Psychology Support Group Visit and Descriptive Observation Discussion


I attended an in-person AA meeting at a local office. I have notes of the visit/experience.

Each student is required to visit one full meeting of a self-help or support group in the community or online (video only,not chat). You will need to make arrangements on your own to visit a group (e.g., AA, AL ANON, parenting, anyoutpatient group that will let you attend). Review the Concepts for Group Observation and Analysis(Week 4) and Inventory of Group Leadership Skills(Week 5)handouts.

Your written report should be a three pages and organized as described below.

1. Meeting Information: Name of organization, location, date and time, contact information (try to getinformation for the specific meeting). Example:Narcotics Anonymous “Looking For Serenity” Meeting, Tuesdays 7:30 p.m.20001 Canyon View Drive, Santa Clarita, CA 91351; 800-477-6291; e-mail:WSO@nar-anon.orgWebsite:…Attended May 30, 20182. Group Description: Description of the group—size, demographics (age, gender, race-ethnicity, SES, etc.),length, specific focus or topic, nature of leadership, general structure and organization of the meeting, etc.3. Group Observation Summary: Write a brief summary of the content and process of the group at thebeginning, middle, and end of the session. Indicate what you noticed about group norms, leadership skillsimplemented, interpersonal behaviors and patterns of members, topics and themes, stage of groupdevelopment, positive and negative aspects, and any challenges observed.4. Reaction and Assessment: Describe your reaction to the group and assessment of group effectiveness.Include your expectations prior to attending, your inner process during the meeting, your participation (if any),what you learned, your opinion (likes/dislikes), and whether you would recommend it and why.5. Concepts in Action Worksheet: Fill in the worksheet identifying therapeutic factors, group dynamics, groupinterventions, and group process. Self-Help/Support Group Paper
I arrived at a local AA office. I introduced myself to the counselor and asked for permission to
sit and listen to the group meeting. He let me know the group would go around in a circle and
say their names. He asked me to say my name and say, my name and friend of the program. On
the walls they were posters with the twelve steps and twelve traditions of AA. The crowd was
an older crow around their 50’s and only a few around their 30’s. Majority were Caucasians,
one Asian, one middle eastern and two Hispanic. Majority males, only 5 females. There was
around 20 members in the meeting I attended. There was also a poster saying that they
currently have 70 members, and their goal is to get to 100 members. There’s a basket where
people donate money for the rent of the office and books used in the meetings. The maximum
capacity in the room of the meeting is 29 people.
Counselor asked a AA member to be the leader.
This was an open meeting of alcoholic anonymous at address…time noon. Leader read the rules
and introduction. He started and then everyone when around said their name and I’m an
alcoholic. When it was my turn, I said my name and I’m a friend of the program. He asked if
there was someone there a new member of AA or there for the first time. I said I was there for
the first time and someone said they were a new member of AA. Everyone said hi to us and
clap. The leader asked someone to read a prayer and then he called for a minute of silence.
Then he proceeds to read Step Seven “Humbly asked Him to remove our Shortcomings”. Step
Seven of AA’s Alcoholics Anonymous: Moving Forward. The whole emphasis of step
seven is on humility. People went around the room and each read a paragraph of the
reading. Then it went back to the leader and he explain what he thought the reading
meant. Then everyone went around one at a time and share what they liked about the
reading and how they relate to it. Many members point it out the importance of sobriety
coming first if not you’ll lose the rest. It seems like AA to work people need to put
spirituality and AA first. A member shared that after 5 years he relapses and was able to
get back on track when he learns step 7/humility. Members often mentioned their
sponsors and how important they have been to their recovery. Members point out how
they have learned from each other. How they drink to deal with the pain. Members
share how before joining the meeting they didn’t believe in a higher power and how they
have learned to do so through AA meeting. Also, how important believing in a higher
power is to recovery. Members admit they struggled with humility/ego.
They close the meeting with a prayer. The meeting was one hour. Higher power is
important for AA. Group was respectful. A member was nice an brought me a book and
showed me the reading. Members were very nice and friendly. They say hi every time
someone talks and clap after they are done. Members are very respectful and keep
thanking the leader and saying he’s doing a good job leading. It caught my attention and
caught me off guard how every time they start talking, they say their name and I’m an
alcoholic. Also, how everyone responds saying hi…. And how everyone claps after
someone is done talking. It was a little weird to me, but I like it because this came up to
me as being supportive and respectful.
