This book provides a comprehensive examination of theories and concepts relating to group counselling and shows how differing theoretical frameworks can be used as a basis for practice. Organized around the counselling process, the book considers the practicalities of establishing and running a group, raising awareness of its life cycle, its cultural location and many other diverse issues. Special emphasis is placed on the importance of therapeutic attitudes and philosophies as a basis for practice, and humanistic and existential approaches to group counselling are given particular attention. The author encourages readers to be aware of their conceptual framework and how it influences their work.

The Working Group

The Working Group

The working group

The operational or working stage/phase of the group refers to the middle phase of the group's life, characterised by the development of trust and group process. In terms of Berne's (1963) phenomenological approach (see Chapter 1), this is when the members’ group imagoes are operative, secondarily adjusted and secondarily operative (my addition), which correspond to Tuck-man's (1965) storming, norming and performing stages (see Table 4.1). In this chapter, using the developmental view of groups as a way of organising the material, I consider issues which are particularly pertinent to the operational/working group in these phases – difficult’ clients and hostile’ groups, silence in groups, new members and leaders, and contact in and outside the group. Following this I discuss a ...

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