The premise of this book is that group counseling is not individual counseling; and what works for the former likely won't work for the latter. It's a fresh new introduction to the principles, theories and procedures of group counseling and therapy. It's written to show how group work really works, and ensures readers an understanding of how to create and maintain a group environment that actually succeeds in helping its members achieve significant growth and change. It emphasizes unique group processes and a systemic perspective, asserting that the quality of members' interactions is the critical determinant of a group's progress. It addresses all of the essential tasks in planning, conducting, and concluding groups. Other topics include teaching essential membership skills, how to teach group members interaction skills to assist them in personal growth and the process of becoming an effective leader. For professionals in the field of group counseling.
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This text presents principles, theories, and procedures to help readers develop their understanding of group interaction and begin their practice of group counseling and therapy. It will also expand experienced leaders' understanding of group work and offer new ideas that might invigorate their practice. To meet these goals, experienced group workers will be challenged to "try on" new perspectives and procedures, and students new to group work will be challenged to view group work as a distinct and uniquely powerful mode for counseling and therapy. Such students will find that the perspectives and procedures offered in this text are different from what they have learned in their training in individual counseling and therapy.
The perspectives on group work that have guided the preparation of this text vary from the perspectives present in most group counseling and therapy texts. First, the principles, theory, and procedures presented here heavily emphasize group process. This emphasis assertively stresses that the quality of group members' interactions is the most critical determinant of member change. This point of view has significant implications for the roles of group leaders.
Second, although group leaders play a critical part in the therapeutic success of group members, their roles are more indirect than those typically described in most texts. This means that leaders emphasize creating and maintaining a therapeutic environment, teaching members effective communication skills and tools for interpersonal learning, and structuring interaction so that members can learn from one another. This approach is far more indirect than leaders performing the role of an individual therapist in the group setting. The interaction of members provides the medium for therapy, not the individual therapeutic technique of the group leader.
Third, this text operates from a systemic perspective, which means that counseling and therapy groups are seen as social systems. Proponents of a systems perspective believe that the environmental context of the group, the composition of the group's membership, the goals of the group, the internal and external communications boundaries of the group, and members' problems are contextually intertwined. This perspective means, among many other factors, that social, multicultural, and diversity issues present in the environment in which the group takes place are invariably present in every group. This perspective also means that group members' interactions inevitably reflect the relationship issues all members share and experience outside the group.
Finally, this text emphasizes how group dynamics principles and group theory should be used to define leaders' actions. This text maintains that leader interventions made without theoretically based conceptualizations of group interaction are severely limited. Having theoretically based conceptualizations of group interaction offers leaders information about which intervention to use, when to use an intervention, and why an intervention they have used may not be effective. Surprisingly, this emphasis is relatively uncommon.
This text includes two sections. The first section provides information designed to help leaders understand group interaction. The second section describes the essential tasks leaders perform in planning, conducting, and concluding groups.
The first section presents essential group dynamics principles, classic research-based models of group development, and theories especially suited for group work. A chapter arid a chapter conclusion synthesize group development models and group counseling and therapy theories so that readers have concise statements of the common denominators of group development and group counseling and therapy.
The second section presents a description of the leader's role; basic leadership skills and interventions; strategies for developing membership skills; ongoing leadership tasks; intervention strategies; suggestions for planning, preparing, operating, and terminating groups; and a final chapter designed to encourage readers to reflect on the process of becoming effective group leaders. Although this text was intended to be comprehensive, it was impossible to include every topic group leaders should consider because of length limitations.
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Book Description Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merril, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110130121002
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