After the meeting was over, they approached me and thank me for coming.
Counselor of AA meeting recommended me to google: How it Works AA Big Book for
more information for my paper.
APA format. With sub-headings. No more than 3pgs long. No dramatically errors will be
accepted. Worksheet in an separate attachment.
Group Observation “Concepts in Action” Worksheet
This form is to be used during and/or after observation or participation in a group. You should include multiple examples of
observed therapeutic factors, interpersonal skills, group facilitator skills, or other group therapy concepts listed in the
Inventory of Group Leadership and Interpersonal Skills.
Themes, Issues, Challenges
3 or more Group Dynamics
3 or more Therapeutic
Factors Operating:
3 or more Interpersonal or
Group Leadership Skills Used
Group Process Observations
of Two Interactions
Interaction #1:
Interaction #2:
(Developed by Shelly P. Harrell, Ph.D.)
Concepts for Group Observation and Analysis (developed by Shelly Harrell, Ph.D.)
Therapeutic Factors
Group Cohesion
Instillation of Hope
Imparting information
Interpersonal Learning
Corrective recapitulation of family
Socializing techniques
Imitative behavior
Existential factors
Developmental Phases
Forming (Initial/Orientation)
Storming (Conflict/Transition)
Norming (Working/Cohesion)
Performing (Working/Maturity)
Adjourning (Termination)
Time Dimension Focus
Here-and-Now (H/N)
Then-and-There (Current) (T/TC)
Then-and-There (Past) (T/TP)
Connecting H/N with T/TC with T/TP
Content Focus
“I” (self)
“We” (group or subgroup)
“They” (a different subgroup)
“It” (theme/issue/incident in group)
“S/he” (another person in group)
The Leader
Outside Interpersonal Interaction
Family/Social Relationships
External Incident or Situation
Societal/Sociopolitical/News Events
General Information and Knowledge
“Chit-Chat” (e.g., the weather)
Why is this interaction unfolding in this group with these members in this particular way at this particular time in this context?
Questions to ask
What specifically is happening in the interpersonal interactions within the group?
What effects does the interaction have on the interacting members in the here and now? on other members, the group-as-a-whole?
What emotions and meanings underlie the interaction? What wishes, needs, and other motivations are operating?
What interactions preceded this one? (immediate within the group, and historically between the members involved)
What personal and familial history factors should be considered?
How do the larger dynamics of the group impact this interaction? (group development, themes, conflicts, challenges, etc.)
How are larger contextual issues expressed in the interpersonal interaction (including the environmental setting, and the
macrosystemic sociocultural, sociohistorical, and sociopolitical contexts)?
What parataxic (interpersonal) distortions appear to be triggered and how are they showing up in this interaction?
Things to notice
Communication behaviors of individual group members (verbal, paralinguistic, body language)
Incongruence (nonverbal – verbalization – emotions – meaning/values/beliefs – behavior)
Interpersonal interaction chains (interactions leading to other interactions)
Interaction patterns in the larger group (how, when, to whom do group members communicate)
Group Leadership Skills & Techniques
Inviting/Drawing Out
Linking (Members, Shared Experience)
Skills Instruction
Facilitating Experiential Awareness
Implementing Activities
Facilitating Expression
Pointing out Incongruence
Applying a Theoretical Orientation
Establishing Groundrules
“Here-and-Now” Process Illumination
Making Connections
Group Dynamics Commentary
Noticing Nonverbals
Sociocultural Identity Affirmation
Therapist Disclosure
Honoring/Respecting Differences
Consensual Validation
Addressing/Processing Conflict
Cultural Exploration
Bias/Prejudice Reduction Strategies
Sharing Resources
De-escalation/Emotion Regulation
Values Clarification
Reflection of Feelings/Meaning
Caring Confrontation/Challenging
Giving Corrective Feedback
Identifying & Enhancing Strengths
Supporting, Mobilizing Support
Holding/Keeping a Focus
Working with Parataxic Distortions
Facilitating Self-Reflection/Insight
Practicing Skills & New Behaviors
Using Role-play, Chairwork
Observing Patterns/Sequences
Cultural Adaptation
Facilitating Intergroup Understanding
Promoting Inclusion
Dialogue/Conflict Conversations
Using Silence
Challenging Group/Individual Behaviors and Issues
Negative Nonverbals (eye-rolling, etc.)
Monopolizing Time
Distracted (mobile phone, daydreaming, etc.)
