Identify how, as the group leader, you would both recognize and address conflict within your group.
Discuss how you might handle reluctance in the group. Identify specific interventions and strategies you could employ.
Corey identifies several guidelines for effectively dealing with challenging clients in a group. Identify one element of these guidelines and consider a specific type of challenging client. How you could use this guideline in your group when dealing with a challenging client?
Write a 3 page double-spaced paper with a minimum of three references (two of which are scholarly) in APA format. Note: Since five references are required for your manual, you should use the same references throughout these papers as appropriate.
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The transition stage comes after the initial stage. It requires the group leader to start engaging at a deeper level with the members by encouraging self-disclosure. Successful sharing requires that the participants agree to become vulnerable and display respect for each other throughout the process. However, it is one of the most challenging stages for the therapist as members exhibit increasing anxiety, reluctance to share, and conflict. Moreover, the stage can be an unpleasant stage for the group leader due to attacks and confrontations from the participants. Success for the intended objectives requires a skilled therapist that can recognize and address any issue that may disrupt the success of the group.
Reluctance is the unwillingness of the client (s) to fully engage in the group's change process. It is one of the challenges that hinder progress for group therapy due to reduced client satisfaction and improvement (Centre for Substance Abuse Treatment, 2004). At times, reluctance is the main reason for group termination. It serves as a protective barrier to a client’s full participation in self-disclosure. Unless the group leader recognizes and explores this behavior, it can interfere with the group’s intended achievements.
Therapists have a tendency of seeing reluctant participants as hindrances to the group process and a challenge to their abilities. However, Ucar (2017) urges group leaders to view reluctance as a normal process of engaging in a risky experience for a common goal. Instead, they are encouraged to create an atmosphere that supports collaboration to identify existing hesitancies and anxieties in a group. It allows members to show willingness in talking about their reasons against full participation. A skilled therapist does so skillfully, invites reluctant participants to recognize their shortcomings, and encourages disclosure to realize the intended benefits of the group (American Group Psychotherapy Association, 2007). Also, an effective therapist must recognize that reluctance can be a group's way of expressing distrust with them or it may signal strict cultural limitations to self-disclosure (Corey, 2016). A good leader identifies and makes effective interventions to counter the behavior.
Solutions to My Groups Success
To avoid reluctance in my group, I will ensure that I am aware of my own psychological structure to avoid negative responses to the clients. I will exhibit a more positive approach that facilitates therapeutic collaboration. Specifically, I will avoid soothing a reluctant client to self-disclosure, show impatience/hostility, passively wait for the reluctant to accept disclosing, or lower the group's expectations for the process. I will also avoid giving up on any group member because of their reluctance to the therapeutic process.
Handling reluctance is one of the determinants of a group’s success or failure. To ensure success as the group leader, I will focus on having realistic expectations for every member. Part of this will include viewing reluctance as an act of avoidance, not ill will, continuously evaluating the quality of my interventions, and showing awareness to my professional limitations. I will also look for any incentives that may initiate self-disclosure like avoiding pushing participants to engage in any sensitive topics early in the process and hastening my interpretations about their problems. Moreover, instead of directly challenging a member, I will utilize a paradoxical technique to break reluctance, continuously evaluate the reason for reluctance and act promptly. Such techniques serve as a critical foundation for the group's success.
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Corey’s Approach to Reluctance
Corey (2016) offers specific interventions for identifying and handling reluctance in group therapy. A critical emphasis in his literature is reducing reluctance by avoiding the labeling of members. Offensive terms include 'the monopolist,' the 'silent seducer," and the 'dependent one' among others. Instead, he urges therapists to focus on non-judgmental descriptions because these members have an intrinsic explanation for their actions (Corey, 2016). Undoubtedly, this approach will help reluctant members to change their attitudes and shift the focus to the group’s objectives. It is a clear depiction of labeling as a prerequisite for negative behavior and diverted attention to the client's reasons for their actions.
Application to Therapy
A challenging client during therapy is the ‘monopolizer.’ Such participants often make excessive verbal contributions that affect equal participation from other members (Jones, 2013). The behavior is inappropriate in the group because these people lack the charisma and competence of orators. Instead, they often provide unreliable and redundant verbal contributions to unrelated tasks while thinking that they have significant contributions to the group (Jones, 2013). Most alarming is their deficiency in identifying the consequences of their utterances to others- anger and boredom. Other ‘monopolizers’ just like the attention by trying to sound knowledgeable.
It is possible to encounter such ‘monopolistic’ members in my group. According to Corey (2016), the first strategy is to avoid the label due to its role in reinforcing the negative behavior. Instead, my role as a group leader is to engage other members to explore the reasons behind the member's need for monopoly and sensitize them on the behaviors influence on the group. Evidently, all efforts focus on achieving the intended group’s objectives for better outcomes.
American Group Psychotherapy Association. (2007). Practice guidelines for group psychotherapy: The American Group Psychotherapy Association Science to Service Task Force. Retrieved from http://www. Groupsinc. org/guidelines/AGPA% 20Practice, 20, 360-365.
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2004). Substance abuse treatment and family therapy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64265/pdf/Bookshelf_NBK64265.pdf
Corey, G. (2016). Student Manual: Theory & Practice of Group Counseling. Cengage Learning.
Jones, R. G. (2013). Communication in the real world: An introduction to communication studies. Flat World Knowledge. https://open.lib.umn.edu/communication/chapter/14-2-group-member-roles/
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