Group Dynamics and Workshop Design
GDW-400 Group Dynamics and Workshop Design
The course in a nutshell:
Discussion Topics: The processes and working stages relating to four categories of groups including: task groups, psycho-educational groups (also called workshops or seminars), support groups, and counselling groups; the uses for various types of group counselling in community agencies as well as private practice.
Skills: You will learn to identify the stages of group dynamics and use appropriate techniques for each stage. You will practice leading or co-leading; or participate in at least one type of group. By understanding when and why to apply the appropriate techniques, students will be prepared to develop their own style in facilitating group work. In addition you will learn the concepts involved in the proposal, design and presentation of psycho-educational workshops.
Dealing with the complexity of group dynamics, as well as with the individual goals of the participants, make group leadership a challenging and rewarding experience.
On-line delivery of the Group Dynamics and Workshop Design (GDW-400) course provides students with applied k nowledge related to four distinct categories of groups:
- Task groups
- Support groups
- Counselling groups
- Psycho-educational groups (also called workshops or seminars)
(A fifth category, “psychotherapy groups”, is not within the scope of practice of entry-level counsellors, and therefore will not be covered in this course.)
Each category of group represents a different theme or agenda, goals, and expectations. Group leaders employ differing theories and techniques according to the purpose of the group. For example:
- Organizers and facilitators of psycho-educational workshops must have the ability to research the topic, present the information and integrate relevant inter-active exercises in a way that allows participants to learn new information while experiencing a new awareness of behavior, thoughts and/or emotions.
- Leaders of support groups must facilitate interaction amongst group members who share a common theme. The goal of the leader is to encourage trust, and the open sharing of experience in order to enhance feelings by members that others share the same problem. This feeling of mutual support leads to greater self-awareness and personal growth.
- Leaders of counselling groups must interpret and facilitate interaction amongst group members in order to promote changes in interpersonal styles of communication. The group experience becomes a microcosm for the group members’ experiences in the real world.
- Group organizers who facilitate groups such as task forces, committees, and planning and community organizational groups may need to be skilled in systems, goal assessment, training, consultation, and program evaluation.
Topics covered in this course include:
- The differences and similarities between psycho-educational workshops, support groups, tasks groups, and counselling groups.
- Theories and techniques used in each type of group.
- Rules and procedures to insure confidentiality, safety of members and consistency of group process.
- Indicators of the initial stage, transition stage, working stage and final stage of group work.
- Ethical and legal implications when working with groups.
- Elements that make up a psycho-educational workshop proposal, from the planning stage, to writing the proposal, promoting and marketing, designing the content and outcome measures.
- Recognition of clinical limitations and the need for referrals.
- Self-care for counsellors working with groups.
- The counsellor’s personal feelings, fears, and expectations when faced with leading and participating in a group.
PORTFOLIO OF JOB SKILLS
What you will learn:
Utilizing video demonstrations of actual group sessions, you will be introduced to group techniques based on standard theories of group process. You will learn to recognize the four stages through which groups evolve: initial, transition, working, and final stages. In addition you will learn which techniques are most suited to each stage. By understanding when and why to apply the appropriate techniques, you will be prepared to develop your own style in facilitating group work
Your level of proficiency and competence with the skills introduced in this course will deepen as you proceed through the program. Upon graduation from the Diploma or Certificate program, you may include the following skills as part of your Professional Portfolio:
- 1. The ability to design a psycho-educational workshop and write a formal proposal to include:
- Research and planning,
- Promoting and marketing,
- Designing interactive exercises
- Implementing outcome measures.
(NOTE: The skill set you will learn in this course comprises areas of core competence required for the practice of professional counselling.)