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Group Leadership Skills

Group Leadership Skills
Interpersonal Process in Group Counseling and Therapy

Second Edition

Other Titles in:
Group Therapy | Group Work

January 2018 | 608 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Group Leadership Skills provides a road map and a practical toolkit for users to lead all types of groups effectively. Drawing on extensive teaching and clinical experience, authors Mei-whei Chen and Christopher Rybak give readers numerous skills, techniques, insights, and case illustrations demonstrating how to tap into the heart of group therapy: the interpersonal processes. The text covers group processes from beginning to end, including setting up a group, running the first session, facilitating the opening and closing of each session, working with tension and conflict, and using advanced skills and intervention techniques to facilitate member change. The Second Edition expands on group leadership skills to include methods of running mandate groups, semi-structured groups, basic level unstructured groups, and advanced level here-and-now focused groups, as well as using psychodrama techniques to heal unresolved grief and loss.

About the Authors
Chapter 1. Theories and Assumptions
Sullivan’s Interpersonal Theory  
Experiential Theory  
Object Relations Theory  
Family Systems Theory  
Brief Therapy  
Strength-Based Therapy  
Interpersonal Neurobiology  
Underlying Assumptions  
Keys to Success in Leading Today’s Groups  
Chapter 2. On Becoming a Group Leader
The Development of a Leader  
Ideal Qualities of an Effective Group Leader  
The Five Phases of Group Leader Development  
Three Models of Co-Leadership Practice  
Seven Principles of Co-Leadership Practice  
Cultivating Your Inner Leader  
Starting a Journey to Your Own Inner Peace  
Chapter 3. Types of Groups and How to Start One From Scratch
Ethical and Professional Guidelines  
Types of Groups Not Facilitated by Credentialed Professionals  
Types of Groups Led by Credentialed Professionals  
Starting a Group From Scratch (I): Program Planning  
Starting a Group From Scratch (II): Pregroup Orientation  
Starting a Group From Scratch (III): Criteria for Member Selection  
Starting a Group From Scratch (IV): Screening Interview  
Cases in Point: Screening Interview Notes  
Chapter 4. Fundamental Skills for Group Facilitation and Intervention
Group Facilitation and Intervention  
Leader as Observer-Participant  
Basic Principles of Facilitation and Intervention  
Basic Facilitation Skills (I): How to Open a Group Session  
Basic Facilitation Skills (II): How to Increase Group Mutual Engagement  
Basic Intervention Techniques (I): Blocking and Redirecting  
Basic Intervention Techniques (II): Refocusing and Correcting  
Basic Facilitation Skills (III): Closing a Group Session  
Chapter 5. The First Session and the Forming Stage
Leadership and the Forming Stage  
Leadership Skills for the First Session  
Special Considerations for the First Session  
Reflections on the First Session  
An Overview of the Flow and Time Frame of the First Session  
Chapter 6. Leading Structured Group Sessions
Mandated Groups: How to Make Them Work  
I. Structured Exercises for Mandated Groups  
II. Structured Exercises for Psychoeducational Groups  
III. Structured Exercises for Counseling Groups  
Misuse of Structured Exercises  
How to Conduct Structured Exercises  
How to Process After Structured Exercises  
Other Considerations During Processing  
Various Examples of Structured Communication Exercises  
Cases in Point: Participant Reflections on Structured Exercises  
An Overview of the Flow and Time Frame of a Structured Session  
Chapter 7. Leading Semistructured Groups: Working on Agenda Items
Features of Semistructured Groups  
Getting Agenda Contracts  
Toward a More Personal Level of Self-Disclosure  
Facilitating a Safe and Supportive Group Interaction  
Facilitating Giving There-and-Then Feedback  
Intervention Techniques  
Cases in Point  
An Overview of the Session Flow and Time Frame of a Semistructured Group Session  
Chapter 8. Unstructured Groups—Basic Level
Features of Unstructured Groups  
Leadership Principles of Unstructured Groups  
Easing Members Into Self-Disclosure by Working on Multiple Member Concerns  
Methods of Working on Multiple Member Concerns Simultaneously  
Low-Intensity Here-and-Now Disclosure  
Baby Steps Toward Here-And-Now Feedback  
Making Meanings Out of Difficult Life Experiences  
Intervention Techniques for Unstructured Groups—Basic Level  
A Case In Point  
An Overview of the Flow and Time Frame of a Basic Level Unstructured Session  
Chapter 9. Working With Unspoken Tension and Open Conflict
The Transition Stage and Member Dissatisfaction  
Culture/Diversity Factors and Unspoken Tension  
Options for Managing Unspoken Tension  
Member Negative Transference to the Leader  
Methods of Handling Negative Member Transference  
Leaders’ Own Countertransference and How to Handle It  
Guidelines for Leader Self-Disclosure  
The Paradox of Open Conflicts  
Seven Steps of Conflict Resolution  
The Group Leader’s Self-Care  
Cases in Point  
Chapter 10. Taking Risks in Communication
The Norming Stage of the Group  
Intimacy, Cohesiveness, and High-Quality Communication  
Self-Disclosure and How to Deepen It  
Feedback-Giving and How to Maximize Its Power  
Intermediate Steps Toward the Here-and-Now  
Leader Participation in Here-and-Now Feedback and Impact Disclosure  
Seven Principles of Constructive Confrontation  
How to Deal With Poor Confrontation  
Group Members’ Reflection on Confrontation  
Coaching Members to Request and Receive Feedback  
Cases in Point  
Chapter 11. Advanced Steps Into the Here-and-Now
The Working Stage and Unstructured Groups—Advanced Level  
The Here-and-Now Method and the Process Level of Communication  
The Here-and-Now Method: The Two Tiers  
Key to the Here-And-Now Method: Zigzagging the Hot Seat  
The Principles of Engaging the First Tier: Stimulating Group Affects  
Behavioral Markers for Group Affect Stimulation  
(I) Medium-Intensity Stimulation: Members Setting Here-and-Now Session Goals  
(II) High-Intensity Stimulation: Revealing In-Group Perceptions  
(III) Even Higher-Intensity Stimulation: Hypothetical Role Enactment  
(IV) Highest-Intensity Stimulation: Hypothetical Grading  
An Overview of an Unstructured Session With a Here-and-Now Focus  
Chapter 12. Process Illumination
Process Illumination and Change  
Ways to Recognize Group Processes  
Tips for Process Illumination  
The Five Components of Process Illumination: The Leader’s Course of Action  
Process Illumination Technique (I): Go After Reactivity Markers  
Process Illumination Technique (II): Uncovering Hidden Meanings  
Process Illumination Technique (III): Make the Invisible Visible  
Process Illumination Technique (IV): Explore the Meanings of Behaviors Engaged by “Dyads, “Triads,” or “the Group as a Whole”  
Process Illumination Technique (V): Link Here-and- Now to There-and-Then  
A Case in Point  
Chapter 13. Using Psychodrama for Unresolved Pain
The Power of Psychodrama in Therapy  
Basic Concepts of Psychodrama Applicable to Group Practice  
Maximizing the Group’s Healing Power With Psychodrama Techniques  
A Detailed Case  
Chapter 14. Skills of Termination: Completing the Cycle
Dealing With Uncommon Termination  
The Termination Stage of a Typical Group  
Seven Principles of Termination  
Skills for Ending the Group  
Evaluation of the Group Experience  
Examples of Looking-Back Letters  
Chapter 15. Writing as a Reflective Practice in Group Counseling
Leaders’ Reflective Practice  
Member’s Reflective Practice  
Applying Reflective Journaling in Group Counseling  
Leaders’ Narrative Session Notes  
Using Therapeutic Language in Narrative Session Notes  
Appendix A: A Sample of the Group Proposal  
Appendix B: Pregroup Orientation Handouts  
Appendix C: Examples of Interpersonal Skills for Member to Practice in the Session  
Appendix D: Examples of Brief Relaxation Exercises for Opening the Group  

