Hello class and Professor
If termination of group sessions are not handled properly it can cause problems with group members. The first thing
a counselor should do is establish the beginning and end of the sessions, the different topics that will be discussed during the
sessions, and how the group sessions will be terminated. This process will help the member to prepare themselves to move
forward for further treatment or to ask for extended help for whatever reason they have. The writer had to learn this process
from his own experience. When the writer was performing group assignments at Bryan Psychiatric Hospital, the writer did not
understand the importance of establishing termination process with the group, when one of the members was
transported to another facility, a step towards rejoining society and becoming a productive member of society. After being
in the other facility for a week he returned back to the hospital. One of the staff members asked him what happened that made
you return, his reply was, because he did not have Mr. Eddings groups ad his motivation anymore.
This problem occurred because the writer did not prepare his self or the group how to move forward in their life in a
positive manner, believing that they can be successful without depending on the group for strength. Appropriate termination will
give the members time to begin to believe in themselves by the time the group sessions come to a end. It is the responsibility of the
therapist to inform and remind patients of these stages, including termination throughout treatment (Berg, 2018). According to
Kress and Marie, (2019) states that ethically, it is a counselor’s duty to prepare clients for the counseling termination process and
to terminate services when clients are no longer benefiting from that specific group. This can develop anxiety in the members who
are not properly prepared to move on. The members will not believe they are ready, or they will become upset that group has come
to an end without some members being able to get to the solution of their problems. Therefore, counselors ought to be thinking
about termination before the group sessions begin.
“When the time comes to end the therapuetic relationship, it is natural for there to be feeling of grief and loss and even an
adjustment. Some clients struggle to negotiate healthy boundaries and the termination of relationships. Plus clients who have
experienced abuse or trauma may be especially sensitive to relationships transitions. This process will help clients that need more
help become more prepared mentally and emotionally to the new treatment that they should be getting used to. Ending a therapuetic
relationship requires a great deal of preperation. If done ethically and competently, termination can help solidify counseling gains,
empowering clients to integrate their experiences and bravely face their next chapter in life”. (Kress and Marie, 2019). According
to Berg et al. (2013) states that creativity is important when approaching how to terminate a group. One of the final activities could
be a brain storming session between clients and leader on a resource list which in turn may reduce anxiety about losing support and
reduce the impulse to act out. Another challenge with termination is the members acting out because of feeling disappointed by the
way group has ended.
According to Terry, (2011) states that part of terminating the group sessions there should a group of reflection questions asked
to the group members. What has it been like being a member of this group? What has been the most helpful (and least helpful) about
being in the group? What have you learned about yourself or what have you learned about how others view you? As you take a
moment and reflect on all the group sessions, what were some of the most significant/memorable for you? Is there anything you have
not addressed that you maight regret not addressing? Also asking some questions about the group members feelings. What are some
of the different feelings people are having about the group ending? What knid of feelings are you having about the members leaving
the group? What are some of the reactions people have to have new group members in the next group sessions? (Terry, 2011).
These questions will help the relationship to become closer with further treatment and counselors the members will have to face, or
the members that need extra sessions will be able to realize4 they can trust and depend on the group leader because the leader make
them feel like he/she care about their best interest.
Berg, C., Fall, A., & Landreth, L. (2013). Group Counseling: Concepts and Procedures: Vol. 5th ed. Routledge.
Kress, V. and Marie, M. (2019). Counseling termination and new beginnings. American Counselig Association
Terry, L. (2011). Semi-structured termination exercises: A compilation from the groups in college counseling centers
Berg et al. (2013) writes that, according to research, therapeutic groups go through three main stages of development: precommitment stage, commitment stage, termination stage. In this short essay, the writer will look at the completion phase, which is just as important as the initial phase. According to research, therapy groups go through three main stages of development: the stage of predestination, the stage of adherence, and the stage of completion. The completion stage also has its own steps: determining when to terminate, resistance to termination, procedures for termination.
Determining when to terminate.
According to Berg et al. (2013), there are closed and open consulting groups. Closed groups usually are in educational institutions. A closed group does not accept new members after creation. Such groups do not make a problem from the stage of stopping classes, because the number of meetings of this group is predetermined. Where there is no fixed end date, group members determine the number of sessions early in the group’s development (six to eight sessions). External circumstances (the end of a semester or academic year) can influence the end of the group’s work. However, if the group knows in advance the end date, this knowledge can limit the ability of the group members to meet their needs and the understanding individuals “may leave classes with varying degrees of readiness.”
An open group continually maintains the size of the group by replacing members who have left with new ones. Such groups almost never raise the issue of terminating the group. However, an individual member of the group can determine the termination of their participation with the advisor of the group. Berg et al. (2013) notes that interruption in open groups is a process that constantly repeated, continues without restriction. McGee et al. (1972) described the steps for typical open groups:
• The participant voices his desire or intention to leave the group.
• The group discusses the member’s departure over the next few sessions.
Resistance to termination.
At the end of the work of the group, participants faced with a reluctance to complete an experience that is important for each member of the group and say goodbye to people who have become almost family. Some people may have experienced a very close relationship for the first time, felt the warmth of kindred spirits. These people meet the end of the group with a sense of loss and resistance. Resistance is a brake on the further development of maturity, independence and responsibility. The ability to let go of a person when a relationship ends or transforms is a sign of maturity, forms independence and the ability to take responsibility for oneself. Some group members may need the help of a counselor to discuss and release the feelings of ending a meaningful relationship. Often, participants asked to extend the work of the group beyond the set end time. Researchers advise counselors not to respond to deep feelings, but not to specific requests, not to plan future group meetings. Moreover, the closer the separation date, the less participants show a desire to discuss new topics. The consultant maintains a stable position of obtaining purity in the work of the group. He voices resistance by raising the issue of group completion, outlining his own expectations. The consultant thereby expresses his willingness to end the relationship; he shares the pain of parting with the participants and the happiness inherent in the development of the group. He may openly share his feelings of unwillingness to end the relationship. Such a revelation will allow participants to take a bold step towards parting and apply the knowledge gained in life (Berg et al., 2013).
