3 Course CompetenciesDefining the origins of group counseling, including the leaders and time framesApplying specific theories of practice to group counselingApplying group dynamics and processesModeling appropriate group techniques for use in schools, community, and organizational settingsProviding and synthesizing the exchange of feedback between self and other leaders and group members
4 Psychoanalytic Approach ContributionsSigmund Freud ( ) AustriaErik Erickson ( ) Germany-US:BostonAlexander Wolf – began working with groups in 1938Influenced many other models of group work
7 Goal of Analytic GroupRestructuring the client’s character and personality systemMake unconscious conflicts conscious and examine themReenact the family of origin in a symbolic wayHistorical past of each member is repeated in groupRegressive-reconstructive approachRegression into each member’s past to achieve the therapeutic goal of personality reconstruction
8 Psychoanalytic Key Concepts Influence of the pastExperiences of first 6 years of life are seen as the roots of one’s conflicts in the presentThe UnconsciousThoughts, feelings, experiences kept out of awareness as a protection against anxietyAnxiety and ego defensesAnxiety is feeling of dread resulting from repressed feelings, memories, desiresEgo defenses protect ego from threatening thoughts and feelings
9 Ego-Defense Mechanisms Are normal behaviors which operate on an unconscious level and tend to deny or distort realityMembers often manifest same defenses in a group that operate in their lives outside of the groupHelp the individual cope with anxiety and prevent the ego from being overwhelmedHave adaptive value if they do not become a style of life to avoid facing realityDefenses, if respected, can lead to greater self-understanding in a group setting
10 Ego-defense Mechanisms Repression – distressed thoughts pushed into the unconsciousDenial – suppresses reality in consciousRegression – return to less mature developmental level during severe stressProjection – attributing own unacceptable thoughts & feelings to othersDisplacement – redirection of some emotion from a real source to a substitute person or objectReaction formation – behaving in a manner that is opposite to one’s real feelingsRationalization – justify behavior
11 Transference and Countertransference The member reacts to the therapist as he/she did to an earlier significant otherThis allows the member to experience feelings that would otherwise be inaccessibleIn groups, multiple transferences provide for re-enacting of past unfinished conflictsAnalysis of transference—a hallmark of analytic groupsCountertransferenceThe reaction of group leader toward certain members that may interfere with objectivity; results in distorted perceptionCountertransference is something to understand and explore
12 Resistance Resistance Anything that works against the progress of group therapy and prevents the production of unconscious materialAnalysis of ResistanceHelps members to see ways they typically defend against anxietyThese acts interfere with the ability to accept changes which could lead to a more satisfying lifeApplied to group therapy, resistance, if recognized can be the material to explore more deeplyResistance is not a negative force to be defeated, but something to understand and respect in members
13 Role of Group Therapist Some roles and functions of group therapist:Roles depend greatly on therapist’s leadership styleContemporary approach emphasizes therapeutic allianceLeader helps members to understand their transference reactions within the group and encourages explorationTherapist helps members face and deal with resistancesHelps members to view the group as a social microcosmTo carry out their functions, leaders need to understand their own dynamics and countertransference
14 Psychoanalytic Techniques Free AssociationIndividual reports immediately without censoring any feelings or thoughtsInterpretationGroup therapist points out, explains, and teaches the meanings of whatever is revealedDream AnalysisDreams are the “royal road to the unconscious”Dreams can be productively worked within a group settingMembers can share and explore dreams in a group
15 Developmental Perspective Developmental stages: Implications for group workit is essential to understand stages of life to understand repressed feelingsFreud’s psychosexual theoryBasic aspects of traditional Freudian theoryErikson’s psychosocial theoryUnderstanding critical turning points at each of the stages of life
16 Evaluation of Psychoanalytic Group Contributions and strengths of the approachImportant to understand how past contributes to present problemConcept of understanding the functions of resistanceProvides a conceptual framework to understand anxiety and defenseTransference and multiple transferences in a groupImportance of understanding countertransferenceLimitations of the approachLimitations based on long-term approach for many clientsCritique of traditional analytic approach from feminist perspectiveThe approach has not given full attention to social and cultural factors
17 Adlerian Group Counseling Inspired by Freudian psychoanalysisFounded by Alfred Adler ( ) Austria; USRudolf Dreikurs popularized Adler’s work in USAlfred Adler
18 Alfred Adler’s Individual Psychology OverviewA phenomenological approachSocial interest is stressedBirth order and sibling relationshipsTherapy as teaching, informing, and encouragingBasic mistakes in the individual’s private logicThe therapeutic relationship—a collaborative partnership
