Leading the First Session Goals and Group Interaction

Leading the
First Session
Goals and Group Interaction
Five Stages of Group Development
Storming conflicts in group arise and are felt as the undercurrent of the group process
Performing deepened self-disclosure, honest feedback, here and now work, healthy confrontation
Termination rituals of goodbyes and member prepare for life after group
group rules, goals, norms
cohesion begins to develop, greater risk taking and work on goals begin
Task Oriented
Leaders foster sense of orientation and structure
Help forge relationships between members
Begin to build trust with group as whole and individually
Role is to reduce anxiety / resistance to being in group
Help members to introduce and or set goals
Rules of group are created
Group members (hopefully) feel sense of excitement and
feel that returning would be helpful or at least potentially
helpful (not necessarily turned off)
Structure of First Session
 May
want to include:
Welcoming and names
Breaking the ice
Introducing members’ personal goals
Summarizing members goals into common themes
Discussing emerging group ownership issues
Wrapping up first session and reminders
*Introducing goals in 1st session
is dependent on group type
Introducing Goals
 May
be anxiety provoking
 May start with just go around or may solicit from
group would like to share their goal
 Remember how much time has been set aside
for this
 Usually very important to have goals completed
in first session
In my opinion – goals come after confidentiality and group rule setting
Four Tasks of Goal Introduction
 Leader
and group tasks when member introduces
his or her goal…
** Help member present issues underlying goal
Help member shape up the goal
Maximize group member interaction (get everyone
Steer away from problem solving and rescuing
1) Member Communicates Goal
 Leaders
involve themselves in helping member
and group members explore life problems
embedded in said goal
 Let’s
explore as a class what questions / probes
we should be asking…
2) Shaping Goals
Successful group work is possible only when
members start with clearly defined goals
This means concrete and have intended results
Thus change can be monitor and tailored as group
And at the end of the group, the individual and other
group members can explore and evaluate to see, if
indeed goals have been achieved
Shaping Goals (cont.).
Goals must be workable and challenging (enough)
Remember goal must be an offshoot of an
embedded issue
Define goals in 1) positive terms, 2) behaviorally and
Your goal should not just be a simple statement of
what you don’t want to be experiencing
Example Questions
“How do you want things to Be”
If you don’t want to feel depressed how do you want
to feel?
If you don’t feel how others see you – how do you
want to see yourself and how would that feel?
When you accomplish your goal how will you know?
What does having a better self-esteem mean?
I don’t want to be depressed – I want to be happy,
happier than what? Than whom?
Goals and Group Interaction
 To
make first session, interesting, engaging,
while also getting the goals done, the leader
must try to get members to engage as much as
they possible can!
 State
over and over again, jump in, remind group
members that they need to know permission to
jump in.
First Session Stalls: Questions
Leaders Can Use (p. 91).
Do any of you have any clarifying questions that you
would like to ask Julie?
Do you all understand what Joe is trying to say?
Do any of you get the point that Mary is trying to get
Can any of you restate what Joe is trying to work on?
Steering Away From Problem
Solving and Rescuing
The last task in the first session or reminder is steer group members away
from problem solving and rescuing behaviors
Often new members want to be helpful and this happens with advice and
reassurance - but this does not help with the client learning to explore and
understand their pattern – their pattern brought them into therapy, it’s the
pattern we are helping them see
And this pattern is often rescuing itself!
Watch we don’t discount fears and our replicating of acts of rescuing often
have been what others have done
Help give our clients permission to go, work on, explore, what they have been
Summarizing Common Themes /
Wrapping Up
After all personal goals have been introduced and shaped –
leader and group summarize common themes
Wrapping up – check out – give enough for time for
Check out must be meaningful, 1) feelings and thoughts
about session, what did group members learn, insight about
self, etc., 2) Would did group members notice about others
(work they did), 3) What group member would like to see for
what might they be looking forward to in next group