get acquainted
 Risk taking is relatively low – exploration is tentative
 Members are concerned with whether they are included or excluded
 A central issue building trust and focusing on the here and now
 There are periods of silence and awkwardness
 Leaders set the stage for exploring ground rules and assist members
in goal setting
Common Fears Experienced
by Group Members
 Anxiety over being accepted or rejected
 Concern about the judgment of others
 Afraid of appearing stupid
 Concerns about not fitting into the group
 Not knowing what is expected
 Concern over communicating feelings and thoughts
effectively
Establishing Goals
 Main task – helping members formulate clear goals –
check in with group members as the group
progresses
 Absence of goals – considerable floundering and
aimless sessions
 Collaborative process in identifying goals
 Goals – lead to contracts and homework
assignments
Characteristics: Initial Stage
 What are the main characteristics of a group during the initial
stage?
 Participants test the atmosphere and get acquainted
 Risk taking is relatively low – exploration is tentative
 Members are concerned with whether they are included or excluded
 A central issue building trust and focusing on the here and now
 There are periods of silence and awkwardness
 Leaders set the stage for exploring ground rules and assist members
in goal setting
Transition Stage
Transition Stage of a Group
 What are some of the characteristics of a group in the transition
stage?
 Transitional phase is marked by feelings of anxiety and
defenses
 What kinds of behaviors might you expect at this stage of a group’s
development?
 Members are:
testing the leader and other members to determine how safe the
environment is (trust should be deepening)
 struggling between wanting to play it safe and wanting to risk
getting involved
 learning how to express themselves so that others
will listen

Common Fears Emerging
at the Transition Stage
 Fear of making a fool of oneself
 Fear of emptiness
 Fear of losing control
 Fear of being too emotional
 Fear of self-disclosure
 Fear of taking too much of the group’s time
 Fear of being judged
Leader Functions During
the Transition Stage
 Show members the value of recognizing and dealing
fully with conflict situations
 Help members to recognize their own patterns
of defensiveness
 Teach members to respect resistance and to work
constructively with the many forms it takes
 Provide a model for members by dealing directly
and tactfully with any challenge
 Encourage members to express reactions that
pertain to here-and-now happenings in the sessions
Group Leader Interventions in Dealing with
Difficult Behaviors of Group Members
 Avoid responding with sarcasm
 State your observations and hunches in a
tentative way
 Demonstrate sensitivity to a member’s culture
 Avoid taking member’s behavior in an overly
personal way
 Encourage members to explore a resistance – don’t
demand they give up a particular “resistive” behavior
Examples of Problematic Styles
of Behaving in a Group
 Silent Members
 Monopolistic behavior
 Latecomers and Absentees
 Persistent Nondisclosers
 Scapegoating
 Challenging the Leader’s
Authority
 Bombarding Others with
Questioning
Silent Members
 Reasons
 Might feel unworthy
 Cultural background
 Observing or taking it in
 Manipulation
 Naturally shy, inhibited, embarrassed, fearful, or hesitant
 Communicates behaviorally rather than verbally
 Intervention
 Refrain from initiating a direct response to the silent member
 Use strategies that require the group members deal with the silent
member rather than the leader
 The leader should observe to see if the silent member has
psychologically withdrawn or is really involved
Monopolists
 Reason
 Self-centeredness

Anxious
 Accustomed to being ignored
 Attempting to keep control of group
 A way to avoid intimacy
 Intervention
 Should not be silenced but helped to be heard differently
 Help the member recognize the effect his/her behavior has on the group

“What do you want from the group now that you have said this?”

“How do you perceive the group members responding to you?”

