Chapter 4- Group Work: Theories and Techniques

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Chapter 4
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Theory for practice

  • its a roadmap= tells you where you are, where you want to go, and the steps along the way

Rationale for use of techniques in group work

  1. why did we use this technique?
  2. what did we hope to accomplish with this technique?
  3. what did we want members to learn from this technique?
  4. What theoretical framework guided our technique choice?

Guidelines for techniques

  • therapeutic purpose and grounded in some framework
  • autonomous members- free to participate or to not
  • introduced in timely and sensitive manner; likewise, abandoned if they're not working
  • fosters self exploration and self understanding
  • members have the opportunity to share their reactions

Viewing a group through a multicultural lens

  • take into account cultural and ethnic background when choosing techniques (not all techniques will resonate with all members; collectivistic vs individualistic)
  • leader aware of how their own assumptions, attitudes, and theoretical orientation influences practice with diverse clients

Key concepts of Psychodynamic approach

  • insight in therapy; include psychoanalytic and Adlerian

Psychoanalytic approach

  • insight, unconscious motivation, reconstruction of the personality
  • group therapy is lengthy where inner conflicts are rooted in the past
  • free association; interpretation; analysis of resistance; analysis of transference; dream analysis

Adlerian Approach

  • humans are social being, influenced and motivated by societal factors
  • humans are creative, active, decisional
  • goal oriented
  • replicated original family- members re-experience conflicts that originated in family (family constellation)
  • goal- foster social interest, a sense of connection with others

Experiential and relationship-oriented approach to group work

  • stresses feelings, subjective experiencing
  • includes existential, personal-centered, Gestalt, and psychodrama
  • operates on the premise that the quality of the therapeutic relationship is primary, with techniques being secondary
  • techniques aimed at increasing awareness

Cognitive Behavioral approaches to group work

  • role of thinking and doing
  • action- oriented
  • includes behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and reality therapy
  • collaborative relationship
  • psych distress a function of issues in cognitive process
  • focus on changing cognition to produce desired change
  • generally time limited
  • relies on empirical validation of it concepts and techniques

Postmodern approach to group work

  • understanding the subjective world of the client and tap existing resources for change within the individual
  • includes solution- focused brief therapy, narrative therapy, motivational interviewing, and feminist theory
  • premise is that there is no single truth
  • acceptance of plurality and the notion that individuals create their own reality

Practical ways to develop an integrative approach to group counseling

  • based on concepts that techniques drawn from various theoretical approaches
  • no single theory is comprehensive enough to account for the complexities of human behavior
  • be open to the value inherent in each of the theories of counseling