According to Gladding & Binkley (2007), one way to combat disruptive behavior is to go over the rules of the group with members during the first meeting so that inappropriate behavior does not occur. Another way to prevent this is for the leader to build trust within members of the group, but this takes time and effort. Members are not likely to have confidence in the group until they feel safe in it and this also takes time and experience as the group moves from forming to storming to norming (Gladding & Binkley, 2007). However, in this particular case the leader and I had to talk privately to the disruptive member. We expressed how her behavior was affecting the group and other members were becoming frustrated because their own concerns were not being heard. We also went over how much time she was taking from the group and how she needed to give other members the chance to talk as well. This gave her insight into how everyone was feeling and allowed her to become more self-aware during group. Addressing difficult or challenging behaviors is essential because it allows for group advancement and increases member’s insights and abilities. Therefore, leaders must not only be aware, but also take precaution to prevent problems or correct them (Gladding & Binkley, 2007). By doing this, the group benefits on multiple levels, as well as the individuals involved in it.

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DQ#1: Challenging group members

Isabela R

 

Dr. Nichols and class,

According to Berg, Fall, & Landreth (2013), many potential problems in group counseling can be decreased if the group leader gives careful attention to detail during the organizational stages of a group. For example, properly going through the group-member selection procedures, group composition, the use of structure in the group, reviewing the rules and guidelines, can all help ensure the positive group outcomes. However, even if the leader takes the time to review these procedures, it does not mean that challenging or difficult behaviors won’t arise during sessions. For example, there can be disruptive behaviors from members and this disruptiveness can range from passive aggressive actions, such as refusing to actively participate in the group, to over belligerence, such as starting a fight with another member (Gladding & Binkley, 2007). This writer has actually personally experienced disruptive behaviors when co-facilitating a group session. There was a member who always brough up the same problems and would refuse to accept other members advice or even the leaders. She would take up a lot of group time and no progress was ever happening. The other group members began getting frustrated with this and it led to verbal disagreement and in increase in tension. This group was led over zoom, so usually when this occurred and the member became mad or frustrated, she would simply log off and not deal with it. This became challenging because other members would begin talking badly about this member, when she was not present to defend herself. As leaders, we tried to generalize the situation and not make it specific to the member, so that we were not “choosing” sides. The other leader and I tried to remain as neutral as possible and re-direct the conversation to the topic being discussed that day.

According to Gladding & Binkley (2007), one way to combat disruptive behavior is to go over the rules of the group with members during the first meeting so that inappropriate behavior does not occur. Another way to prevent this is for the leader to build trust within members of the group, but this takes time and effort. Members are not likely to have confidence in the group until they feel safe in it and this also takes time and experience as the group moves from forming to storming to norming (Gladding & Binkley, 2007). However, in this particular case the leader and I had to talk privately to the disruptive member. We expressed how her behavior was affecting the group and other members were becoming frustrated because their own concerns were not being heard. We also went over how much time she was taking from the group and how she needed to give other members the chance to talk as well. This gave her insight into how everyone was feeling and allowed her to become more self-aware during group. Addressing difficult or challenging behaviors is essential because it allows for group advancement and increases member’s insights and abilities. Therefore, leaders must not only be aware, but also take precaution to prevent problems or correct them (Gladding & Binkley, 2007). By doing this, the group benefits on multiple levels, as well as the individuals involved in it.

References

Berg, R. C., Fall, K. A., & Landreth, G. L. (2013). Group Counseling : Concepts and Procedures: Vol. 5th ed. Routledge.

Gladding, S., Binkley, E. (2007). Advancing groups: practical ways leaders can work though some problematic situations. Retrieved from https://www.counseling.org/resources/library/ACA%20Digests/ACAPCD-11.pdf

Josseline R

One difficult or challenging behavior that may happen in a group is someone who is disruptive, which includes talking over others, not participating, whispering, and impolite body language. Dealing with challenging behavior is a hurdle but a counselor must be patient, flexible, and thick skinned meaning they should be prepared for negative reactions (Schimmel & Jacobs, 2011). This writer finds disruptive behavior challenging because this writer believes that it is inappropriate and disrespectful to other group members.

