COUN 5358: Dynamics and Processes in Group Counseling
COUN 5158: Group Counseling Pre-Practicum
Instructor: Office Hours:
EMail Office Hours:
COUN 5358 Dynamics and Processes in Group Counseling: This course is an intensive laboratory experience requiring highly active student participation in the form of honest, direct, and open communication combined with authentic self-exploration within the group setting. Through participation and required reading, students will gain first-hand familiarity with the basic principles of the dynamics that are characteristic of therapeutic groups.
COUN 5158 Group Counseling Pre-Practicum: This course is an experiential study of group dynamics, processes, and applications. Group stages, tasks and skills of group members and leaders, and the importance of developing an understanding of the therapeutic value of group, are covered. This course involves role-played participation in a group designed to closely resemble a real-life group experience. Students will participate as co-leader as well during the semester. Graded on a credit (CR), no credit (F) basis. Co-requisite: COUN 5358.
Core Group work Training Competencies(ASGW: Professional standards for the training of group workers, adopted April 20, 1991 from The Journal for specialists in group work, 17, 12-19.)
Knowledge Competencies: All students are able to effectively:
1. Deliver a clear, concise, and complete definition of group work. (CACREP IIK: 6e)
2. Deliver a clear, concise, and complete definition of each of various group work specialties, the distinguishing characteristics of each, the commonalties shared by all, and the appropriate instances in which each is to be used. (CACREP IIK: 6e)
3. Identify the basic principles of group dynamics and discuss the basic therapeutic ingredients of groups. (CACREP IIK: 6a)
4. Describe the specific ethical issues that are unique to group work. (CACREP IIK: 6g)
5. Discuss the body of research on group work and how it relates to one's academic preparation. (CACREP IIK: 6c; 8e)
6. Identify the personal characteristics of group workers that have an impact on members;
knowledge of personal strengths, weaknesses, biases, values and their effects on others. (CACREP IIK: 6b)
7. Define the process components involved in typical stages of a group's development. (CACREP IIK: 6a)
8. Describe the major facilitative and debilitative roles that group members may take.
9. State the advantages and disadvantages of group work and the circumstances for which it is indicated or
10. Identify principles and strategies for recruiting and screening prospective group members. (CACREP IIK: 6d; 7f)
11. Detail the importance of group and member evaluation. (CACREP IIK: 6d; 7a)
12. Discuss group strategies for working with diverse populations and ethnic groups. (CACREP IIK: 2a, 2c)
13. Attitudes, beliefs, understanding and acculturation experiences relevant to a counselor group setting. (CACREP IIK: 2b)
14. Identify professional organizations and related standards relevant to group counseling and group counselor preparation. (CACREP IIK: 6f)
Skill Competencies: All students are able to effectively:
1. Attend to and acknowledge group member behavior
2. Encourage participation of group members.
3. Clarify and summarize group member statements.
4. Open and close group sessions.
5. Impart information in the group when necessary.
6. Model effective group leader behavior
7. Engage in appropriate self-disclosure in the group.
8. Ask open-ended questions in the group.
9. Give and receive feedback in the group.
10. Empathize with group members.
11. Confront group member's behavior.
12. Help group members attribute meaning to their experience.
13. Help group members to integrate and apply information learned.
14. Observe and identify group process events.
15. Keep the group on task in accomplishing its goals.
16. Demonstrate ASGW ethical and professional standards.
Methods of Instruction:
Students may expect lectures, student class presentations, class discussions, guest speakers, role-playing, small group work and video presentations.
Corey, G. (2004). Theory & practice of group counseling (6th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Yalom, I. (2005). The theory and practice of group psychotherapy (5th ed.). New York: Basic Books.
Additional reading materials may be provided through the course.
Course Requirements and Grading:
1. In-class: Each student will be expected to attend each class meeting. Professional behavior is also
required (e.g., participation and learning). Please be prepared to do all three each week (i.e. attendance, participation and learning). As great portions of the mid-term will be taken from lecture material, it would behoove you to attend. During class, allow yourself to take risks and give answers, as dialogue can foster learning. Three or more absences may result in a failing grade.
