Icon 1: Questions 3 and 4 (p. 21)
James says, “I feel like an outsider.” How might you work with his statement?
I could work with this statement by telling James to point out when he has those particular feelings. I would let him know that he could perhaps find one person in the group that he trusted and begin by talking to that person.
Jacqueline says, “I feel stupid when I ramble.” How would you deal with her self-deprication in the first session?
Jacqueline would have to first explain what she meant by rambling so I could have a better understanding of her situation. She would then have to make note of when she does it and what leads her to do it. She would then have to let the group know when she does it.
Icon 2: Question 3 (p. 23)
Imagine yourself as a member at the first meeting. What fears would you have about participating? What would help you feel more trusting?
I would fear opening up to strangers and risk being ridiculed or judged. I would want to talk to maybe just one person at first, or a select few and begin to trust those members, before I interacted with the others.
Icon 3: Questions 1 and 3 (pp. 24-25)
What would help you feel comfortable enough to speak about yourself if you were a member of a group?
What would you say to a quiet member who tells you that in his/her culture it is considered impolite to speak up without being specifically asked to talk?
I would try to get the person to open up and let them know that this is a different setting that requires participation. I would then gently encourage the person to make their input in the session. By encouraging the person to monitor how they were feeling, what they were thinking and doing, it would help them to gradually participate in the group sessions.
Icon 4: Questions 2 and 3 (p. 26)
James says, “I worry a lot that I need to prove myself.”
James would have to point out the specific times when he gets that feeling, as no one else is aware of it but him. James feels discriminated against because he is a “Chicano” who is educated and feels that he has to do more than others to get the same results. He would also need to explore the ways in which what he was currently feeling transcends to his life outside of the group on a daily basis.
Casey says, “I rehearse countless times before I speak because I want to say things right.”
Casey harbors fears of being ridiculed or saying the wrong things. By encouraging her to speak up, she is able to participate in the group, especially at times when she has feelings and want to react to the things that are said in the group. She should be made to realize that the group is safe and that she can say what she feels there without repercussions.
Icon 5: Questions 1 and 3 (p. 27)
What purpose do you see in asking members to engage in role-playing, even at the early sessions?
When participant in the group resort to role playing, it gives them a deeper understanding and gives them more insight into their situation. The emotional connection that was lost can somewhat be regained. As they use others to play the roles, they are able to tap into their own feelings. Role playing allows them to relive experiences that were painful and helps them to relieve any built-up tension that they might have. It enables them to confront the ghosts of their past and are encouraged to make new decisions regarding their own life situations.
What factors pertaining to a member’s culture or gender might you consider before initiating a role play in this group?
They would have to be similar in nature to the people they are playing. If the person is a male, then a male should be selected for the role-playing. If the person is white or dark-skinned, then that should also be taken into consideration to get a realistic scenario. It is better to imagine the person you are referring to, in their specific gender or culture to make it real.
Icon 6: Questions 1 and 2 (p. 30)
How would you use contracts with a group you are leading? How would you help members design their contract?
I would use the contracts to get the group members to challenge themselves by outlining what they want and how they hope to accomplish it and the given time frame. If it is written down, they are able to view it and work towards it and the fact that it is a contract, would mean that it is binding, so they would have to follow it.
If you were a member of this group, how open would you be in agreeing to make a contract? What would help you in making a contract?
I probably would be open to the suggestion of making a contract, especially if I had tried to do something on my own and failed because of my lack of persistence and motivation. Being aware of what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it and how I would accomplish it would enable me to create that contract.
Icon 7: Questions 1 and 2 (pp. 30-31)
What do you observe in members when they talk directly to another person as opposed to talking about that person?
When members talk directly to each other they get to see just how what they are saying affects that other person. When they talk about another person, then there is always doubt and mistrust as they are only able to perceive what the person is thinking. Eye contact is important.
If you were a leader in this group, what cultural factors would you be sensitive to before asking members to speak directly to one another?
Even if I was aware of, or sensitive to the cultural factors that existed, I would pay no attention to it, as I would not want anyone to feel marginalized or get the feeling that they are being singled out. I would want everyone to interact with each other, regardless of the culture that they belonged to. This would help in establishing trust within the group.
Icon 8: Questions 1 (p. 31) and 1 (p. 32)
What therapeutic value do you see in asking members to make eye contact with another person in the group as they are talking about a problem area?
The therapy that a group member would derive from making eye contact with another member is the ability to see that the person is not judging them, but showing empathy. In doing so, they can feel more at ease because they would know that the person is with them and not against them.
Jyl cries and says she feels exposed. As a leader, how would you respond to her?
I would let her explain what she means by feeling exposed. I would not encourage the other members to provide reassurance, because that would give her a temporary feeling of comfort. When she talks about her feelings, she will come ton realize that it is her feelings and not necessarily what other feel about her.