Something that this writer can do to combat disruptive behavior is go over the rules of the group during the first meeting so that everyone is aware of what is allowed and what is not (Gladding & Binkley, 2007). This writer may use some techniques to call out the disruptive behavior, if it is severe, while trying to figure out why the client is behaving in such manner (Gladding & Binkley, 2007). By doing this, the group can constructively discuss the behavior without scapegoating the individual (Gladding & Binkley, 2007). If the behavior continues even after this writer talked to the individual, then this writer would talk to her supervisor to see whether we should give them another warning or if there is another course that we should take.

It may be difficult dealing with someone who is disruptive because not only does it disrupt the group but others in the group can get influenced on this behavior. This behavior also takes away from the time the group has because this writer would have to keep attempting to get the attention of the disruptive person and the conversations back on track. This writer would attempt to stay patient, flexible, and thick skinned.

References

Gladding, S. T. & Binkley, M. A. (2007). Advancing groups: Practical ways leaders can work through some problematic situations (ACAPCD-11). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

Schimmel, C. J., & Jacobs, E. (2011). When Leaders Are Challenged: Dealing With Involuntary Members in Groups. Journal for Specialists in Group Work36(2), 144–158. https://doi-org.postu.idm.oclc.org/10.1080/01933922.2011.562345

DQ#2: Silence
Darren E

Hello class and Professor

Along with the writer’s past career experiences as well as the information in this assignment, silence can be either helpful or

harmful depending on the group and the atmosphere of the group during the sessions.If members are being silent for their own

personal reason and not willing to talk or share what is wrong with them can mean they are experiencing some type of difficult

situation in their life. The silence in the group can also have the group members to reflect or remember the trauma that they were/

are experiencing and not ready to face the situation yet, as they have locked it away in their subconscience. This can cause a person

more pain and have them to become resistant with the group therapy process. For example, if group members has suffered from

growing up in foster care system where they were sexually/physically abused by their foster parents for years, and tried to forget

about what happened to them because they want to become mentally strong and become a productive member of society, having

them to do an exercise that can bring back the rememberance of the pain they endured can push them further in resistance.

From another perspective group leaders who uses silence as an exercise to bring comfort and peace to each individual member

and the group as a whole can actually help members to remember the happy times and their accomplishments in their lives.

This activity can help the group members to realize they have reasons to be proud and believe in themselves, grow confidence in

themselves, begin to have positive self-esteem which can help them become motivated, not giving up on their life, but fight harder

to change their life and become productive members of society. The writer belives that the group leader should always be prepared to

have an alternative activity for the group to participate in just in case the first activity fails. In this case maybe the group leader can

have the group to do a writing exercise that will make them think and flect on answering the questions while being silent and not

focusing on the negative situations that happened to them in their past.

According to Berg, Fall, & Landreth, 2013 states that silence in the group may not be silent at all. There is so much that is

said without words. It is “gestures, unspoken words, unverbalized feelings, facial expressions, and the group atmosphere”. According

to Jacob and Schimmel, (2011) states that one of the best ways to engage in involuntary members is to give them a brief writing

task, such as to make a list or to complete some incomplete sentences. Members will usually complete the written assignment if the

topic is on something they find interesting. When members are asked to read what they wrote, most will pay attention because they are

curious to hear what the other members has to say, and if other members had similar answers to their answers will help them to realize

they are not alone or different than others. With any written activity, the leader closely monitors the members to see if they are

writing and participating in the activity. Additionally it should be noted that the leader should take into account that not all members

can read and write, so the leader should have an activity that will have those members to still be a part of the activity so they don’t

feel left out and ashame of their education level, feeling that they are less than other members in the group. Silence can be a powerful

activity for group, but sometimes it can become harmful.