19 The Phenomenological Approach Adlerians attempt to view the world from the client’s subjective frame of referenceHow life is in reality is less important than how the individual believes life to beIt is not the childhood experiences that are crucial—it is our present interpretation of these events that mattersOne’s subjective view includes beliefs, perceptions, and conclusionsAdlerian group leaders strive to understand the member’s world
20 Social Interest Adler’s most significant and distinctive concept Refers to an individual’s attitude toward and awareness of being a part of the human communityMental health is measured by the degree to which we successfully share with others and are concerned with their welfareHappiness and success are largely related to social connectednessCommunity feeling involves the sense of being connected to all of humanityLiving entails the courage to face life’s problems
21 Birth Order Adler’s five psychological positions: 1) Oldest child—receives more attention, until dethroned2) Second of only two—behaves as if in a race; often opposite to first child3) Middle—often feels squeezed out4) Youngest—the baby and pampered5) Only—does not learn to share or cooperate with other children; learns to deal with adults
22 Style of Life Lifestyle is the story of our life Private logic provides the lenses through which we view the world (beliefs about self, others, and the world)Fictional finalism is the imagined central goal of perfection that gives unity to our personalityIt is not childhood events that shape us, but our interpretation of these eventsWe can reframe childhood experiences and consciously create a new style of life
23 Nature of maladjustment A person has a mistaken opinion of himself or herself and of the world.A person engages in abnormal behavior to protect his or her opinion of self (e.g., when threatened with failure and insecurity)Inferiority complex: The individual is overwhelmed by a sense of inadequacy, hopelessnessSuperiority Complex: very high opinion of self, quick to argue personal solutions to problems are rightFamily constellation: Mediates the genetic and constitutional factors brought by the child and the cultural factors that influence the child.Safeguarding: Symptoms are developed for the purpose of safeguarding the fictional goal.The person becomes self-centered rather than other-centeredThe individual is unconscious of these events
24 Inferiority FeelingsInferiority feelings are based on our assessment that is subjectiveSense of inferiority is not a negative factorBasic inferiority is springboard for mastering our environmentTo compensate, we strive for superiorityGroup members are encouraged to talk about feelings of inferiority
25 Role of Group LeaderAdlerians stress an egalitarian and personal relationshipAdlerian leaders develop collaborative relationshipsLeaders have the function of creating a structure that promotes:open interactioninvolvementnonjudgmental acceptanceconfrontationcommitment
26 Stages of an Adlerian Group Stage 1: Creating and maintaining good relationshipsLaying the foundation for cohesiveness and connectionStage 2: Analysis and assessment: Exploring individual’s dynamicsEarly recollections as an assessment procedureIdentifying a pattern of basic mistakesStage 3: Awareness and insightGaining insightInterpretation done in a collaborative wayStage 4: Reorientation and reeducationA time for correcting faulty beliefs about self, life, and othersMembers encouraged to act “as if” they were who they wanted to beEncouragement is essential during this stage
27 EncouragementEncouragement is the most powerful method available for changing a person’s beliefs – a basic aspect of all stages but essential during reorientation (stage 4).Helps build self-confidence and stimulates courageDiscouragement is the basic condition that prevents people from functioningThrough encouragement, members experience their own inner resources and power to choose for themselves and direct their livesMembers are encouraged to recognize that they have the power to choose and to act differently
28 How an Adlerian does Therapy Comprehensive Assessment using:Family Constellation-questionnaire-social world assessmentEarly Reflections-single incidents from childhoodLifestyle Assessment-develop targets for therapy by identifying major successes and mistakes in the client’s life“The Question” -- If I had a magic wand that would eliminate your symptom immediately, what would be different in your life?”
29 What Clients do in Therapy Explore private logic-concepts about self, others, & life – philosophy lifestyle is based uponDiscover purposes of behavior or symptoms and basic mistakes associated with their copingLearn how to correct faulty assumptions & conclusions
30 PhasesStage #StageTasks to be accomplishedSupport1Empathy & RelationshipProvide warmth, empathy, and acceptance. Generate hope, reassurance, and encouragement. Establish a cooperative, collaborative relationship.2InformationGather relevant information: Elicit details of presenting problem & life tasks. Explore early childhood influences and memories.Encouragement3ClarificationClarify vague thinking with Socratic questioning. Evaluate consequences of ideas and actions. Correct mistaken ideas about self and others.4Help generate alternatives. Stimulate movement in a new direction, away from life style. Clarifying new feelings about effort and results.
