Group Counseling Techniques
I found this information in a Word document in an internet search listed under the author Chiron, (astrologically, the wounded healer?) I believe. I wish to credit his or her work as appropriately as possible, and to indicate that tools such as these are part and parcel of what makes a group work.
My favorite experiential teacher, Jim Frazier, used to call using tools like these establishing the "set and setting" for safety.
Introductions can be used in the early stages of a group. As introductions are done, and people understand that everyone has some issues or problems, participants can relax and begin the open communication process.
In my Partner Abuse Intervention Groups, we do introductions frequently. My clients have often been involved in the criminal justice system more than once, and they are suspicious of authority, so letting them know something about my life is vitally important in establishing a higher level of confidence.
And as other members in the group introduce themselves, the shared human experience aspect of the group again makes safety and comfort greater, and facilitates a deeper, more revealing participation.
The men will often move from a blaming position to a place of discussion of dilemmas in their marriages or relationships or parenting, and at this point pain can be revealed and some healing can transpire.
One of the great impacts of having men in a safe environment sharing their pain is an increased amount of intimacy, or connection, between the men. They pick up that perhaps we can talk a bit before resorting to fisticuffs or name calling.
The facilitators job, as I see it, is to bring an expectation, even a demand at times, for discussion and change. That takes keeping your energy level high. The one group that you do not sustain your energy or commitment is the group where one of the participants is aching to discuss something, and needs an iota of encouragement, and if the facilitator misses that, the client may not ever get back to such an open place.
I like to use the words like choices and counsequences rather than right and wrong, and to discuss dilemmas, how to handle grief, the role of father's in their son's and daughters lives in a domestic violence group, and I like to use material from Csikszentmilhalyi's FLOW to illustrate how fast live can change, because the central nervous system operated in 1/18th second.
And you will bring lots of your own group counseling techniques to your group.
Preferred Group Counseling Techniques/Strategies
1.Reflection – Allow student to understand fully each persons comments and how they can relate to what they just stated
2.Active Listening** - Allow student to be very aware of their listening skills within a group and how important they are. This allows the group to be more open with each other when they know their group members are paying attention to their feedback.
3.Clarification – Allow student to be very concrete with others in the group of comments made
4.Summarizing – Allow students to see the bigger picture of what was said in the group by doing a recap of what was said. Provides comfort within group.
4.Linking – Allow students to see how their problems connect with others’ in the group and they have the same concerns
4.Encouraging – Allow students to be more open with group and makes sharing personal feelings more inviting.
5.Focus – Allow counselor and students to give attention to groups concerns
6.Cutting Off – Allow counselors to keep the group on topic and give everyone a chance to share.
7.Drawing Out – Allow counselor to bring forth quiet group members comments.
8.Rounds – Allows each student to share within the group.
9.Dyads – Allows students to pair up with a partner and learn more about another student.
10. Word or Phrase Round - Allow students to broaden their vocabulary when describing how they felt about something within the group session.
11.Comment Round - Allow students to share their personal comments about that specific session.
12,Icebreakers - Allow students to warm-up to group members when beginning group.
13.Modeling – Allow students to see counselor as a role model in group work and the behaviors that can be applied to them personally.
14.Use of Eyes – Allows counselor to have direct eye contact with group members that are sharing. It will allow the counselor to draw out quiet members to speak. Allow them to members that have lost interest in the topic.
15.Tone Setting – Allow students to establish a mood for their group. Rather it needs to be a tone that is serious, social, supportive, and formal.
16. Use of Leader’s Energy – Allow students to see the counselor excitement about their new group, topic, and activities.
17.Therefore allowing them to be put off high energy levels. Non-Judgmental – Allow students to see that this is a positive experience and not to make anyone feel down.
18.Empathy – Allow students to convey to other group members that they understand and will not make fun of anyone Some Thoughts on Group Therapies
Several clients meet together Why? – usually cheaper interact with others gain social support (more information and life experiences, hope for future) Behavioral Group Therapies - Practice new behavior with other group members, Social Skills, Assertiveness Training Self help groups – usually not led by a therapist, just share common problem and meet to receive support Encounter Groups Open expression of intense emotions. - focus on self-awareness, promote personal growth Marriage and Family Therapy
Family Therapy - Family learn to express emotion and provide feedback to each other. Family unit is treated as a client Marriage Therapy communication - how to listen to one another and express feeling conflict management - how to handle problems how to handle feelings - depression, anger Combination of treatments for schizophrenia
Family training plus social skills training, better than just family treatment or social skills alone, better than control
How long before see improvement? 8 weeks 50%, 26 weeks 75%, 52 weeks 80%
Takes a while, but then problem has been around for a while
When I was beginning my personal growth journey, a wise person told me that when I was feeling resentful or afraid or sad, that I should remember the phrase "gratitude is the attitude" when I was ready to feel better. That phrase has helped me feel better tens of thousands of times.
Would you share what you are most grateful for? Your story could be just what another person is searching for to renew themselves? Thanks.
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