Silence can also be a tool to help the group to stay focused on the solution to the problem. This technique can help group

members to be at peace. According to Lickerman, (2009) states that silence can motivate clients to attempt to answer questions, wanting

to move forward and not get stuck with no attempt with answering the problem. Silence can make you more effective at your job and

in your everyday living. Silence brings you many gifts. For example, the ability to listen effectively, because when you are listening you

will use your mind and your ears to be able to pay close attention to what is being said. Silence can give you a clear view into the hearts

of others, helping you to have empathy and sympathy for others. Attractiveness. People want to be heard and will try to find anyone

who will listen. Self-control. Silence is a terrific substitute for self-control, not only creating its appearance, but over time and with

practice its substance as well. Wisdom. When facing a new challenge, making silence your first response give you a chance to reflect

before you speak, increasing the likely hood that what you say and do will be on target, intelligent, and useful (Lickerman, 2009).

Reference:

 

Berg, C., Fall, A., & Landreth, L. (2013). Group Counseling: Concepts and Procedures: Vol. 5th ed. Routledge.

Jacobs, E. and Schimmel, C. (2011). When leaders are challenged: Dealing with involuntary members in groups.

Journalsfor specialists in group work,3rd.Traditon.https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspxdirect=true&db=c8h&AN=

104895584&authtype=cookie,copid&custid=ns017336&site=eds-live&scope-site

Lickerman, A. (2009). The effective use of silence. How silence can be used as a tool.

www.psychologytoday.com

Isabela R

Dr. Nichols and class,

Silence in a group is a natural part of the group process and when it is accepted as natural and productive, it becomes a means of growth (Berg, Fall, & Landreth, 2013). Silence can be varied as the happenings and feelings experience in the group by members and it is able to convey different messages. It is interesting to note that silence is not silent—it is gestures, unspoken words, unverbalized feelings, facial expressions, and the group atmosphere (Berg et al., 2013). Silence is most common in initial group counseling sessions and can convey feelings of awkwardness and apprehension. This can be shown nonverbally by members fidgeting, doodling, and looking down instead of making eye contact. Working with silence can become easier as the group progresses because then members are able to feel more comfortable and understand the deeper meaning of it. However, counselors can use process-oriented questions to help facilitate responding to the silence. These include “Am I uncomfortable with the silence and why?”, “Is the group uncomfortable with the silence and how do I know?”, “Are the members really not participating because they are silent?”, “What does silence mean to the group?”, and “What nonverbal behaviors are present to reflect and process?” (Berg et al., 2013). Silence can provide further interaction in the group, so how the counselor responds can determine whether or not it will facilitate the group process or impede it.

However, if silence is occurring too often and members are completely involuntary then the counselor must recognize that they have two purposes: to try and to cover the subject and to try to get the members to become voluntary and invest in the group experience instead of resisting (Schimmel & Jacobs, 2011). Counselors must be active and engaged in the group in order to get involuntary members to accomplish their goals. By actively working to get them interested and engaging them then involuntary members begin to interact more and become more proactive. (Schimmel & Jacobs, 2011). This writer would be comfortable with the silence for a certain period of time. She believes that silence is good and part of the process because it means members are getting from one level to the next int terms of providing deeper self-reflection and understanding. However, if silence begins to occur too often, she would begin to feel like goals aren’t being accomplished and try to engage members in a different way such as activities, etc.

Counselors can also use activities that are interesting and engaging in order to keep members voluntary and have successful therapeutic outcomes.

References

Berg, R. C., Fall, K. A., & Landreth, G. L. (2013). Group Counseling : Concepts and Procedures: Vol. 5th ed. Routledge.