31 Adlerian Brief Group Therapy Adlerian group counseling lends itself to brief interventions and time-limited formatsAdlerian brief therapy is concise, deliberate, direct, effective, efficient, focused, planned, purposeful, and time-limitedSome key principles of brief group work:Need for rapid establishment of strong therapeutic allianceNeed for clear problem focus and goal alignmentRapid assessment is a mustActive and directive interventionsFocused on strengths and abilities of membersA focus on both present and futureTailoring treatment to fit the unique needs of each member
32 Adlerian in Multicultural Context Adlerian theory well suited to working with culturally diverse clientsApproach gives emphasis to the person-in-the-environmentAdlerians’ interest in social interest, in pursuing meaning in life, in belonging, and in the collective spirit fits well with group processAdlerian concepts and methods lend themselves to the creation of a healing communityVarious methods can be used to create a healing communityHealing community is created by leaders who possess skills in winning cooperation, encouraging others, and establishing clear expectations
33 Evaluation of Adlerian Approach Contributions and strengths of the approachThe use of early recollections as a key to understanding one’s storyThe holistic nature of this approachThe freedom allowed to Adlerian therapists to practice in unique waysAdlerian concepts have group applications in many settingsAdlerian ideas are found in many other therapeutic approachesLimitations of the approachUnless Adlerian group leaders are well trained, they can make mistakes in interpreting members’ dynamics
34 PsychodramaBased on theories and methodology of J.L. Moreno ( ) Romania; Austria; US (1925) New York: ColumbiaCreated in mid 1930s by J.L. Moreno and later developed by his wife, Zerka MorenoComplex method utilized by highly trained practitioners; offers tools for an integrative approach to group counseling
36 PsychodramaAn action approach to group therapy in which clients explore their problems through role playing, enacting situations using various dramatic devices to gain insight, discover their own creativity, and develop behavioral skills.Scenes are played in the here-and-now, even though they might have originated in a memory or anticipated event.
37 Key Concepts of Psychodrama Creativity - generated through active experimentationSpontaneity – response to a new situation or a novel response to an old situation; involves reflectionWorking in the present moment – assign new meaning to events of the pastEncounter – understanding others’ viewpoints through role reversal and other techniquesTele – the degree of preference a member has toward others; two-way flow of feeling between people
38 Key ConceptsSurplus reality – reflect the dimensions of events that do not occur in actualityCatharsis – natural release of emotions and attitudesInsight – cognitive shift connecting awareness of emotional experience with an understandingReality testing – trying out behaviorsRole theory – examine roles we play, negotiate them, and choose different ways to play the roles
39 Basic Components of Psychodrama The protagonistThe person who is the focus of the enactmentProtagonist selects the event to be exploredAuxiliary egosOther members who take part in the enactmentThe audienceOthers in the group who observe and participateThe stageThe area where the psychodrama enactment occurs
40 Phases of Psychodrama The warm-up phase Initial activities to increase involvement of entire group. Ex. Dyads to share conflicts they are experiencing; go-around techniqueAimed at establishing an atmosphere of spontaneityThe action phaseInvolves the enactment and working through of a past or present situation or of an anticipated eventProtagonist is encouraged to move into actionTheme is “Don’t tell us, show us”The sharing and discussion phaseSharing involves statements about oneselfDiscussion of the process comes after personal sharing
41 Techniques in Psychodrama Self-presentation – protagonist gives a self-portrait to introduce the situationRole reversal – protagonist takes on the part of another personality portrayed in the drama; involves looking at oneself through another individual’s eyesDouble – stands to the side of protagonist and says the words that aren’t spokenSoliloquy – verbalize thoughts or feelingsEmpty chair – talk to someone not there
42 Techniques Replay – redoing an action Mirror technique – another member mirrors the protagonist’s postures, gestures, words; fosters self-reflection; must be used with discretionFuture projection – increases awareness of available options for future encountersMagic shop – exchange one characteristic for another one already possessedRole training – experiment with new behaviors in the safety of the group
43 Evaluation of Psychodrama Contributions and strengths of psychodramaAn action-oriented approachActive techniques that foster direct experienceProvides alternative ways of dealing with life’s problemsCan be integrated with other therapiesPromotes catharsis, healing, and self-understandingLimitations of psychodramaNeed to exercise caution in using techniquesEssential that group leader receives training and supervisionLeaders need to know themselves
44 Existentialism Philosophers Soren Kierkegaard (1813 -1855) Denmark Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900) GermanyMartin Heidegger ( ) GermanyJean-Paul Sarte ( ) FranceSimone de Beauvoir (1908 – 1986) FranceVictor Frankl ( ) AustriaExistential approach in USRollo MayJames BugentalIrvin Yalom
45 What existentialism is … A philosophical view that emphasizes the importance of existence, including one's responsibility for one's own psychological existence.
