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Course 417 - Group Counseling Practices

SKU: CVC 417

Course 417 - Group Counseling Practices (3 Credits)

Course Description:

This course is designed for the novice therapist, one who is a participant learner of the experience and dynamics of small groups. Students will begin to develop their abilities as group facilitators and potential therapist. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to describe the aspects of forming, leading and evaluating groups as well as identify specific behaviors that are disruptive in group settings. 

Good group facilitation is much more than conducting therapy with a number of individuals in a group. It requires an active counselor who is constantly observing all of the nuances of the members' interactions. It requires a skill that can only be mastered through supervised group experience and an understanding of group process and group dynamics. 

This course will cover advantages and disadvantages of small groups, group assumptions, stages of a group, the counselor's role, effective communication, leadership styles, and problematic client behaviors.  At the end of the course, students will understand the development of a small group, gain the facilitation skills necessary to monitor a group and function as facilitator, and assist group members in growing through a group process. 

Course Objectives: 

  • To teach the different types of groups and their specific goals and functions

  • To teach the different stages through which groups progress.

  • To teach how to utilize the Johari Window in the group experience

  • To describe and teach the various leadership roles and styles

  • To empower the student with a Christ-centered knowledge for group experience for their own personal growth and edification

  • To provide the student with sufficient opportunity to experientially learn the dynamics of group work

  • To teach and equip the student with a balanced array of group counseling skills and basic ground rules, class instruction, leadership modeling, and student practice


Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course the student will be able to:

1.   Demonstrate the essential skills necessary to work with small groups

2.   Understand the necessity and applicability of effective communication skills

3.  Describe different types of groups and their specific goals and functions

4.   Describe the different stages through which groups progress

5.   Demonstrate appropriate use and understanding of the Johari Window

5.   To identify and demonstrate various leadership styles and roles

Learning Objectives for Each Week

Session One

  • To introduce the student to the content and purpose of this course
  • To give the student an opportunity to become acquainted with the instructor and other students who are involved in this course

Session Two

  • To further develop understanding of group counseling
  • To develop understanding of the communication process and skills involved in group counseling

Session Three

  • Learning to use effective communication to overcome defenses.

Session Four

The Introduction to Group section provides much information about the initial understanding about group and process information to make the group experience more useful. 

  • Students need to become familiar with the information for use in a group setting.

  • Understand the Basics of group and the Purpose.

  • Be able to speak confidently about the use of thoughts, FEELINGS and behaviors in group.

  • Provide group members with Constructive Feedback.

Session Five

The objective for this lesson is to demonstrate the stages of group development.  Students should have read up to pages 32-35 in the Group Booklet manual.  The essential components of the section will enable the learner to demonstrate the following behaviors:  Introduction to Group; Introducing the Members to the Group; Setting the Group Rules (Gorksi book, page 132-133); Introducing the Purpose of Group; and Member Expectations. 

  • Students are to demonstrate the above skills with eight co-group leaders and one supervisor. 

  • Students may demonstrate via role-play and/or an actual group the opening and closing process of group.

  • Students are to demonstrate an introduction to group, state the group rules and/or guidelines in a role-play situation or live group experience. 

Session Six

  • Demonstrate in a Role-play or live group experience the ability to conduct a structured exercise. These exercises may come from Perkinson’s book chapter five; Setting the agenda, The honesty group, Ending the group session, or a Trigger group. 
  • You are to demonstrate giving clear directions.
  • In a written exercise, monitor group members’ progress and provide assistance.
  • Observe members’ hostility, indifference and/or confusion.
  • Determine if the exercise is too difficult, too frightening, boring or embarrassing.
  • Modify the exercise if necessary.
  • You may conduct this exercise in a live group setting as long as supervision is available or you have the clinical skills necessary to run the group independently. 
  • Document the group’s progress (Gorski, page 60-63).

Session Seven

  • Demonstrate in a Role-play or live group experience the ability to conduct a structured exercise with the following components:

  • Encouraging discussion of group members by inviting members to speak.
  • Sharing objective personal views on the topic.
  • Calling on members to speak and facilitating a group interaction between members.
  • Handle silence without rescuing the group.
  • Handle group hostility and confusion when it surfaces.
  • Focus on the group process and help members stay in the ‘here and now’.

  • How effective is the communication within the group?

Session Eight 

  • To use effective group skills as a leader, for the purpose of facilitating member growth within the group setting.  It will be necessary to demonstrate the following skills in your role-play or group setting:

  • Who do members speak to the most?

  • Which members appear to desire to take control of the group?

  • Who is the unofficial leader of the group?

  • How did he/she gain power in the group?

  • As the official leader of the group, how can you use this information constructively to shape the group’s behavior? 

  • Learning to use effective group skills as a leader, for the purpose of facilitating member growth within the group setting. 

  • It is necessary to demonstrate the following skills in your role-play or group setting:

  • What does the facilitator need to do to promote member genuineness and honesty? 
  • What is the atmosphere of the group?

  • What leadership style is the group leader is demonstrating?

  • Is the group demonstrating cooperation?

  • Is the group demonstrating competition?

  • Did leaders attempt to sabotage each other?


Course Materials & Tuition 

Tuition $700.00
Terence T. Gorski., (2016) Problem-Solving Group Therapy: A Group Leader's Guide for Developing and Implementing Group Treatment Plans, BookBaby; 1 edition. (Kindle version) ISBN: 9781483590448.

SAMHSA TIP 41: Group Therapy (PDF document provided in the course)

PDF in the course
Total Cost of Course: (With the additional cost of buying textbooks) $707.99  

 Before registering for this course, you must be an enrolled student with City Vision University and have read the "Cancellations and Settlements" form.  For Admission and Enrollment procedures please visit our "Enroll Now" page.

To register for this course:

  1. If you are not already a student: Apply Now & agree to the terms of the included Enrollment Agreement. Once your application is approved, log in to Populi to register.
  2. If you are a student: log in to Populi, and register from your student dashboard.

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