2. Laboratory Group(5158): Each student will be expected to become a functioning member of a laboratory-counseling group during the semester. Your participation will allow you to experience the role of member as you work within the group. You are not there as an observer, you are there as a member. However, this is not a therapy group. Each student will keep a journal chronicling feelings, cognitions and behaviors experienced each group. The journal is not a verbatim account of the events that occurred, but a description of how you reacted to people, situations and yourself. Journals will be collected at the beginning of each group (starting with the second group meeting) and will be evaluated for completeness by the group leader. Dr. Beckenbach will not be involved in the grading of the journal, or the process or content of the group sessions. Dr. Beckenbach will not read the journals. Dr. Beckenbach will staff with the group leader at the end of the semester for a synopsis of the group experience. This portion of the class will be graded on a pass/fail (credit/no credit) basis.
3. Article reviews: Each student will select 2 people with whom they believe they can work well. You will acquire six journal articles. The articles can address any area of group counseling that interests you. At least two of the articles must be less than 4 years old. Together, write a 10-page paper (not including title, abstract or reference pages) on the area you’ve chosen. DO NOT simply write an article review. Using the theme/area/content of the articles, compile a clear, concise and comprehensive understanding of the theme/area/content and communicate that in written form using the articles to support your statements. Tell me what you learned, then use the articles to support your statements. The paper is to be written according to APA style (see Publication Manual of the APA, 5th edition). The paper will be graded for content, grammar, organization of ideas, expression and clarity, as well as punctuation and format. (75 possible pts.)
4. Group Proposal/Marketing: Please select 2 other classmates and form a group for the purpose of designing a proposal for a counseling group. Each group will then present their respective group proposal to the class. The proposal will contain an overview of the purpose(s) of the group, a review of pertinent literature on the subject, and a detailed outline of the structural and process issues that pertain to this group. The proposal should include issues related to screening, as well as exclusion criteria. A sample brochure should be developed as a means of marketing to the community and attracting group members. If co-leadership is desired, the proposal should address the advantages and potential disadvantages of using co-leaders with the specified group. (75 possible pts.)
5. Midterm/Quiz: This test will cover materials covered in lecture and reading assignments. It will consist of multiple choice, matching, fill-ins, and essay questions. (50 possible pts.)
6. Final Exam: The final will be cumulative and cover lecture and reading materials. It will consist of multiple choice, matching, fill-ins, and essay questions. (100 possible pts.)
7. Failure to interact with peers, facilitators, clients, or faculty in a manner consistent with the performance expectations of a professional counselor may result in a failing grade in the course and a referral to a faculty review committee.
E-MAIL – please send around a list of email addresses and phone numbers.
Grades will be computed according to the following scale: Total points = 300
A = 100-90%; B = 90-80%; C = 80-70%; F = Below 70%
Group Counseling: Tentative Timeline
Date Topic Readings
8/30 Yalom's 11 Therapeutic Factors Ch. 1 Corey (2004)
History of Group
9/6 Ethics Chs. 2, 3, Corey (2004)
**Process Group Begins**
9/20 Leadership (con’t) Ch. 16 Corey (2004)
9/27 Stages of Group Development Ch. 4 Corey (2004)
10/4 Stages of Group Development Ch. 5 Corey (2004)
10/18 Initiating a Group Ch. 17 Corey (2004)
10/25 Group Stability/Structure
11/8 Group Presentations
11/15 Group Presentations
11/22 No Class - Thanksgiving
11/29 Group Presentations
12/6 Wrap up
Texas State University-San Marcos seeks to provide reasonable accommodations for all qualified individuals with disabilities. This University will adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations as required to afford equal educational opportunity. It is the student's responsibility to register with Disability Support Services and to contact the faculty member in a timely manner to arrange for appropriate accommodations.