Jennifer Defiance Describe your theoretical orientation and leadership style. Discuss how these will help facilitate the specific goals of this group, and why they are clinically and culturally appropriate for the clients who will participate in the group. Theoretical orientation and leadership style Taking into consideration qualities of my character and my own experiences on a personal level as well as on an interpersonal communication level, I have concluded that the most representative theoretical psychotherapeutic approach for me, is that of Carl Rogers’.
Sincerity, authenticity, “agreement”, acceptance, empathy and understanding of the patient, represent some of the key features that I believe a therapist must have and comply with my point of view. The Regain idea of group centered therapy, as well as the notion of self-actualization, reflects most precisely the values that I would like to serve. The “group centered”. I value deeply the client’s empowerment to be able to determine himself, the therapy he needs and to lead it at his own pace. Meeting patients’ basic needs for recognition, equal treatment and appreciation is vital in a therapeutic relationship.
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The Therapy Group The subject of the therapy group which I would coordinate would be “homosexuality and prejudice in a globalization society’. It is an issue that intrigues Me . The process of globalization and it happens that I have a lot of homosexual friends, even that that I am not, and there are a lot of issues concerning them. Find it particularly interesting, challenging and attractive from a humanistic and social perspective, but also from a professional point of view. So, would like to conducted counseling and psychotherapy of homosexual people, as a professional option.
Within the context of such a group, some of the topics of concussion, examination and analysis would be the following: -the image that homosexual people have about themselves -the practical difficulties they have in their every day life -the problem of access and its psychological extensions -the behavior of / the interactions within the family environment -the first shock / the interaction from the bodily change (acute disease, mutilations etc) -the psychological changes that can have been provoked -loneliness, isolation, alienation -the role of the will -the acceptance of oneself -social rehabilitation -the right of labor -participation in entertainment activities social relationships -love, sexual relationships, etc. The goals of therapy would be encouragement, self-acceptance, self-exploration, self-awareness, enhancement of the sense of equality, the love for ourselves and for the others, etc. The title of the group would be “People with physical disabilities – Restoration and Health of Psyche”. The Creation Of The Group The place in which meetings will be held is a vital issue for the group, because people in wheel-chairs must have access towards their destination.
It is very important for them to feel that they can move about and circulate comfortably, thou difficulties and obstacles such as stairs, narrow elevators, long distances and other similar impediments. The physical setting of the group must give them a sense of being welcomed, without emphasizing their differentiation. For that reason, it is essential that the place of meetings be easily accessible to people with motion disabilities (for example, means of mass transportation that can serve them). The space must be on the ground floor and if it is on a higher level the elevator must be large enough and ramps should be available. Also, the dimensions of the room must allow a comfortable moving in it.
Moreover, that place has to provide the members with privacy, freedom from distraction and to allow them to sit in a circle, so that they can see, observe and interact directly with one another. Time The nature of that group involves some particularities. The fact that, these people get tired easily and quickly, as well as that they need somebody else to help and serve them sets some limits. The duration of the meetings should not exceed, but respect the members’ physical limits. On the other hand, the time must be enough, so that the group will be able to analyze all the issues raised by al members. So, a meeting should last 2 to 2,5 hours with 1 or 2 breaks.
Of course, in case of any crisis or juncture during a meeting, the session can last more than 2,5 hours. Because of the particularities of these people, the fast rhythm of life and of financial reasons, the frequency of the meetings would be once a week. The life-span of the group would be brief and would last approximately six months, in other words 25-30 meetings. The short life-span presupposes that the leader will be required to keep attention to some matters. As the therapist, I will eave to clarify the goals of the group and to stay focused on them. The selection and the preparation of the members must be done with great care, so that dropouts and misunderstandings are prevented.
Generally, the limited life of the group requires a specific mental set and time management. Size of the Group The ideal size of the group would be 7-8 members. It is a number of participants that allows effective interaction among them. The group would be closed; thus, given that some members could drop out, it would be functional to start the group with a bit larger size, that is to say with 8-9 people. The pathways of interaction will be open among all members, including the leader, as shown in the diagram. (The points stand for the members and the therapist of the group, while the lines represent the interactive pathways of communication. Intake procedures – a) The Selection of Members The way that the selection of members is accomplished is unorthodox. The therapist, on a general basis, must be concerned with which patient will be excluded from the group and then, more specifically, with who will be included. It is easier to determine the people who do not meet the requirements of articulation, than the ones who do. This procedure will take place during the prorogue intake interview. The basic criterion for the exception of some persons from the group is his likelihood for dropout. Thus, during the intake interview all the characteristics and the factors which may result in dropout must be clarified.
People with severe psychopathology, lower IQ, less psychological mindedness and likeability, lower socioeconomic class, high denial to change and high summarization are very likely to dropout. External factors like scheduling problems, moving of the town and solution of some instant crisis could lead to premature termination of the therapy. Group deviancy, problems of intimacy, fear of emotional contagion, concurrent individual and group therapy constitute some of the factors for dropout and must be screened out and examined with caution and responsibility. People with characteristics and attitudes as the above would be excluded. Without insulting, I would suggest them to start an individual therapy, or I would refer them to another group suitable with their needs and goals.
On the other hand, there are some human traits that could lead to a successful articulation in the group. People with grate motivation and willingness are the best candidates for the group. Also, the acceptance of responsibility for treatment and the desire to change are positive features and criteria for inclusion in the group. Thus, the group will able to work functionally and to result in, the positive outcome of change. B)The Intake Interview All the above are part of the intake interview. The purpose of the interview is, on one hand, the definition of the criteria for exclusion or inclusion in the group and on the other hand, the prediction of the interpersonal behavior of the embers.
