Group Counseling

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Evolution of a Group

I believe group sessions provide for positive peer interaction.  The stages of a group, as indicated by Corey & Corey, seem to mirror that of which friendship formation evolves.  The initial stage is a time of orientation and exploration.  Norms are established, personal and group goals are set, and members are becoming acquainted.  The transition stage consists of that of a testing ground where feelings of anxiety, defensiveness, and resistance are displayed.  Like in friendships, one assesses that of the others' limits and capabilities.  Finally, the working stage is where an environment of safety and trust has been established and work. I think participating in the group depicted in the “Evolution of a Group” video was difficult for some of its members, and there were some issues with trust amongst the participants. Some group members seemed to have stronger personalities and thus controlled the focus of the group. The group’s leaders recognized this factor and tried to facilitate more balance by encouraging less vocal members to discuss their feelings about comments made by the stronger personality types in the group. However, I don’t believe they were very effective in accomplishing balance, as evidenced by the reactions of some group members when a black woman from the group discussed her feelings about some of her experiences with the white women in the group. The response from one of the white women in the group was that now she could not trust this woman because she felt like she was being judged. I think this would have been a good opportunity for the group’s leaders to explain how it was ordinary for certain alliances to form within the group based on certain familiarities. I believe its important when running groups to always be aware of the my own feelings and to encourage group members to do the same.
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