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Group Leadership Skills and Stages

Group Counseling - Leadership Skills and Group Stages

April Sagala

on 3 March 2014

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Transcript of Group Leadership Skills and Stages

Group Leadership Skills and Stages
Becoming a Multicultural Skillful Group Leader

Educate yourself
Identify your own racial or ethnic origin and the privileges or liabilities that have historically come with it.
Visit and get to know people from outside your own group.
Understand the critical theories about how people learn, and the impact of race, power, cultural capital, poverty, disability, ethnicity, gender, age, language, and other factors on learning.
Advantages & Disadvantages of
Group Counseling
Group leadership Styles
Envision themselves as experts
Interpret, give advice, direct the movement of
the group

Serve as facilitator
Share power and responsibility

Do not provide structure or direction
Group centered process
May be slow to establish agendas and achieve goals

Gladding pg. 75-76
Provides a safe environment for clients to try out and experience new behaviors with other group members
Clients learn from other group members as they explore their personal concerns
Several clients can be seen in one session
Clients are able to help others during the session, by not focusing just on their own problems
Problems can be solved by the ideas of other group members
The group can foster energy and enthusiasm, which can help motive a client to pursue personal goals

Can be inappropriate for some clients (serious mental disorder or a low self- concept)
Clients can feel threatened or personally attacked by the feedback they receive from other group members
Issues of confidentiality
Inappropriate self- disclosing owing to group pressure
Negative emotional consequences that can occur from blame and responsibility away from themselves and towards a target person or group

Use of Co- Leaders

Disruptive Group Members
Qualities of Effective Group Leaders
Move out of one’s own comfort zone to experience new & varied types of group experiences, which helps the leader grow
Are in tune with the group process
Instill trust & encourage a therapeutic climate
Have a positive presence, personal power, self-awareness, sincerity, authenticity, a sense of identity, belief in the group process, enthusiasm, inventiveness, & creativity
Have moderate amounts of leadership skills, emotional stimulation, & high amounts of caring
Are aware of & sensitive to diversity, do not stereotype
Common Mistakes of Group Leaders
Attempting to conduct therapy without a contract
Spending too much time on one person
Spending too little time with one person
Letting members rescue each other
Letting the session turn into advice giving
There are several advantages to having a leader & a co-leader:
Expertise of two leaders
More balanced perspective if male & female counselors co-lead
The leader & co-leader can spend time debriefing, which helps group gain a more comprehensive understanding of what occurred
The leader can focus on helping a client work through an issue while co-leader focuses on the group process
Helps avoid burnout
Working through countertransference if it occurs

There are some disadvantages to using a co-leader:
If there’s a lack of trust or cooperation between the leader and co-leader
One of the two could compete for the admiration and support of the group members
Problems between the two can take up group time if they have to deal with their unresolved issues

There is at least one disruptive member in every group.
Regardless of the screening procedures, difficult members end up in groups, creating challenges (Kottler, 1994)
Kottler states the most difficult ones to deal with are those who feel entitled, are manipulative, or have character disorders.
Difficult members can benefit from honest & caring feedback from other group members & compassionate, firm interventions from group leaders.
Four kinds: aggressors, obstructors, storytellers, & attention seekers
Problems Solving & Group Process
In the problem-solving process the group leader and the members describe a particular concern and then they identify possible solutions that can help the members resolve their concern.

Drawing out and cutting off members
Assigning tasks based on members strengths
Sharing leadership toward specifically defined goals

Gladding pg. 85

Skills of Effective Group Leaders
Specific Group Skills
Beginning Stage (Forming)
Purpose of the group
Group rules
Content of the group


Members anxious about their interactions
Afraid of losing control
Afraid of being misunderstood
Struggle for power
Forms of resistance


Terminating of the group

Group members share what has been learned

Plan to use the knowledge they have gained

Stages of Therapy

Stages of Therapy

Stages of Therapy

Overview of
Group Therapy Skills
Encourage partcipation
Observe and identify group process
Attend and acknowledge group member behavior
Clarify and summarize group member statements
Open and close sessions.
impart information when necessary
Model effective group leader bahavior
Engage in appropriate self-disclosure
Give and receive feedback
Ask open-ended questions
Empathize, confront, attribute meaning, apply learning
Demonstrate ethical bahavior
Keep group on task and accomplishing goals

Gladding pg. 84-85
Overview of
Group Therapy Skills
Gladding 86-87
Team Development Stage Model
Bruce Tuckman 'Forming Storming' concept 1965. Diagram Alan Chapman 2004-8.
Stages of Therapy


Positive attitude toward others in the group
Newfound sense of "groupness"
Learning, insight
Feelings of support
Engage in personal sharing
Expect to be successful, hope

Identify needs expectations, committment
Challenge myths and misconceptions
Convey information
Consider developmental issues
Written parental consent
Glading pg. 113

Stages of Therapy

Performing (Working Stage)

Trust, willingness to take risks
Goals are clear
Communication is open
Participants talk to one another
Feedback given and accepted
Members feel hopeful
Group members use eachother as a resource
Confrontation is accepted as a challenge to examine one's behavior
Diversity is encouraged
Full transcript