Therefore, during the prescribing interview, the object of the inquiry is not only the patient as a subject of psychological examination and diagnosis, but also his interpersonal attitudes, skills and interaction with the therapist. I think it is necessary for the person who is going to participate in the therapy group to undergo a series of diagnostic processes, such as a recording of his individual background, an IQ test and a projective test . For that purpose, as a therapist I have in my disposal the Heckler IQ test and the T. A. T. Personality test (Thematic Apperception Test). The interpersonal intake interview is as important as the “diagnosis”.
This process aims at examining the abilities and qualities of the patient, so that he can meet the requirements for interpersonal communication with the therapist. The conditions of the interview have to be as similar as possible to those that will be shaped in the group. This is necessary, because the more similar they are, the more accurate and distinct the prediction of interpersonal behavior will be. Thus, the therapist’s responsibility is to create an atmosphere and norms resembling to those of the meetings (such as freedom f speech, respect of others, honesty, active participation, interaction, introspection, self-disclosure, giving-taking feedback, etc). Moreover, it is important that the interview will refer to “here and now”, so that the observation may lead to the most useful information.
Finally, the prospective member will be submitted to questions related to his/her past interpersonal relationships in the family, work, school, clubs etc. To complete the intake interview, I think two or three meetings at least are required. The time before the beginning of the group harpy is crucial for the inference extraction about the future members, as well as for their psychological preparation. C) Preparation of the Members The members’ preparation for the therapy aims at creating the circumstances which are significant for their best and most effective participation into the group. Therefore, during the initial procedure, I consider clarification of certain misunderstandings concerning group therapy, very important.
Of equal importance are: informing the prospective member about some issues that he/ she might ignore, strengthening his/her positive elements regarding therapy ND reducing the negative ones. It is especially important that group therapy is considered as valuable as the individual one. Moreover, for the specific people, group therapy is likely to be a more efficient and immediate treatment, as far as the particular goals are concerned and this has to be clear; it is necessary that the belief in and the expectation from the therapy is instilled. During the preparation stage, the therapist must be sure that every members personal goals from the therapy suit the group’s goals.
Furthermore, the leader has to make a description and a full reservation of the processes which will be followed and of the therapeutic environment, emphasizing the important elements of safety and trust. I would describe the group as a school of self-exploration and discovery, as well as an opportunity for social expression and participation. I would suggest to the members to be simple, honest and direct, in order to participate in the group the best way they can; also, would mention the uncomfortable feelings and the potential disappointments they might experience, pointing out that the “change” might require some pain and, definitely, some time. In addition to that, I would mention the basic rules of confidentiality, as well as the necessity of avoiding suborning.
The preparation phase helps the prospective members to become familiar with the idea and the future work of the group. Thus, their motives to join the group will be stimulated, while any potential anxiety or stress will be decreased. The Group Composition According to the description and the special features of the group, it could be considered as a homogeneous therapy group. The fact that the members will have a similar body image and symptoms, leads to that conclusion. However, this homogeneity will not refer to the personalities of the people. In order to be functional, the group should incorporate different personalities and behaviors, so that the members can work on an interactive basis.
As a therapist, I do not intend to create a pathetic group, which will only provide a short relief of psychological symptoms and a support for a limited time. On the contrary, the coexistence of many different and heterogeneous kinds of behavior and of various psychological ways of facing the problem -physical disability- will result in a more interactive and challenging group. Moreover, the members will vary in GE, but they will belong to the same age category (adults, 20-50 years old). A great age difference could cause difficulties in communication and mutual understanding among them, or it could bring a sense of isolation. The symptom homogeneity is likely to activate a series of therapeutic factors, in a very short period of time.
The fact that the members will share mutual and similar experiences in relation to their physical particularity, will result in cohesiveness and universality even from the first meetings. The support they will offer one another and the exchange of suggestions and advice on specific issues, will bring into action altruism and interpersonal learning. On the other hand, the already activated therapeutic factors will help with the more mature confrontation of any conflicts or disagreements during the therapy, raised from the members’ heterogeneity. Thus, the coexistence of those two elements, homogeneity and heterogeneity, is of vital importance for the positive outcome of the therapy.
Announcement of the Group The announcement of the therapy group can be done in many different ways. Firstly, it can be advertised in certain specialized magazines, which address to people with disabilities, such as “ORGANIZATION TON PARAPLEGIA’S”, “ISOTONIC” and “NAPIER TORT”. It can also be published in the specialized web site . Gar. Furthermore, there can be posters hanged in the central offices of the organizations for the disabled people, as well as in private offices of doctors and physiotherapists. Finally, a fine way to promote the group is a personal contact with people who are likely to be interested or could inform some others about it.
The response might not be so immediate, so the process of the announcement has to start quite early before the beginning date of the group meetings. In conclusion All the above describe a potential creation of a therapy group and of its initial procedures on a theoretical basis. However, the practical implementation might differ significantly from the picture presented in this assignment. The leadership of such a group requires exceptional professional qualifications and a charismatic personality in order to deal with people with physical disabilities. The distinction between the human tendencies of empathy, emotional presence, protection and support from pity is quite difficult some times and it demands experience and special skills from the therapist.
The nature of the group requires great deal of responsibility, which might provoke excessive stress to the therapist, especially during the first meetings. However, the sense of satisfaction and fulfillment that rises from the working with such a group of people, can be very intense. Giving and helping people who have a more obvious need for relief, acceptance, support and love than the able-bodied, constitutes a gift of soul, which is to be returned to the one who offered it. The balance lies somewhere in between. The golden mean that separates the professional therapist from the emotional human being, but which unites them at the same time.