Harshly Criticizing/Judging
Scapegoating/”Ganging up”
Threatening/Intimidating Behavior
Passive Aggressive Behaviors
Inappropriate Comments (sexual, “isms”)
Challenging the Leader
Power struggle/Competition
Avoiding an “elephant”
Attention or Approval Seeking
Rigid Coalitions/Subgroups
Exclusion or Isolation of a member
Group Dynamics (The Group as unit of
Group Culture, Characteristics, Norms
Group Development & Change
Recurrent Themes and Patterns
Subgroups, Coalitions, and Alliances
Roles within the group
Group Cohesion / Inclusion and Exclusion
Group Leadership
Group Productivity and Effectiveness
Group Conflict
Power and influence
Intergroup Relations/Difference Dynamics
Sociopolitical Influences
Organizational and Community Context
Interpersonal & Communication Skills
Body Language & Paralinguistic Behavior
Awareness (Self, Other, Culture, Context)
Expression & Self-Disclosure
Non-distracted Attention/Presence
Active/Empathic Listening
Paraphrasing & Summarizing
Asking Questions & Clarification
Giving/Receiving Feedback
Disagreeing Respectfully
Assertiveness/Setting Boundaries
Openness, Flexibility/Adaptability
Affirming, Encouraging of Others
Genuineness, Authenticity
Themes, Issues, Challenges
3 or More Group Dynamics
1. Group Conflict
2. Subgroups and Alliances
3. Group Leadership
3 or more Therapeutic
Factors Operating:
1. Altruism
2. Existential factors
3. Catharsis
3 or More Interpersonal or
Counseling Skills Used
1. Focusing/Holding a Focus
2. Reflection of Feelings (also
3. Using Silence
Group Process Observations
of two Interactions
Interaction #1: Wes shared the
loss of his friend to alcohol
poisoning and cried very
intensely. After some silence,
Lauren offered words of
Interaction #2: When Lauren
said to Lisa that AA is not for
everybody, both John and
Kathy got very defensive.
The main theme in this session was discussing different treatment experiences for alcoholism. The
group struggled to have a sense of cohesion as there were strong opposite feelings being
expressed. A secondary theme was alcohol-related death but the group didn’t talk about it long.
1. The group has been stuck in a place of mistrust after the tense exchange between two members a
few meetings ago.
2. The group seems to have two major subgroups divided by people who are part of AA and people
who don’t like AA.
3. The group idealizes the leader and appears hesitant to criticize her. They collude to protect her
and all seem invested in an image of her as “great”.
1. John and Kathy, both with many years in AA, were particularly active in sharing resources and
experiences, giving tips and showing support for Lisa who has only been attending a few months and
hasn’t found a meeting that she likes.
2. Group members struggled after Wesley shared about a friend who died of alcohol poisoning and
his fear of dying in that way. People seemed to want to comfort Wesley but were uncomfortable with
the topic.
3. Wesley expressed strong grief and sadness and cried inconsolably for awhile. He thanked the
group and said that he felt better afterwards.
1. The leader tried to bring the group back to the death of Wesley’s friend and keep them focused
on expressing their reactions and feelings. Although several members agreed that it was important
to talk about the group kept drifting away from the topic.
2. The leader said to Wes “I hear your sadness but I also hear your fear” which really resonated with
him. It seemed to get him more in touch with his fears of dying an alcohol-related death.
3. The therapist didn’t jump in after Wes cried but just let there be silence. This created space for
people to have to sit with their emotions as well as allowed other members to express support.
#1: The strong expression of emotion seemed to overwhelm the group. Some group members were
visibly anxious which could be seen in their body movements. Janet’s leg was swinging, Beth was
tapping her foot on the floor, and John was biting his nails. The therapist was silent and didn’t try to
rescue people from their discomfort or emotions. When Lauren said that she was sorry for Wes’ loss
and that she felt so sad about it, the other group members nodded and made sounds of agreement
and Lisa put her hand on Wes’ shoulder. There was strong nonverbal support for Wes. This was an
important moment in the group that communicated that people could share strong emotion and the
group would support them.