“Chen and Rybak’s updated edition provides a valuable resource for students struggling to master the complexities of group work. The text’s examples, scenarios, and prompts for reflection will provide much-needed opportunities for applying group work concepts to practice, and encourage readers to engage in life-long professional development as group practitioners.”

Tracy A. Marschall
University of Indianapolis

“The first edition of Chen and Rybak was invaluable for my master’s level counseling students, and given the great attention that the authors have paid to suggestions for revisions, I am confident that students and faculty of group counseling will find the second edition even more valuable in moving students comfortably into working with groups.”

Charles Timothy Dickey
Creighton University

“The authors of this textbook provide both a comprehensive and practical understanding of the group counseling process for both entry level group leaders and seasoned group leaders. Special attention is used to describe the various types of challenges one face with working with individuals in a group setting.  Most impressively, the authors provide an opportunity for entry level counselors to consider their role as the group leader and assessment of personal and professional growth.”

Tracey M. Dunca
New Jersey City University

“This text revision expands on previous available materials, is accessible to undergraduate and graduate students, and has practical examples to illuminate the concepts.”

Jack Flight
Dominican University

“In Group Leadership Skills, Chen and Rybak provide a thoughtful, nuanced, and honest look into the interpersonal relationship world of group counseling and therapy. They weave the skills new group leaders need in order to be successful throughout very real situations that occur in group work. Group work teachers who create, or want to create, inter- and intrapersonal learning within their classrooms and in their students will find this book a delight. The writing style and the content foster the responsibility of the group leader to be the healthy professional there to guide members to healthy change. This book will challenge students not only to work on their skills as leaders and their understanding of group work, but also on their personal growth and ‘self as instrument.’”

Karin Lindstrom Bremer
Minnesota State University, Mankato

“A deep dive into facilitating group process that helps guide leaders into how to create meaningful change through group interaction.”

Susan Larimer
Indiana University

“Excellent information and application for upper-level group courses.”

Susan Claxton
Georgia Highlands College

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ISBN: 9781506349305