Procedures for Termination
Berg et al. (2013) writes that the consultant informs the group about the completion of the work in advance, approximately two sessions before the completion. This step is aimed at allowing the group members to work through their questions as much as possible. If the counselor comes up with the idea of ending the group earlier, the participants’ mindset will focus on completing the group and block work on the areas of the initial commitment. Berg et al. (2013) notes that Dies and Dies (1993) suggested four steps that gently lead to completion: discuss any unfinished business, define future life goals after treatment ends, consider alternative therapies (such as personal counseling), and explore the feelings of each participant related to the end of the group. Corey and Corey (2005) have a different perspective on group completion. They ask specific questions to get feedback: “1. how the participants perceive themselves in the group; 2. what the group meant to them; 3. what conflicts became clearer; 4. what decisions were made.” After this survey, participants discuss their perception of the participant who answered these questions. Being able to express their thoughts openly considered a good exercise, because it allows participants to analyze and understand the events and changes that have occurred, and become motivation to take action. However, there are drawbacks to such exercises, as some participants only give positive feedback, especially in cases where the participants have built a good relationship.
Based on the above, this writer concludes that there is no single recipe for all groups as well as for work in personal counseling. The consultant should rely on his feelings and knowledge; show his creativity in every step of the development of the group, especially at the last stage – the stage of completion.
Berg, R., Landreth, G. L., & Fall, K. A. (2013). Group counseling: Concepts and procedures. New York: Routledge. Ch.7; Ch.8
DQ#2 Pre-Screening Questions
This writer is running a domestic violence group therapy that will run over the course of 8 sessions. The group is homogeneous and includes women ages 18-35 who have been in domestic violent relationships. Pre-screening is utilized to ensure that the group members are a good fit for group therapy. Research has shown that screening, counseling, and referring IPV victims to treatment is the initial step towards addressing the IPV problem (Schrier, Rougas, Schrier, Elisseou, and Warrie, 2017).
The first question that this writer would ask the potential group members is “Related to the theme of our group, domestic violence, what do you need to learn?” (DeLucia-Waack, 2006). This writer believes that this is an important question because this writer can learn what the person wants to gain from group therapy as well as what they believe they lack. The counselor can assess whether or not their goal is realistic and if it fits with the overall group goal (DeLucia-Waack, 2006).
The second question that this writer would ask is “What things could you do in this group to help you with this goal?” (DeLucia-Waack, 2006). This writer would ask this question because the counselor can see what the individual believes they can do and assess where their level of motivation is at. This writer can also assess if the goal can be worked on in this group and whether they have insight into the development of the problem (DeLucia-Waack, 2006).
The third question that this writer would ask is “Have you ever been in a psychoeducational or counseling group before? Was it helpful? Why or why not?” This question will allow this writer to know whether or not they have been a part of group therapy since it is different from individual therapy. It is beneficial to know this information because if they have this writer can find out what they liked about group therapy and what they didn’t. If they have not done this before, then this writer can find out their expectations of group therapy. This writer can also discover if they typically participate in groups and the type of groups if they do (DeLucia-Waack, 2006).
The last question that this writer would ask is “Are you willing to keep things confidential and self-disclose?” Confidentiality is important because, in a group, people will be sharing information about their personal lives that should not be shared with others outside of the group. Disclosing information is a vulnerable thing to do and group members rely on others to keep that confidentiality. Additionally, it is important for the individual to self-disclose information as well so they can receive the best possible help and guidance to reach their goals.
DeLucia-Waack, J. L. (2006). Leading psychoeducational groups for children and adolescents. Sage Publications.
Schrier, M. W., Rougas, S. C., Schrier, E. W., Elisseou, S., & Warrie, S. (2017). Intimate Partner Violence Screening and Counseling: An Introductory Session for Health Care Professionals. MedEdPORTAL : the journal of teaching and learning resources, 13, 10622. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.1062
This writer will lead a substance abuse group throughout eight sessions. The group will be heterogeneous and includes men and women ages 21-45 mixed with different races. The ultimate goal of talk therapy is to enable psychological and emotional healing along the continuum from the problem toward a sense of greater mental wellbeing (Souders, 2021). Research shows that therapy outcomes are heavily dependent on the quality of this relationship (Lambert & Barley, 2001). Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is an evidence-based approach to identifying patients who use alcohol and other drugs at risky levels. The goal of SBIRT is to reduce and prevent related health consequences, disease, accidents, and injuries.
The first question this writer would ask is, What do you expect from the counseling process? Because establishing a mutual agreement and setting expectations for the engagement is crucial to making progress (Souders, 2021). Clients’ goals and preferences for the form and the level of interaction need to be considered. The second would be, are you experiencing a physical addiction, frequent suicidal thoughts or feelings, or otherwise in crisis?
The third question would be, are you able to attend therapy for a few months or longer? Psychotherapy is most beneficial when a relationship is established. Lastly, the fourth question would be, is there a family history of substance abuse? Family history will give the therapist some more background information from the client.
Lambert, M., & Barley, D. E. (2001). Research summary on the therapeutic relationship and psychotherapy outcome. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 38(4), 357-361.
Souders, B. (2021). Therapy questions every therapist should be asking. Retrieved from https://positivepsychology.com/therapy-