Group Counselling, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Group counselling refers to a small group of people meeting together regularly with trained counselling staff members with an aim of discussing their problems and struggles while seeking solutions to the problems. These groups often take a variety of forms.  The group may have an option of laying its focus on a specific topic or problem or it may decide to address different issues together. During group counselling, it is advisable that the members give feedback to others.  This means that it is essential to provide one’s feeling about what another person says or does. It is also vital to ensure good interactions between the group members. These interactions provide individuals with an opportunity to try out new behaviours and to act as a learning opportunity on how to relate and interact with others.

It may seem like an easy task for the leader from the outsider, but it is harder than it sounds. It is not simply getting a group of people jointly and having them talk over their issues or making them confess their problems to each other. A group of people represents different mindsets and ideals. Controlling these personalities and making them have one motive may be difficult and problems may arise. The therapist must first, have an idea of the possible problems that may come. Couples in group therapy may have different agendas. The therapist should be prepared to make one or both of them seek one motive if possible.

Other problems include the fact that individuals in the group may not be willing to show their personal feelings in front of each other (Jacobs, et al, 2009). Knowledge of the counselling theories used is essential for therapists because they get to use different methodologies to help patients through their issues. The patients also get to know why they have their issues and why they do certain actions. In other words, they get peace, and when people see others actively work through their problems to recovery, it acts as a morale boost for them. They end up having the same initiative that wants to see them get better.

Group counselling is a safe environment in which members work to establish a common level of trust and allows all members to talk individually and truthfully. Group members make a pledge to the group and are directed that the content of the group sessions remain confidential. It is often not appropriate for members of the group to disclose information and events of the group to other people not in the group.

Group counselling provides its members with unique opportunities. Members of the group learn to address current issues that are important.  It also enables one to identify with others who are experiencing similar concerns.  Further to that, it increases the self awareness of an individual and makes one to focus on aspects of life that he/she wishes to change. Group counselling also makes one gain immediate feedback on how others gauge you. These involves embers of the group the society and the leaders. One also becomes more sensitive to the needs of others through group counselling. It also promotes respect for individual differences as everyone gets a chance to affirm his/her uniqueness. Group counselling also provides its members with an opportunity to try out new behaviours. This involves expressing out the feelings one has always been hesitant to express. It makes one assert him/her in new ways and experiment new ides. Thorough the trust and security cultivated in t he group, members feel free to take risks (NC State University, 2004).

The most fascinating idea of group therapies is learning from group members. One not only benefits from recognizing individual and emotional responses, but also one can now identify the feeling of others in return  increasing self-awareness.  Therefore, it is crucial to develop a responsibility of determining how to take advantage of the prevailing opportunities.  It makes one to identify the energy required to invest mentally and emotionally within the group. The more the investment, the greater the benefits.

It is also crucial to make that you obtain the most from group counselling. This is done in several ways. First, it is essential that one define his/her goals. It is vital to have a prior though of the benefits one would like to obtain from the group. To achieve these, it is vital to take time before each of the group sessions and define the expectations. Group members act as a good instrument in these. One has to recognize and respect his/her pace of operations. By accepting and respecting one’s needs of getting involved when ready, one is learning self-acceptance.

Secondly, one ought to allow himself/herself to obtain group time. There are some individuals who fear requesting for time to disclose their concerns and feelings.  This is a common feeling in different people due the feeling that it is the other person who needs the time, or an individual may question the importance of what they are going to speak before the group. This is a common feeling and group members ought to discuss it at length to ensure efficient participation of all members and their expressions.

The third aspect is to aim at what is important to you.  It is essential that one feels free to talk about what he/she feels is important at a personal level.  The importance of a particular topic and its relevance varies from one individual to another (Berg, Landreth & Fall, 1998). One may want to focus on relationships, another on life goals and direction, another person may want to talk abut childhood memories and the role they play in one’s life,  or one may want to talk of dreams and individual feelings concerning them. As each member talks of these different concerns, the group should help one to recognize the themes and patterns so that dealing them is accurate.

It is also important to recognize and express feelings during group counselling. Through recognition, accepting and expressing one’s feelings, there is room for personal growth and change. Group counselling should thus serve as an avenue that assists one in recognizing themes and patterns so that dealing with the different concerns is easy. It should also assist its members to integrate their thoughts and emotions in a balanced manner (Jacobs, Masson, Harvill, & Schimmel, 2011).

Every individual should always strive to be an active group member. Most group leaders like having acting participants within the group. It is essential to determine the level of participation within the group. It is good to share and express individual reactions and support, on the issues in discussion. This makes one learn a lot though listening and reflecting on the lessons is also important. One should also be ready to take risks. Group counselling provides an excellent setting to experiment the different ways to behave and give expressions. Through taking risks, one is able to find out what is effective and what is not in a particular context.

Patience is another virtue that one ought to cultivate in group counselling. Personal growth takes time, effort and patience. One learns all the skills required and reinforces them over a long period of time. It is important that individuals know that changing what has been an integral part of yourself for a long time takes time and may be a difficult and slow process (Berg, Landreth & Fall, 1998).

In group counselling, the group leaders play an important role. These are the mentors and offer guidance throughout the discussions. The leader should be able to establish a safe environment in which members of the group can receive both support and experience personal growth. Group leaders should be ready to assist the members to set and work on individual goals. Though group leaders are always different, it is vital to respond openly to what they are doing and give an opinion on the best way forward. Some leaders take the active role during the discussions giving members limited opportunities to express themselves, while others take the least share of talking and give their members an opportunity to speak out.

References

Jacobs, E. Ed., Masson, L., Riley, L. Harvill, C. (2009). Group Counseling: Strategies and Skills. California: Brooks/ Cole Cengage learning. Press.

Wisegeek. (2011). What is Group Counseling? Retrieved from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-group-counseling.htm

NC State University (2004). “Group Counselling.” Web 21 November 2011.

http://www.ncsu.edu/counseling_center/services/group_counseling.html

Berg R. C, Landreth G. L, & Fall K. A., (1998). “Group Counselling: concepts and procedures.”3rd Ed, Taylor & Francis Publishers.

Jacobs E.,  Masson R. L., Harvill R. L, & Schimmel C. J. (2011). “Group Counselling: Strategies and Skills.” 7th Ed. Cengage Learning Publishers.

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