46 ExistentialismPhilosophical thought, worldview, rather than a model of group therapyRejects deterministic views of traditional psychoanalysis and behaviorism and emphasizes our freedom to choose what to make of our circumstances
47 Phenomenological Approach Therapy is a journey taken by therapist and client into the world as perceived and experienced by the client.Effort to help clients examine how they have answered life’s existential questions and to challenge them to revise their answers and begin to live authentically.
48 Purpose of Existential Group Self-exploration with these goals:Enabling members to become truthful with themselvesWidening their perspectives on themselves and the world around themClarifying what gives meaning to their present and future lifeSuccessfully negotiating and coming to terms with past, present, & future crisesUnderstanding themselves and others better and learning better ways of communicating
49 Key Concepts Self-awareness Self-determination and responsibility Existential anxietyDeath and nonbeingSearch for meaningSearch for authenticityAloneness/relatedness
50 Self-AwarenessThrough self-awareness we come to recognize the responsibility associated with the freedom to choose and to actAwareness is realizing that:We are finite—time is limitedWe have the potential, the choice, to act or not to actMeaning is not automatic—we must seek itWe are subject to loneliness, meaninglessness, emptiness, guilt, and isolationWe are subject to the deterministic forces of sociocultural conditions and limitations, but we are still able to choose based on our awareness of these limiting factors
51 Self-determination and personal responsibility Existence is a given, but we do not have a fixed essenceAs self-determining beings, we are free to choose among alternatives and therefore responsible for directing our lives and shaping our destinies.Viktor Frankl – freedom can never be taken from us because we can choose our attitude toward any given set of circumstances.
52 Existential AnxietyExistential anxiety is normal—life cannot be lived, nor can death be faced, without anxietyAnxiety can be a stimulus for growth as we become aware of and accept our freedomWe can blunt our anxiety by creating the illusion that there is security in lifeAnxiety is basic to living with awareness and being fully aliveIf we have the courage to face ourselves and life, we may be frightened, but we will be able to changeExistential therapy does not aim to eliminate anxiety, but to encourage members to develop the courage to face life squarelyOnce facing our anxiety, it is essential to make a commitment to action
53 Death and NonbeingDeath is essential to the discovery of meaning and purpose in life.Life has meaning because it must end, and life is enhanced when we take seriously the reality of the life we do have.When we accept the reality of our eventual death, we realize that we do have choices and accept the responsibility for how we are living.
54 The Search for MeaningLack of meaning is major source of existential stress and anxietyFinding meaning in life is a by-product of a commitment to creating, loving, and workingStruggle to find sense of significance and purpose in life is part of human existence“The will to meaning” is our primary strivingLife is not meaningful in itself; the individual must create and discover meaningThe group experience can assist members in finding new meaning in their lives
55 Search for Authenticity We are true to ourselvesDoing what is worthwhile as we see itIt is a process and not an end resultWhen we lead an authentic existence, we are constantly becoming the person we are capable of becoming.Existential guilt is the realization that we are falling short of becoming what we could become.
56 Alone and RelatednessWe are ultimately alone, even though we have friends.Only we can give a sense of meaning to our lives and decide how we will live.We have a choice of experiencing our aloneness and try to find meaning.Because of an awareness of our aloneness, some of us try to avoid it with casual relationships and frantic activities.
57 Existential Therapeutic Relationship Therapy is a journey taken by facilitator and membersThe person-to-person relationship is keyThe relationship demands that therapists be in contact with their own phenomenological worldThe core of the therapeutic relationshipRespect and faith in the members’ potential to copeSharing reactions with genuine concern and empathyThere are no set techniques in this approach, rather understanding is of central importance
58 Evaluation of Existential Approach Contributions and strengths of the approachThis approach stresses that techniques follow understandingMinimization of misusing techniquesApproach provides a framework for understanding key universal human struggles that can be explored in a group contextLimitations of the approachNot highly relevant for people who want immediate solutions or relief from symptomsExistential group therapist needs a great deal of maturity, wisdom, life experience, and training
59 “He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.” ~ Nietzsche