Icon 9: Questions 1 and 3 (p. 33)
How might the way you deal with conflict in your personal life help or hinder you as a leader in dealing with conflicts in groups?
How I deal with conflicts in my personal life can have a huge impact on how I deal with conflicts in my group, if I chose to ignore the conflict, let it escalate, or not address it adequately, then I would be unable to address it appropriately in the group setting either. If, on the other hand I successfully deal with and resolve them in my personal life, then i would be more equipped to handle one in a group setting.
How would you respond to Jacqueline when she makes the comment, “What I have to say would not be nice.”?
I would ask her to elaborate on her feelings towards the other person. I would ask her why that was so and I would elicit a response from the affected person. In doing so, I would be able to get them to talk and resolve whatever issues they were having with each other.
Icon 10: Questions 1 and 5 (pp. 35-36)
Imagine you are co-leading this group. Pick one of the member’s statements above and write your response to him/her.
I would address Jyl’s statement and let her know that she needs to speak about how she feels. If she does that then others will get a sense of how she feels and maybe include her more or help her to overcome her fears. By discussing her fears face to face, she can end up asserting herself and feeling like a part of the group.
What other strategies can you think of to address a member’s hesitation and/or avoidance?
Other strategies include coming to terms with their behavior and addressing it when they notice that they are displaying the behavior that is hindering them. Building up trust and breaking intimidation can help the members to interact more freely and resolve feelings of inadequacy that they harbor.
Icon 11: Question 2 (p. 43)
What intervention might you make with SusAnne, and what would you most hope to accomplish with it?
Icon 12: Question 1 (p. 45)
If Andrew declared he was tired of feeling locked up and wanted to be different, how would you pursue work with him?
I would let him work through his issues with someone he could identify with. I would encourage interaction with two, or more people who share similar struggles in order to get them to open up about their situations and see the similarity of each. I would allow him to decide if he wanted to remain locked up or to be different and take the necessary action to get a different result.
Icon 13: Questions 2-4 (pp. 46-47)
Of the comments made above by SusAnne, Jackie, Jacqueline, and James, which one of them most catches your interest and why? What would you say to this person?
The comment that most caught my interest was that of SusAnne, she was apparently trying to interact with the group, but not successfully. He r comment showed that she still harbored feelings of mistrust and did not want to be specific in her comment. I would say to SusAnne that she needed to explore her feelings more and talk more, so that she was able to become more at ease like the others. Without that she would experience some kind of hindrance in moving on in subsequent sessions.
In the closing minutes of a group, a member says she feels cut off by you. What would you say or do?
I would encourage him to share exactly what he was feeling and give my response to the person. I would try to find out how I could be of assistance, in his opinion, in getting him to lose that feeling.
A member says, “I didn’t feel that we accomplished anything today. I was bored, but didn’t say anything for fear of offending anyone.” How would you respond?
I would let the member know that for no reason, they should suppress their feelings while in a therapeutic group setting. I would let them know that by explaining what they felt, it could have been addressed appropriately. I would encourage the person to first talk to a person they felt close to and explain their feelings to them. I would also let them know that they did not have to fear offending anyone and should feel safe within the group.
Icon 14: Questions 2 and 4 (p. 51)
At the check in, assume Jyl says, “Last week I left feeling very disappointed. Even though I stated I wanted to talk about my father, we never got around to it. I felt cheated.” What would be your response?
I would encourage her to speak about her concerns and let her know that she still had the chance to work on her issues. Their full participation may not be complete if they failed to mention their issues in the group so that it could be addressed. She would still be able to address her concerns in subsequent sessions.
How would you handle the situation if you discovered that several members meet regularly between sessions?
I would totally encourage it on the basis that they discussed what they had talked about within the group at the following meetings. If it was discussed within the group it could be therapeutic, but if it was not, then seeds of discord could be sown between members.
Icon 16: Questions 3 and 4 (p. 53)
What intervention would you make if several other members joined in with SusAnne and stated that they too had difficulty trusting this group?
There would clearly be the need of an intervention if other members did not feel safe within the group. If the members harbor reservations, then there will be mistrust. They will think that people are going to judge them and not speak about their issues with the group. Forming a bond in a group session is important, so they would need to begin by getting to know each other and be able to talk to them without fear of being judged or ridiculed. I would create a session in which they could interact on a somewhat social level to get them to relax and see each other in a different light. By doing this they would come to know each other better and trust each other.
In the scenario described on the previous page, Casey has concerns about both SusAnne and Jacqueline, and expresses her fear that they might judge her. What intervention would you make?
I would allow Casey to speak with both of them and get a sense of what they are thinking. If this is not done then the feelings will still be there and there will eventually be a conflict.
Corey, G., Corey, M.S., and Haynes, R. Groups in Action: Evolution and Challenges (8th ed.).
Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole.(2006)