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Facilitation of Group Process

Facilitation of Group Process


adapted from Group Counseling, by Dinkmeyer and Muro

The information in this section is from the National Training Laboratories, and is based on their research into group process. This section was originally based on teaching the mechanics of group therapy, but is included because it is applicable to training situations. Since the information comes from the field of group therapy, some of the behaviours below may seem more applicable to facilitation of group therapy process. That is to be expected. In addition, many of the rules below apply more to smaller groups than to larger trainings. As you read this section, please consider how it is applicable to your situation as a trainer.

Problems that can be encountered in Group Process:

  1. Silence in the Group
  2. Talk as Avoidance
  3. Acting Out or Hostile Behaviour
  4. Scapegoating
  5. Absences
  6. The Manipulator
  7. Do-Gooders

Even experienced trainers sometimes have difficulty in dealing with certain situations that occur in a given group. For example, why does one group seem to do well one day and not the next? Why do some students seem to resist the attempts of others to help them? Why does one student always seem to “take over” in discussions?

Really, most of the problems suggested by these questions do not occur in isolation. Student lateness for the start of a session, for example, could be resistance to a group process. Group silence could be the result of resistance, but it may also be emotions that have bothered some members. Over the next few postings I will discuss the above problems in greater detail.

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