#2: Lisa shared her struggles with finding an AA group that she felt was a fit for her. Lauren related
to this experience and shared bad experiences that she had visiting different AA groups. This was
linking and finding commonalities. John and Kathy seemed to take this personally like Lauren was
criticizing them. John went on the attack and started interrogating Lauren about her experiences
insinuating that she was closed-minded and didn’t have the right attitude. Lauren looked like she
was going to explode, her face got red and she counter-attacked saying that some people just
conform to go along with something rather than think for themselves. The back and forth
counterattacks indicate that neither felt heard or respected. They went into a self-protective mode to
put up a wall so their feelings wouldn’t get hurt anymore. AA is really important to John and Kathy,
like part of their identity so when Lauren expressed criticism it was like they felt rejected. It seemed
like they were competing to get Lisa to choose them instead of Lauren. Particularly for Kathy, this
may have touched some painful early experiences of being ostracized in high school that she has
shared with the group before.
Group Skills (Harrell)
PSY606 Interpersonal Skills and Group Therapy
(compiled by Shelly P. Harrell, Ph.D.)
Active/Empathic Listening
Addressing Conflict
Conveying acknowledgement of a person’s perspective or behavior without
evaluation; communicating the right for a person to have their own
experience, thought, feeling about something
Engaged and deliberate listening for the purpose of understanding
Identifying, naming and initiating discussion about a conflict
Affirmation, Encouragement
Applying a Theoretical
Personal Boundaries
Intentionally adjusting one’s body language or paralinguistic behavior in order
to be more congruent with (or intensify) one’s intended message
Conveying praise, giving a compliment; “lifting-up”
Utilizing a particular theory to guide the conduct of the group, including
particular interventions or activities
Supporting group members to state their needs, concerns, preferences, and
limits; standing up for oneself by making clear and direct statements
Being fully attentive and present to what is happening in the group in the
here-and-now; non-distracted listening and paying attention
Asking Questions
Posing questions in an open, curious, non-interrogating, and non-accusing
manner from a place of being sincerely interested
Awareness (Leader/Therapist)
Interventions that reflect the therapist’s conscious awareness of self, others,
culture, context
Being Welcoming/Inclusive
Being alert to exclusionary dynamics, as well as to isolated, ostracized or
alienated group members and actively inviting and including them
Adjusting Nonverbals
Bias/Prejudice Reduction
Boundary/Limit Setting
Caring Confrontation
Modeling and facilitating de-biasing strategies such as normalizing cognitive
and implicit biases, noticing surprise, challenging assumptions, de-centering,
perspective-taking, and accountability partners
Stopping member statements, actions, and interactions that are
inappropriate, insensitive or destructive
Supporting members to establish, respect, and maintain healthy boundaries
within the group
From a place of caring intent, bringing attention to incongruities,
contradictions, problematic behavior and communication, or challenging
someone to be accountable to their commitments or goals
Refers to attempts to better understand and express complex thoughts,
feelings, meanings, and motivations; can help others sort out confusing or
conflicting thoughts and feelings
“I am hearing that you feel……”; “Thank you for
sharing your experience so openly and honestly”
Listening to understand feelings and intent
“There’s a tension in the group right now…”
Leaning forward, speaking more slowly or quietly
“It’s really great that you…..”; “That’s wonderful!”
Using a Mood Monitoring worksheet in CBT group
“Can you tell the group more specifically what you
need right now from the group?”
Bringing oneself back from daydreaming or
distractions; Reminding/Inviting group members to
be fully present
“I’d really like to understand better, can you
identify what triggered your anger just now?”
Therapist is aware how their own life experiences
and reactions can influence what they say and do
in the group
“I’m really glad you are part of this group and
want to invite group members to help Michelle feel
“We all have biases and one way we can help each
other is by challenging them together”
“I am going to interrupt you right now as your
behavior is not consistent with our groundrules”.
“It is important that we respect Steve’s request to
pass on this activity”
“I know you really want to work on being less
sarcastic and I noticed you using a lot of sarcasm
today. What do you think is going on?”
“Sounds like you have mixed feelings. Can you
share more about what each side is thinking and
Group Skills (Harrell)
Conflict Resolution or
Consensual Validation
Helping group members practice a skill “in-vivo” the group that integrates
assistance, tips, and modeling
Teamwork behaviors that facilitate achievement of an identified task or
purpose; “Plays well with others”; considers the greater good; participating
and doing one’s part
Demonstration of caring about another’s suffering and the desire to make a
difference in some way
Taking time during the group to engage in systematic conflict resolution or
conflict transformation processes
Process of “reality testing” one’s own perceptions and interpretations by
checking in with others
Identifying how larger social and environmental contexts (e.g., sociohistorical,
sociopolitical, physical settings) may be influencing group member behavior &
experiences, group dynamics and processes, etc.
