The purpose of this assignment is to help you to begin to carefully observe the many processes that occur during a group session and to identify relevant skills that may be used to assist the group in moving forward toward its goals. You will be expected to recognize, identify, and assess fundamental group dynamics and how they might impact group process and development.
Finally, you will suggest appropriate intervention skills, attending to issues of trauma and resiliency, which might help the group navigate through these potentially problematic processes. The subject of your analysis will be the group identified by your instructor. This assignment will account for 30% of the grade, based on the content in your paper.
- Briefly describe the group that will be the focus of your observations
- Discuss and evaluate the structural factors you think may have impacted the group and its development. (For example, how do you think such factors as temporal factors, meeting space and furniture, member selection processes, member differentials, and compositional balance, seating arrangement, leadership styles, etc. have influenced the group’s development? Did the group’s homogeneity or heterogeneity enrich or constrain the group coming together? How do you think individual members’ experiences of oppression, historical trauma, and privilege factor into the group’s interactions?)
- Identify and discuss any ethical issues that may or have arisen in the g Explain how you would handle these issues. Reference the NASW Code of Ethics and the IASWG Standards of Group Practice.
- Using the guidelines presented in the class handouts, as well as material presented in your textbooks and other assigned readings, assess the group’s actions, interactions, behaviors, and process. The following list offers some suggestions to help you formulate your analysis discussion.
- Norms and rituals
- Expressions of feelings/affect
- Membership dynamics… (subgroups? Insiders? outsiders?)
- Participation… (High/low participators? Which members talk primarily with whom? Have participation levels shift as the group continued?)
- Levels and styles of influence…. (Which members appear to have the most “clout?” Who have been ignored or dismissed? What leadership struggles have emerged? What forms of influence or power did not notice exhibited?)
- How was conflict handled?
- Member roles… (those who monopolized, remained silent/quiet/ served a scapegoating function; intellectualized, entertained, e)
- Developmental stages… (inclusion-orientation, uncertainty-exploration, e) and critically reflect on their leadership and diversity intervention skills.
- How did mutuality develop? (If it did not, what processes do you think prevented it?).
- Describe how the facilitator attempted to gain rapport and the extent that you observed affinity. How successful was the facilitator in engaging group members to fully participate in the group’s goals and expected outcomes? Provide a brief discussion and evaluation of specific group leadership skills you observed the various facilitators utilizing.
- Describe how your conceptualization of trauma helped you to understand interactions between members, as well as the facilitator’s response. What trauma-informed responding did you observe, or, how might the facilitator have acted in a more trauma-informed fashion?
- Imagine that the group will be meeting again next week, and when it does, you will be the facilitator. Concerning where the group’s current goals and with consideration to issues of oppression and historical trauma, what do you think might be the best intervention on your part to help the group’s development? Why? Describe a set of skills, activity, or creative use of programming that might help the group achieve this desired outcome.
*Throughout your discussions in this assignment, integrate the group practice literature using the APA format that informed your understanding of group processes and your decisions about the group practice skills that you observed. Your writing should demonstrate your engagement with assigned course readings for this course and other relevant literature.