Once the group has established its existence and set up group norms, first and foremost, it is the interaction between members and how they negotiate the interchange of the group norms that lead them to therapeutic success. Displaying acceptance, support, universality, advice, interpersonal learning, altruism and hope among the group members is the goal of the group. Affecting change is possible when considering these therapeutic factors when group members express their feelings.
The primary task of the therapist is to create the group and to facilitate any change in behavior that threatens its stability. Working with group members to establish group norms and observing its functionality is the heart and soul of leading a group. Concern for group members and their relationships within the group should be the number one priority of the therapist. Group members “are the group” therefore, they are the principal players within the group process and in order to facilitate change, all must be active, productive participants.
The concept of working in the here in now makes sense to me. Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to observe a mirror therapy session for a series of classes that a colleague of mine is taking. Students in the class could bring a guest and knowing that I was in this program, she asks me if I wanted to attend that evening. Each student in the class rotated turns to invite a family that they were working with to class for this behind the mirror session. The family that was presented that night was a split family and the teenage daughter was the only one who came that night. As the session concluded, the students in ...
... middle of paper ...
...roup members and how taking a vested interest in the planning of change for themselves has an overall positive effect on the group. My student is young and needs time and a lot of work (parents do not have her in therapy nor is she taking medication) before this will happen. Knowing this I scheduled a student study team meeting which included “the team members”, the parents, administrator, school psychologist, Special Education department chair, myself and the student. The goal of the team is to support the student as best we can which is, recommending an appropriate, alternate academic placement.
After reading the chapter I don’t think I could have done anything differently with my student. I know to be patient with my student, be honest and straightforward with her (she is sharp and responds quickly) and expect to address her questions in a non-threatening manner.
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