Corrective Recapitulation of
Family Dynamics
Therapist enhances awareness of members’ family dynamics operating in the
group and works to facilitate a different reaction and interactional process
Creating Shared Positive
Creating opportunities for group members to share experiences of positive
emotion, enjoyment, laughter, celebration, positive connectedness, etc.
Adapting the structure, content, and activities of the group in consideration
of cultural and community context
Exploring possible cultural influences on behaviors, preferences, reactions,
etc. (what feels “normal” to some may not feel normal to others)
Moving the group to a level that goes below the surface content to what
really matters (what is most important, valued, and meaningful) or to deeper
issues underlying content (e.g., motivations, needs, feelings, wishes)
Cultural Adaptation
Cultural Exploration
De-escalation/ Emotion
Regulation (Others)
Assists members to engage in emotion regulation strategies
Disagreeing Respectfully
Facilitating members to express disagreement with a focus on sharing
perspectives and experience rather than on “facts” or the other person’s
character; willingness to listen and be open rather than debate who is right
Having group members speak in dyads or triads to facilitate greater safety
and intimacy, as well as respect different levels of comfort speaking in groups
Providing information about a topic; expanding group members’ knowledge;
sharing research findings
Emotion Regulation (Self)
Therapist’s ability to monitor and regulate their own emotional activation and
Stepping into the client’s subjective world such that it is received by the client
as empathic; the ongoing compassionate attunement to the moment-tomoment experiencing of the client that strengthens connectedness and trust
“Try starting your statement with ‘I am asking you
to…’ “
“What Is each person willing to specifically do to
create a climate of safety in the group?”
“I’m just really sorry that your mom is so ill and
that you are going through all of this.”
Follow steps for conflict resolution or conflict
“Do other group members also think I’m avoiding
talking about my marriage?”
“I’m wondering if the mass shooting last week
could be impacting the increased conflict with your
teenager over social activities and curfews?”
“What does it feel like, here in the group, to cry
without being criticized like you were in your
“Let’s go around and each person share something
that lifted your spirits this week”
Therapist considers cultural factors in the design of
the group and implementation of group activities
“I’m wondering if what’s going on reflects some
differences in culture”
“There’s something in the air here in our group
that’s not being said. What’s going on that isn’t
being talked about?”
“Take a long and deep inhale, taking in a sense of
calm; exhale slowly, releasing some tension in your
“I disagree with what you’re saying about the
causes of addiction. What I have observed has led
me to think….”
“Let’s divide up in to pairs and just take a few
moments to share your highs and lows from the
past week”
Describing the effects of child physical abuse in a
parenting group
Therapist is effective at bringing down high levels
of their own emotional activation in order to stay
present and attuned to the group process
“It seems that you really just want to be left alone
right now, that you’re feeling trapped and
Group Skills (Harrell)
Establishing and Maintaining
Facilitating Dialogue and
Conflict Conversations
Facilitating Experiential
Facilitating Expression (Clear,
Constructing groundrules that provide the norms for the group’s operation,
functioning, and interaction between members; establishing a group culture
Therapist checks-in regarding group progress and effectiveness, (with self, cotherapist and whole group) to assess needs for change or for particular
attention to an issue or group member; encourages shared responsibility for
evaluation and success of group
Guiding members to talk with each other about something difficult or about a
conflict between them in a way that is respectful and broadens mutual
Helping group members direct attention to their here-and-now emotional and
bodily experience
Helping group members express themselves clearly and fully so that they are
understood by most others; reducing the gap between what is intended and
what is actually said
Groundrules are identified early with ongoing
check-ins and accountability of leader and
members to maintaining a healthy group
“What changes are occurring in the group?”; “Let’s
check in about how the group is doing and what
each of us can do to maximize its effectiveness”
“This may be hard and uncomfortable, but let’s try
to talk through this so we can understand each
other better”
“Let’s pause for a moment and focus on what’s
going on emotionally for each of us right now”
“Think for a moment about what it is that you
really want to communicate and try to state it as
clearly as possible”
Facilitating Intergroup
Dialogue and Understanding
Helping group members communicate across differences to increase
understanding, empathy and respect for the life experiences of other groups
(particularly race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, social class)
