There has been a rapid growth of group therapy which provides managed care for individuals as a result of their effectiveness and economic value (Newsom et al., 2017). The characteristics of an effective group should include creation of group norms and rules, intergroup cohesion, proper communication within the group, self-disclosure, and conformity and group pressure (Roback, 2000). The group leader is tasked with developing a working culture to be followed by other members under the leader’s direction owing to their expertise and knowledge about psychotherapy.
The loss and grief group to be created shall include ten group members facing different types of grief and losses and from different race, age, gender, sexual orientation, and social class. The group’s purpose shall be forming new relationships, breaking of ties with the deceased and readapting new circumstances in life. Grief including that of Karen Campbell undergoes different stages as stipulated by the Kubler Ross grief process such as shock, denial, anger, resentment and guilt, depression and acceptance as the last stage (Hamilton, 2016). Karen is going through the emotion focused coping of her mother’s death, husband and children’s loss by being angry and violent towards the husband.
The tone of the group shall be a safe and healing space for the members where they can air out their problems freely and interact with one another freely including with the group leader. The members of the group shall develop a positive attitude and a genuine behavior of acceptance, and empathy when dealing with one another in order to find their own sense of direction as a group. Interventions used for grieving group members can integrate several therapeutic methods such as person-centered therapy and cognitive behavior therapy which are critical for members healing (Newsom et al, 2017). One of the interventions to be used is the crisis intervention and the first step is to allow the group members to fully express themselves in order for them to calm down in the midst of the crisis and enable them think more clearly resulting in better decision making (Corey, 2017). Karen shall express herself during the group meetings why she feels the need to drink a lot and be angry and violent towards her husband.
Another intervention would be making rounds which involve members interacting with one another in order to confront, self-disclose, change and grow and experiment with new learnt behavior. Self-management intervention is where the members are taught skills that allow them to cope with problematic situations and acceptance of situations that they cannot control (Corey, 2017). Karen can learn skills that will help her understand that her children are now grown and may not depend on her anymore. These interventions include self-monitoring, self-contracting, self-monitoring and self-rewarding and choosing particular behaviors that they want to control and change.
For those members grieving and are in the depression stage, applying cognitive techniques as an intervention is useful where the therapist is tasked with applying techniques that help the members have a second alternative to the way that they view and interpret the daily happening of events in their lives. Clients can be asked to explain a recent event that they experienced a little happiness in order to counter act their thinking that nothing can make them happy anymore. Karen can give an example of a recent event that involved herself with her children or with her husband where she was happy.
Distinguishing between the individual needs of a member such as Karen and her group needs will enable me to effectively move from individual counseling to group counseling and vice versa. Additionally, creation of clear boundaries between individual solution-focused therapy and group therapy will enable the shift from one therapy to the other.
Corey, G. (2017). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy. Nelson Education.
Hamilton I. J. (2016). Understanding grief and bereavement. The British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners, https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp16X687325
Newsom, C., Schut, H., Stroebe, M. S., Wilson, S., Birrell, J., Moerbeek, M., & Eisma, M. C. (2017). Effectiveness of bereavement counselling through a community-based organization: A naturalistic, controlled trial. Clinical psychology & psychotherapy, 24(6), O1512–O1523. https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.2113
Roback H. B. (2000). Adverse outcomes in group psychotherapy: risk factors, prevention, and research directions. The Journal of psychotherapy practice and research.