Schimmel, C. J., & Jacobs, E. (2011). When Leaders Are Challenged: Dealing With Involuntary Members in Groups. Journal for Specialists in Group Work36(2), 144–158. https://doi-org.postu.idm.oclc.org/10.1080/0193392…

DQ#3: To Terminate a Difficult Group

Kiana M

This writer feels that it can be a difficult situation to decide if terminating a group member is best for both the group member and the rest of the group. This writer feels that if the situation gets to the point where two group members approach them because they feel uncomfortable in the group and are absolutely set on wanting to leave, then this writer would consider terminating the group member exhibiting difficult behaviors. However, there are a few things that this writer would attempt first, to rectify the situation, before it came to having to terminate a group member from the group (Berg, Fall, and Landreth, 2013). First, this writer would observe the difficult group members’ behavior during the group and remind them of the rules of the group and how their behavior is inappropriate for the group (Berg, Fall, and Landreth, 2013). When the two group members approach this writer about their feelings on the situation and the measures that they feel that they have to take, this writer will ask the two group members to give this writer a chance to have an individual session to talk with the difficult group member, before they feel the need to leave the group or have the difficult group member leave (Berg, Fall, and Landreth, 2013). This writer would then attempt to have a session with the difficult group member, go over their behaviors during group, how they might be making the other group members feel uncomfortable and then ask the difficult group member why they feel they are behaving in such a manner during group (Berg, Fall, and Landreth, 2013). This writer would first see if the difficult group member understands how their behavior appears to others. This writer feels that sometimes people act in a certain way, such as aggressive, angry or annoyed, but are not always aware of how their behavior affects others. Sometimes when people are made aware of how their behaviors affect other people, they may try not to behave in such a manner. This writer would also hope that the difficult group member is open to exploring why they are behaving in a difficult manner during the group. If, after such attempts are made, the difficult group member still continues to behave in an inappropriate manner that makes other group members feel uncomfortable, then this writer would strongly consider terminating the difficult group member from the group.
If the behavior continued into the next group session with no signs of improvement, then once the group is over, this writer would ask to speak to the difficult group member. This writer would suggest that perhaps this group session is not a right fit for them and recommend that the group member consider attending individual sessions before incorporating themselves into another group setting. If this is not a viable option for the group member, then this writer would offer them the suggestion of attending a different group (Berg, Fall, and Landreth, 2013).
This writer feels that sometimes there are groups that are just not a right fit for someone, whether it’s due to the other members, the leader of the group, the time and place of the group or if the group member is just not ready for that step in their life yet. The difficult group member might need to work on and build other skills, such as social skills and coping skills, before they attempt to attend a group setting again.
References:
Berg, R., Landreth, G. L., & Fall, K. A. (2013). Group counseling: Concepts and procedures. New York: Routledge.

Josseline R

This writer is leading an anger management group that consists of 12 males, ages 25-45. One group member has been extremely difficult and confrontational towards other members. Two other group members have spoken to this writer stating that they will no longer continue to participate in the group if the difficult group member is not terminated.
Anger management groups, groups for batterers, and court-mandated parenting groups are usually involuntary which can be difficult for group leaders (Schimmel & Jacobs, 2011). This writer would talk to the two concerned group members and let them know that this writer will handle the situation and get them to stay. If the client is court-mandated, then this writer would talk to them individually and let them know that if they do not stop their disruptive and confrontational behavior then this writer will have to speak to the court about their behavior and it will lead to termination of the group. If the behavior continues then this writer will continue the process of termination.
Ethically, a counselor should prepare clients for termination when they are no longer benefiting from counseling, but termination can be ethically completed done and can help model healthy boundaries and an appropriate end to a relationship (Kress & Marie, 2019). This writer has had to deal with early termination due to non-participation and recognizes that termination can sometimes be beneficial if the client is not fully ready to engage.
References
Kress, V. & Marie, M. (2019). Counseling termination and new beginnings. Counseling Today: A Publication of the American Counseling Association. Retrieved May 26, 2021, from https://ct.counseling.org/2019/10/counseling-termi…
Schimmel, C., & Jacobs, E. (2011). When Leaders Are Challenged: Dealing With Involuntary Members in Groups. Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 36(2), 144–158. https://doi-org.postu.idm.oclc.org/10.1080/0193392…

 

 

 

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