“Can you share with Walter any ways that your
experience may be different related to being
___________(group membership)?
Facilitating Self-Reflection
Implementation of strategies to encourage self-reflection such as journaling or
focused discussion
Leader/Therapist being transparent, honest, and one’s “real” self in the group;
not hiding behind mask of the “expert”
Providing feedback to individual group members about interpersonal
communication or other behaviors in the group; sometimes effective to ask
permission first; convention wisdom is to precede it with something positive
Facilitating group members identifying specific group goals, checking on
progress, providing support, and incorporating accountability structures
Observation and commentary on the roles, subgroups, and alliances that are
forming within the group including dynamics of inclusion/exclusion
Observation and exploration of the emerging norms and characteristics of the
group including frequent themes that arise
Observation and exploration of the nature of group cohesion, belongingness,
and commitment to the well-being of the group as a whole as well as
individual members
Observation and exploration of dynamics of power and influence in the group,
including issues involving leadership and the role of the leader/therapist
“I want to ask everyone to reflect for a moment
Leader/Therapist allows his/her natural
personality to be infused into their leadership style
“I would like to share an observation with you
Nora that I think could be helpful to you. Would
that be ok?”
Implementing a goal-setting activity early in the
group and encouraging mutual support
“The group discussion seems to marginalize
members who are not in their 20s or 30s”
“The theme of being competent and successful
comes up frequently in this group”
Giving Corrective Feedback
Group Dynamics Commentary:
Roles, Subgroups and Alliances
Group Dynamics Commentary:
Themes, Norms, Group Culture
Group Dynamics Commentary:
Cohesion, Belonging,
Group Dynamics Commentary:
Power, Leadership, Influence
Group Dynamics Commentary:
Diversity, Sociopolitical,
Group Dynamics Commentary:
Development, Effectiveness,
and Change
“People are really going above and beyond to try
to help each other with problems and challenges”
Observation and exploration of issues of diversity, difference and intergroup
relations, including the role of sociopolitical dynamics and events
“What do you think it means that many group
members are frustrated with me right now?”
“The group seems to be uncomfortable addressing
differences within the group, particularly racial
Observation and exploration of group development (phases and tasks) and
change including the effectiveness of the group
“The group appears to be back in a place of
distrust and unwillingness to take risks”
Group Skills (Harrell)
Here-and-Now Process
Attending to the immediate interactions and reactions of group members as
they occur in the group
Holding/Keeping a Focus
Maintaining the group’s focus on a particular issue despite attempts to avoid
or move away from it
Providing relevant exercises or activities for group members to do between
sessions (e.g., worksheets, skill practice, journaling, behavioral experiments)
Intentional acknowledgment of “difference” and permission to express
differences without hiding or conforming; commitment to making the group a
safe space to be different
Conveying understanding of the common and shared challenges of the human
condition; appreciating the dignity and humanity of persons in their struggles
Encouragement of “I” statements that focus on taking responsibility for one’s
own experience and not diluting or externalizing it; Avoiding “you”, “we all” or
“it” declarative statements
“I” Statements
Explicit identification, noticing, and building of group members’ positive
qualities, strengths, skills, abilities, etc.
Implementing Activities
Making Connections
Choosing, introducing, providing a rationale, conducting, and debriefing
specific experiential or other structured group activities.
Communicating positive possibilities, benefits, and growth from challenges in
ways that do not invalidate experience
Offering hypotheses and explanations about underlying reasons, meanings,
needs, or motivations related to a member’s or the group’s actions and
Bringing less involved members into a discussion or activity; inviting more
active or meaningful participation of peripheral members (need to balance
with respect for boundaries and personality)
Relating what one group member is doing or saying to the concerns of another
member; Identifying commonalities and shared experience; Facilitating group
members talking to each other rather than through the leader/therapist
Connecting “Here-and-Now” (H/N) interactions and processes with “Then-andThere” (T/T) issues in members’ current lives or past experiences
Making Connections (Level of
Connecting individual and interpersonal levels of analysis with issues
manifesting at group, organizational, community, or societal levels
Instilling Optimism and Hope
Linking (Members)
Negotiating, Compromising
Using stories, images, symbols, proverbs, lyrics, art, music, literature, media,
etc. to capture the essence of experience, illuminate or intensify connection to
experience or enhance understanding
Leader/Therapist demonstrates desired behaviors through their words and
actions within the group (not direct teaching or instruction)
Facilitating solutions that emphasize fairness and require each person to be
adaptive and make concessions in the service of moving foward
“I’m noticing that no one responded to Freda’s
expression of frustration and the topic was
changed quickly.”
