You are required to choose a group counseling topic you would like to research and for which you will develop a six-week group framework plan. The instructor must approve your topic in advance.

Sample topics could include:

1. Grief Counseling

Your counseling plan needs to specify the population for whom the group is tailored. You also need to include relevant research regarding effective small group intervention plans for this topic and population. You will then design (in outline form) a 6-week, small group counseling plan based on this research. You are required to submit the assignment in written form. Your written paper needs to follow the outline form below. Please make sure you address each point in the outline.

Instructions: The outline of this group counseling plan will include the following sections:

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I. Introduction

a. Is this topic more appropriate for small or large group? Highlight why individual counseling wasnt chosen.

b. What is your specific population of focus for this group? (e.g., court mandated clients, children who have lost a loved one, adolescents with school difficulties, couples, etc.)

II. Characteristics of Group Leaders

a. What group leader characteristics are necessary for successful group facilitation?

b. How does the type and formulation of the group impact your group leader selection and facilitation?

III. Culturally Relevant Strategies for Designing and Facilitating Groups

a. How do cultural and diversity factors impact development and facilitation of your group?

b. What steps have you taken to insure these strategies are in place?

IV. Research

a. What does the research suggest as effective interventions for this population?

b. What does the research show was ineffective for working with this population?

V. Group Counseling Plan

a. Clearly outline at least 6 sessions for the group

b. Include the following for each session:

i. Objectives for each session

ii. Materials needed for each session

iii. Step-by-step instructions for leading the lessons, including process questions the leader should ask with the activities

iv. Any additional materials (e.g., worksheets, handouts) the leader will need

VI. Recommendations

a. In addition to the group, what (if anything) should the counselor do to ensure that the clients needs are met in this topic area?

b. What would you recommend to counselors planning to lead this group?

VII. References

a. APA style is required

b. At least 5 professional references must be used (no websites or self-help books)

A rubric for this assignment can be found attached to this assignment. Students must receive at least a 70% to receive a passing grade. A student who scores less than 70% of the grade on the KPI assignment must complete an Individual Remediation Plan with the instructor. Failure to successfully remediate the KPI assignment will result in an F (Fail) grade in the course.

Example

Example from Professor how to format.

Parenting Education Group

1. Introduction

Parents continue to face unique challenges associated with raising their families. Parents may have difficulty coping with a childs personality traits; they may struggle with having to shift parenting strategies as their child reaches a new developmental milestone; they may be a dual-career family and feel they do not have enough time for children or their significant other; they may have to manage coparenting, whether living together or apart; and couples may have to adjust expectations in accordance with life changes such as having a baby and becoming parents.

a) Is this topic more appropriate for small or large group? Highlight why individual counseling wasnt chosen.

The Parenting Education Group is ideal for a maximum of 8 people A group of this size is big enough to give ample opportunity for interaction and small enough for everyone to be involved and to feel a sense of the group (Corey, 2016).

The idea is that during a session everyone would have the opportunity to participate and share their own experience as parents but still have time to gain insight and learn effective parenting techniques. Having a relatively small number of participants might help to avoid turning the group into a playground social interaction among parents, where a lot of common experiences are shared but little learning is happening.

I believe a small group is more adequate for a Parenting Education Group than individual counseling because participants can learn from other parents experiences and at the same time feel normal as they go through the same challenges.

b) What is your specific population of focus for this group?

For this group, participants must be a father or mother to a child who is no older than 10 years old. Children should not suffer from any mental illness or physical disability.

2. Characteristics of Group Leaders

a) What group leader characteristics are necessary for successful group facilitation?

In this particular case it is important that the group leader has some experience with kids. The leader can be a parent himself or work with children in any way that will give him or her exposure to common problems and challenges that grownups encounter in their daily interactions with children. The leader should also have the ability to establish solid relationships with others in the group in order to ensure some level of openness from the participants (Corey, 2016).

Other important traits in a Group Leader:

· Non-defensiveness in coping with criticism

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· Openness

· Sense of humor

· Goodwill, genuineness and caring.

b) How does the type and formulation of the group impact your group leader selection and facilitation?

The leader must be selected on the grounds of his experience working and dealing with children and his ability to explain and teach how to enhance the relationship between parents and their children. The leader must show empathy and understanding, must be able to talk openly about the challenges he/she encounters while dealing with children.

3. Culturally Relevant Strategies for Designing and Facilitating Groups

a) How do cultural and diversity factors impact development and facilitation of your group?

It is important to understand the cultural background of parents that will be attending this group. If we are aware of the environment where this group will take place it will be easier to understand their values, beliefs and behaviors. Will this group be conformed by members of a certain school, church or community? If this is the case, it is probable that the group will be somehow more homogeneous which will reduce diversity. If the group is offered for members that have nothing in common among them, the leader will certainly have to have a multicultural perspective in addressing the group.

