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Group Dynamics and Process: Process Groups part 1



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we're going to spend two video lectures

learning about process groups as you

probably gathered thus far in our series

process groups are some of the more I

would say challenging groups to lead and

require the most amount of skill and

specialized knowledge and so we're going

to spend more time on process groups

when looking at different types of

groups we're also going to look at

psycho-educational and support groups in

the third video lecture in this module

so let's start out with process groups

the first part in this video lecture

we're going to focus on the here and now

and how to facilitate that as a group

leader in our next video lecture we'll

look at what's known as transparency and

transparency so let's start out with

learning about the here and now in

process groups the group is the therapy

your relationship with other group

members as the leader is perhaps less

important than members relationships

with each other so the leader should

facilitate group process rather than get

bogged down in an individual's content

so you as the group leader are

responsible for facilitating the group

and letting the group do the work on the

screen you see an example of sociogram

analysis and sociogram analysis is

particularly important for process

groups to determine the role that the

leader has in facilitating versus the

interactions among members and the

better process groups actually involve

the leader being less involved and the

members more involved so when you look

at this diagram you'll see the moderator

and you'll see different yupi one two

three four and five and what this is

really directing us to is understanding

that in this model you see the moderator

is too involved in the group because

what's happening is that the moderator

in the end if

the arrows are strength of the

connection in other words the amount of

interaction between people the moderator

has the most interaction with other

group members and member to member

interaction is much more muted compared

to member to leader interaction so you

would expect this from a

psycho-educational group but not from a

process group that would be an

ineffective way of running a process

group so let's move then into the here

and now and how to engage members in the

here and now I'm going to mention here

the difference between content and

process content pertains to what we

consider vertical disclosure vertical

meaning a person dives deeply into an

issue that is of troubling them process

is about horizontal disclosure

horizontal disclosure pertains to the

member is talking about what just

happened it's almost the disclosure

about the disclosure okay another way of

thinking about this is the message

within a message that people are sending

okay so an example of message within a

message would be that a person discloses

that they have a problem with alcohol

use and they do so in the tenth session

and the message within the message could

be I trust you now enough to disclose

this important secret okay so there are

two phases of the here-and-now the first

phase is known as the activation phase

the second is process illumination let's

talk about activation first in the

activation phase we pay attention to the

present moment happenings of the group

and then we steer dialogue to

relationships with one another so for

example you'd ask group members to share

how you felt when another group member

shared something or connect members you

would say you know when John shared this

it reminded me of something sally shared

earlier on in the group okay process

illumination is where basically you

pause the action of the group and the

group examines itself and

studies its own interactions so in other

words the the activation phase phase of

here and now evokes effect writer D

voc's this kind of interpersonal

emotional self disclosure whereas the

second evokes cognitive self reflection

and insight when we start thinking as

group members about what's happening in

the group and what do we notice we start

analyzing now members can initiate the

first phase right they can give more

here and now feedback to members but

only the leader can initiate the second

phase of process illumination because if

members do this it puts them in a power

position which will alienate them from

their peers

imagine that a member says ok let's stop

the action everyone let's look at what

just happened

group members may be actually quite

frustrated with that and may give

feedback to that person of hey who are

you to engage us in this process ok so

as the group leader you are responsible

for process illumination and no member

is going to do it for you now how do we

activate the here and now what are some

skills that help first as the group

leader we listen more to member behavior

than to verbal content so we're

interested in not just the nonverbal

movements that a person displays but for

example when are they saying certain

things ok why is this topic being

discussed and why now

why are they telling the group of this

and you ask by the way yourself a very

similar question in individual therapy

to help get on top of the data in other

words to understand the relevance of why

someone is telling you something you ask

why are they telling me this and why now

other questions can include that that

will help you to to get to the here and

now okay to activate it how and why was

the message delivered what was the

timing of it the phrasing the tone the

pitch was it direct or indirect other

things that can help with activating the

here and now is attending to the unsaid

and to our missions

topics non confrontations that are

happening in the group what is not

happening basically though also the

behavior of a group when a member is

absent that can be helpful in order to

activate the here and now we do have to

interrupt there and then dialogue we

have to interrupt just vertical

disclosure about an issue that a member

is experiencing and this can be a bit of

a challenge if the group is invested in

their members topic to do this you would

present it as a dilemma right I really

want to hear more about this from Joan

but at the same time I want us to be

able to look at how we are discussing

this and what we're not discussing and

what we notice about the last five

minutes of group Yaman is a big fan of

process notes he likes the idea of

writing up a summary and mailing it to

members there are some major benefits to

this I myself have never used this

mostly because all of the groups I have

run have been in school or inpatient

settings where really there's no need

for process notes in an outpatient basis

if we provide process notes it updates

an absent member who has been talked

about it also can help integrate new

members because they can read the last

six for example of your process notes

and have a good sense of what the group

is working on it also can intensify the

next session because members will have

read it will have reflected on it and

are ready for the work when they arrive

at their next session so that concludes

this video lecture on the first part of

learning about process groups and

learning about how to use the here and

now in a process group situation