“I want to bring us back to the issue of…”
“I’d like to ask everyone to practice “the mindful
breath” exercise at least once a day this week”
“It is important for people in the group to be able
to be themselves and not have to hide ways that
they may be different from other group members”
“Life can be really hard sometimes and I see you
trying your best to make it through”
“Instead of saying ‘we all think…’, I want to
encourage you to speak only for yourself”
“Luke, you have really shown a lot of courage and
taken lots of risks in the group. That’s a real
strength you bring.”
Selection of activities or exercises that fit the focus,
context, and composition of the group
“I’m wondering if there is any part of you that can
glimpse the possibility of things getting better”
“I’m not sure about this but it seems that what you
may really be wanting right now is approval”
“If you feel comfortable Ella, I think the group
would benefit from hearing about your experience
“Joan shared something similar a couple of weeks
ago; could you and Joan talk with each other
about ….?”
“You seem to be silencing yourself like you did in
high school with your peers”
“I’m wondering if all of the layoffs at your job may
be playing a role in the increased conflicts between
you and your co-workers”
“I want to ask everyone to bring in something next
week that symbolizes an important life lesson or
meaningful experience you have been through”
Therapist provides encouragement and support to
members in order to model how to do it
“Is there any part of your position that you are
willing to reconsider?”
Group Skills (Harrell)
Depathologizing members’ behaviors and concerns, framing them as
normative, part of the continuum of human functioning, or that other people
in their situation might respond the same.
Observing the body language and paralinguistic behaviors of group members
and commenting on them when appropriate
Observing interpersonal interaction chains (interactions leading to other
interactions) and interaction patterns in the larger group (how, when, to
whom do group members communicate)
Models and facilitates willingness to consider new ideas or methods, or to
change course
Considering and using time effectively; intentionally choosing when to use a
particular technique (e.g., interpretation, noticing nonverbals, etc.)
Noticing Nonverbals
Observing Interactional
Patterns and Sequences
Pointing out Incongruence
Rephrasing a message and repeating it back to convey the essence of a
person’s communication so they can see it better; demonstrates that the
person is being heard and understood (avoid exact repetition, “parroting”)
Refers to the ability to look at something from multiple perspectives or pointsof-view and see the world from the perspective of other people, particularly
people different from ourselves
Bringing attention to incongruities between nonverbal and verbal, words and
actions, values and choices, emotion and content, etc.
Practicing Skills/New
Creation of opportunities to try out new interpersonal and other behaviors
both within and outside of the group (behavioral experiments)
Utilization of a specific problem-solving approach to address particular life
challenges that group members are having.
The Leader/Therapist is alert to attacking, aggressive, abusive, or scapegoating
behaviors and takes action to protect any group member from emotional or
psychological harm in the group
Receiving Feedback from
Leader/Therapist solicits feedback, is open to hearing feedback, and reacts
non-defensively when given critical feedback
Intentionally moving the group away from counterproductive processes to an
issue, concern, or task that needs attention
Communicating the one has heard “below the surface” of the message and
understands the underlying emotions, intent, and meanings
Facilitating a perceptual shift that helps people change the way they see a
situation, themselves, others, the world; offering an alternative way of
understanding something.; often challenges cognitive distortions
Reflection of
“It doesn’t make you crazy to have strong feelings
“I’m noticing that you have been looking down
with your arms folded throughout the group”
“I’ve noticed that people are more willing to risk
being vulnerable after another member has
received supportive responses from the group.”
“I had not considered that before, thank you Terri
for bringing this to my/our attention”
Recognizing that a conflict should be addressed
immediately rather than jumping straight into a
planned activity
“You’re thinking very seriously about leaving your
“Let’s take a moment and try to look at this
situation from the view of someone who….”
“I’m noticing that your voice and tone sound very
angry yet you are saying that it didn’t bother you”
“Let’s do a rewind and I want to ask you to
paraphrase what Fred said and check for the
accuracy of your reflection before responding.”
Teach a problem-solving strategy and then utilize
it throughout the group to help a members who
are struggling with a specific issue.
“The way you are speaking to Joe is not acceptable
in this group and has to stop now. We will come
back to how you are feeling and help you find a
way to express yourself without attacking
someone else. Joe, how are you doing?”
“Thank you for sharing that it bothers you that I
smile so much. I would like to understand more
about what you are feeling.”