“How can you say that in ten words or less?”
Latecomers and Absentees
 Reason
 Form of resistance
 Although they might be absent from the group they are not forgotten
 Intervention
 Help group members deal with their feelings about the absent
member
 Remove group member (might suggest individual counseling)–
have to deal with remaining members feeling through here and now
dialogue
 Latecomers’ reasons given not response
 No negotiating to tolerate lateness
 The most productive way to deal with latecomers is within the
group context NOT on a one-to-one basis
Persistent Non-disclosers
 Might be verbally active but not be disclosing in a meaningful way
 They have spent a long time blocking affect from their experiences
 May perceive self-disclosure as dangerous because it makes them
vulnerable to control by others
 Interventions – leader should search out answers to the following
questions
 What feelings does this member have in common with other
members?
 How may I respond to these feelings and facilitate affiliative
feelings among them?
 How may I prepare this member and use feedback from fellow
members?
Scapegoating
 Reason
 Most often the member is the object of displaced aggression
 May sermonize, be contentious, act dumb, ruminate about
past events, or remain untouched by the appearance of
intimacy
 Intervention
 Need to find the source of the group’s anger (often toward
the leader)
 Try not to: encourage members to give feedback to the
scapegoat, or try to protect the scapegoat or focus group
attention on the scapegoat
Storytelling
 Initial resistance is demonstrated by the need to use
storytelling
 Reporting events that happened outside of group is
easier than relating to group members
 Acknowledging other members’ presence requires the
member to recognize personal emotion which the group
member considers dangerous
 Giving voice to one’s feelings leaves the member
vulnerable
Challenging the Leader’s Authority
 Opportunity for the leader to be a role model
 Respond openly and avoid becoming defensive
 Share responsibility with the group
 Invite others reactions
 This is a good thing as the member is able to become
less dependent on the leader and feels the group is a
safe place to freely express himself or herself
Questioning
 Reason
 May be a way of hiding
 Remaining safe and unknown to the group
 Direct people toward thinking and away from feeling
 Masks the questioner’s feeling toward the member they are
questioning
 Intervention
 Help questioner understand that the questioning is intrusive and
elicits defensiveness
 Practice making only direct statements
 Need to get at what prompted the question
Giving Advice
 Can be subtle or not so subtle
 Interrupts thoughts and feelings
 Increases dependency
 Reason
 A form of defense
 Resistance
 Intervention
 Explore the meaning behind giving the advice
 Explore what is gained by giving the advice
 Point out to advice giver he/she is not giving enough attention to
him/herself
Working Stage of Group
Working Stage of a Group: Key
points of the working stage
 There are no arbitrary dividing lines 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 groups reach a working stage
 Not all members are functioning at the same level in a
working stage
Characteristics of a Productive Group
versus a Nonworking Group
 Working Group
 There is a focus on the here and
now to explore feelings, ideas, &
beliefs
 Goals of members are clear and
specific
 Cohesion is high – a sense of
emotional bonding
in the group
 Conflict in the group is recognized
and explored
 Members are willing to make
themselves known
 Trust is increased and there is a
sense of safety
 Members less reliant on leader
 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
 Communication is unclear and
indirect
Choices to be Made During
the Working Stage
 Disclosure versus anonymity
 Honesty versus superficiality
 Spontaneity versus control
 Acceptance versus rejection
 Cohesion versus fragmentation
The Value of Homework in Groups
 Group: not an end in itself
 Group is:
 A place to learn new behaviors
 A place to acquire a range of skills in living
 Training ground for everyday life
 Homework – a means for maximizing what is learned
in group
 Members can devise their own homework assignments
 Ideally, homework is designed collaboratively between
members and leader
Ending Stage of Group
Ending a Group: What are some of the tasks
of the final stage of a group?
 Reemphasize importance of maintaining confidentiality
 Dealing with feelings of separation
 Dealing with unfinished business
 Reviewing the group experience
 Practice for behavioral change
 Ways of carrying learning further
 The use of a contract and homework
 Giving and receiving feedback
Giving and Receiving Feedback
at the Ending Stage
 The sentence completion method can enhance the
quality of feedback and can result in focused feedback
 Examples:





My greatest fear for you is ...
My hope for you is...
I hope that you will seriously consider...
I see you blocking your strengths by...
Some things I hope you will think about doing for
yourself are...
 Some ways I hope you’d be different with others are...
Sample Proposal for a
Group with Adults
 In designing a specific group, consider these
components
 Description of the type of your group
 Rationale of your group
 Goals of your group
 Marketing methods
 Screening and selection members
 Structure of group – description of sessions
 Methods for assessing outcomes
Groups: Process & Practice - Chapter 11 (3)
Developing, Managing ad
Evaluating Groups
This information is the intellectual property of the George Washington University
and is to be used for educational purposes only.
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Groups: Process and Practice