When the subject is closely related to family and upbringing, each individual brings his particular cultural learning with them, which might enrich the group experience but might also create some tension. Examples of this can be how each family deals with punishment, some families might consider physical punishment a good and accepted option while others might view it as extreme and unacceptable.

It is for this reason that when designing both the content and the type of facilitation the leader will be using, it is important to have some previous knowledge about each participants background.

b) What steps have you taken to insure these strategies are in place?

In order to ensure each participants cultural background is understood and taken into account when designing the development and type of facilitation, the leader would need to work closely on the screening and selection procedure.

Publicizing

Attracting group members that are interested in enhancing their parental skills and that will be committed to the process. The brochure should include who is this group oriented to, the goals, number of sessions, location, name and background of the leader and topics to be addressed.

Screening and selecting participants

Conduct individual interviews during which the leader should consider the following issues:

· Group members whose needs and goals are compatible with the goals of the group

· Diversity you may want to put together a group of individuals who share common experiences but also are different in a number of respects. If member composition is carefully considered and balanced, members have opportunities both to connect with and to learn from each other (Corey, 2016).

· Likelihood that a candidate will benefit from a group experience.

· The degree to which a candidate wants to make changes and is willing to expend the necessary effort.

Orientation

Conduct an orientation session to both inform and screen group members.

4. Research

a) What does the research suggest as effective interventions for this population?

Research has shown that in order to enhance families and child/parent relationships, parents should work on:

· Self management techniques

· Improving parent/child attachment

· Behavioral techniques for the day-to-day activities

· Improving the childs self-esteem

· Understanding child perspective

· Reducing aggressive behavior

· Language use

· Modeling

· Empathizing

· Self-care

In order to achieve these goals the following approaches have been proven to be effective:

· Psychoanalytic therapy based on insight, unconscious motivation and personality.

· Family therapy: It tends to view change in terms of the systems of interaction between family members. It emphasizes family relationships as an important factor in psychological health.

· Behavior Therapy: eliminate maladaptive behaviors and replace them with more constructive patterns. During this process, the behavior in need of improvement needs to be selected, second the chosen behavior must be measurable and third, when change sin behavior are observed it is necessary to ask whose behavior has changed (Cooper, Heron & Heward, 2007).

· Cognitive Therapy: correct faulty thinking, incorrect inferences on the basis of incorrect or inadequate information, and failing to distinguish between fantasy and reality.

b) What does the research show was ineffective for working with this population?

Any aggressive behavior such as physical or psychological punishment has proven to be not only ineffective to improve child behavior but also counterproductive.

5. Group Counseling Plan

Session 1: Understanding and accepting your child

Objectives: Accept your child for who he is. We all might have ideas of the child we wanted to have and it might not always coincide with the child we have. We might have wanted easier, more obedient and complying children and we might have more active, self opinionated and independent children instead. Try to see the positive aspects of his/her personality. Embrace the gifts that they do have and try to manage the behaviors that might bring you here today. Change the glasses with which you scrutinize your child, be more accepting and empathetic with him. Show him your love and respect even in difficult moments. Your child gains self-esteem from the way he feels loved and accepted by YOU!

Materials: The following questions will be distributed among participants and each should answer the questions individually. Once all the questions have been answered the group leader will ask parents to engage in a discussion.

· Can I legitimately say that I accept my daughter for who she is?

· Do I tell her?

· Do I regularly communicate to my son his unique identity?

· Have I ever felt as distant from him?

· Have I ever spoken hurtful, angry words that left my child wounded? If so, have I mended the offenses?

Step-by-step:

Since this is the first session the leader would open the discussion by asking each parent to present himself/herself and present their child in a positive and loving way, explaining only their positive traits. No negative remarks will be accepted about any child.

Step 1: The group leader will explain the importance of the way we view and think about our children but also the way we talk about them with others. We usually tell others thing like: Peter never follows my directions, he is so uncooperative, Peter has such a bad temper, he is always crying.

Step 2: The group leader explains how these statements hurt our children self-esteem and how we need to improve the way we refer to them and the way we see them.

Step 3: The group leader will give each parent the above questions and the group will discuss the answers.

Step 4: The group leader will offer some techniques to work on acceptance and show acceptance to a child.

Session 2: Peaceful Parents

Objectives: Being peaceful and in control is a parents responsibility. Parents who succeed are calmer and more connected to their kid. They are more joyful and in control which produces better behaved kids (Markham, 2012).

Switching views by working on self-management and self-control rather than on controlling the kid. Managing own emotions and actions is what allows parents to feel peaceful.

Materials: List and identify the triggers to your anger and what could you do to calm down.

Step-by-step:

Step 1: Identify your anger. ¨The first step to managing your anger is to notice the early signs. Its really important to know and say that youre angry, even if its just to yourself.

Step 2: Try to calm down. ¨Once you notice the early signs of anger try taking a big breath, doing something that soothes you, put some music, go outside, ask for help, go somewhere quiet for a moment.