“I think it would be helpful if we turn our attention
“Seems like you do have some hope, that you see
some light even in the midst of this difficult time”
“Another way of thinking about that might be….”;
“Perhaps the relationship didn’t work out because
of reasons other than you are unlovable..…”
Group Skills (Harrell)
Role-play / Chairwork
Sharing Resources
Scaling Questions
Specific statements or actions to increase the likelihood that a desired
behavior will increase in frequency
Specific techniques that provide opportunities to act-out or express difficult
sentiments, interactions, or parts of oneself
Going “around the circle” and asking each group member to respond to a
question or prompt
Providing sources of information or assistance including websites, books, blog
articles, groups, organizations, healthcare providers, etc.
Intentional creation of silent space in order to give members time to gather
thoughts and feelings, process something more deeply, sit with and not escape
from uncomfortable feelings, etc.
A specific type of question that asks members to rate something on a scale (110, 1-100); using rating to explore moving up or down the scale
Skills Instruction
Teaching or training related to a specific skill or set of skills
Sociocultural Identity
Explicit affirmation of sociocultural identities that are important to a group
member; particularly important when group member is in the minority within
the group
Organizing and structuring group time to accomplish particular tasks or
activities; this could mean setting an agenda for group meetings or defining a
focus on a particular theme or topic for the session
A tentatively-phrased form of advice given for the purpose of helping to
expand options rather than as a prescription; should be given cautiously (can
backfire or promote relying on the leader/therapist for answers)
Providing an overview of a longer message, series of messages, or sequence of
interactions; highlights main take-aways, key themes; brings closure
Communication that conveys reassurance, encouragement, pride;
communicates “I am here for you”; can boost confidence, raise spirits, reduce
aloneness; therapist can invite members to offer support to another member
The group leader/therapist authentically discloses either process (e.g.,
reactions, feelings) or content (life experiences) for a particular therapeutic
purpose (e.g., modeling vulnerability or risk-taking)
Acknowledgement that another person’s thoughts, feelings, wishes, needs,
etc. make sense and are understandable for them in the context of the
person’s history, biology, and context; recognizing a person’s right to their
feelings and experience (does not mean approval!)
Formal activities or informal discussion to identify one’s values, their
importance, and how they are reflected in action
Observing, commenting, and exploring with a group member when they are
responding to the leader or another member based on other relationships,
expectations, wishes, or fears
Supporting, Mobilizing
Therapist Disclosure
Values Clarification
Working with Parataxic
(Interpersonal) Distortions
Nodding and smiling when a group member
exhibits desired behaviors
Putting an undesirable part of oneself in an empty
chair and speaking to it with compassion
“Let’s go around and everyone share one sentence
about ….”
Distributing a handout with resources for a
particular issue (e.g., bereavement, stress, etc.)
“Let’s all be quiet for a moment and reflect upon
the tension in the group right now.”
“Rate your fear on a scale of 1-10”; “What could
you do to move one point on the scale?”
“Today we are going to spend some time learning
some specific breathing techniques”
“I’m hearing how central your queer identity is to
you and this is a group where all identities are
“Today’s group topic is ‘Coping with Non-Sober
Friends’ and we are going to start by….”
“As you are trying to figure out what to do, have
you considered…..?”
“Some important things I heard in this discussion
“What do you need for the group to best support
you right now?”; “Can anyone give Alex a reason
not to beat himself up about this?”
“I am feeling very sad as Cara’s sharing reminds
me of my own father’s long battle with cancer.”
“It is understandable that you would feel that way
given how you were bullied as a child.”
“Can you say more about why this is so important
to you, maybe about your values and beliefs?”
“I’m wondering if the way you are responding to
Jan reminds you of ways you have responded to
other people in your life?”

Calculate your order
Pages (275 words)
Standard price: $0.00
Client Reviews
Our Guarantees
100% Confidentiality
Information about customers is confidential and never disclosed to third parties.
Original Writing
We complete all papers from scratch. You can get a plagiarism report.
Timely Delivery
No missed deadlines – 97% of assignments are completed in time.
Money Back
If you're confident that a writer didn't follow your order details, ask for a refund.

Calculate the price of your order

You will get a personal manager and a discount.
We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
Total price:
Power up Your Academic Success with the
Team of Professionals. We’ve Got Your Back.
Power up Your Study Success with Experts We’ve Got Your Back.
WeCreativez WhatsApp Support
Our customer support team is here to answer your questions. Ask us anything!
👋 Hi, how can I help?