Group Observation

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Group Observation Paper

Introduction:

Groups talk about goals in different ways, using different words. Some groups have major and minor goals or meta- and micro-goals; others divide goals into mission, purpose or goal, and objectives, while other groups talk about aims and expectations. A group is strengthened to the extent it has clear goals and all members know what their roles are in helping to achieve them (Dimock and Kass, 2008, p.62-63). My placement is currently in the Mental Health field and as mental health workers we have groups that are organized to promote to mental health of all and to support the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness.

The first group observed for this assignment is an interdisciplinary group within my clinical setting comprising of a psychiatrist, social worker, mental health case manager and a patient. This interdisciplinary team works together to enhance relationships with the patient and improve collaboration among health care providers. The plan for recovery of patients is coordinated by all members of the team as each member can bring a level of expertise the other member cannot. This team was chosen because many people living with mental illness require the aid from more than one professional. Many of these patients require housing, employment, social assistance, counselling and support. Psychiatrists, social workers, case managers, occupational therapists and more come together as a formal team to combine skills and resources to provide guidance and information for the recovery of these patients.

The second group observed was a relaxation therapy group. This informal therapy group is conducted for patients suffering from anxiety, depression, panic attacks, etc. Therapy is conducted with a group of people, rather than in a one-on-one session which is the biggest advantage in helping patients realize that he or she is not alone which can be a huge relief to the person. It is important to remember that this session is guided by a professional therapist but the therapist only acts as a moderator who may suggest a “theme” or topic for the group’s discussion. Critical Examination of Groups:

There is a growing consensus that interdisciplinary mental health collaboration will contribute to improving patient care and outcomes, improve access to health care, improve communications among health providers and improve satisfaction and recovery among mental health patients (Kuarnstrom and Cedersund, 2006, p.245). While observing this group it was recognizable that each member of this team took into account the expertise, preferences and skill set of each provider. The group’s culture is a way of working together, including their shared habits, traditions and beliefs which is in the best interest of their patient. This group shows cooperation, peer learning and mutual respect for each other which allows for them to communicate with each other and the patient as effectively as possible.

The culture of this group is affected by a combination of behaviours, values and attitudes which in turn affects “the way they do things” (Dimock and Kass, 2008, p.20-21). Because this group is comprised of a psychiatrist, social worker, case manager and patient, each individual’s skills and mission are different. At the same time their goal is similar in providing patient care and recovery. This group is able to demonstrate enthusiasm, optimism, collaboration, thoughtfulness, teamwork and competency by building on group culture.

The group process, role functions, decision making, problem solving and leadership are all responsibilities of the interdisciplinary team members. The group interacts with each other using verbal and nonverbal communication, seating in a circular manner and equal participation. Because this group is formed of different specialties, establishing role functions is key to their success. According to research one of the...
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