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Group therapy dates back to the time of the WWII when a therapist used it as a way of treatment of combat fatigue among the soldiers. Group therapy is a type of psychological therapy that involves a group of individuals together as opposed to a one-person session. Group therapy offers many benefits by providing a supportive network and an opportunity of meeting with other individuals encountering the same issues. Together with other members of the group and the therapist, a client is encouraged to share his or her experiences freely and strives to understand him or herself better. The paper will expound more on how to solve various issues arising from a group therapy session.
Issues Arising During a Group Therapy
In many occasions during a group therapy, a member may feel uncomfortable and feel that he or she does not need to be in that group. As a team leader, it is good to enquire why the individual wants to leave the group (Harper & Cole, 2012). It would be better if the group leader calls the person to explain the troubles in privacy so that he or she will be open to the head of the group therapist (Harper & Cole, 2012). Depending on what he or she tells the leader, it is the responsibility of the leader to clarify to the individual the benefits of a group therapy. Let the person understand what she or he will lose by leaving the group by providing the client with psychological counseling (Foulkes & Anthony, 2014). However, if the client still insists on leaving after counseling him or her, then the leader has no option but to let the individual do this. Besides, the leader should encourage the person to attend the next group therapy session when he or she decides to exit the group.
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Three issues arose during the group discussion, and they include the use of illegal drugs, drinking and driving, and abortion. This discussion explains how the group leader helped to solve the three mentioned issues. First option is to let the group members exhaust their points on any concern they would be having about the use of illegal drugs. The leaders should summarize the major points about the issue and help to demystify common views concerning the problem (Kalivas & O’Brien, 2008). The use of illegal drugs leads to accidents, lost opportunities, illnesses, domestic violence, crimes, and reduced productivity. They also result in unnecessary deaths, addiction, drug-related health emergencies, spread of infectious diseases among others (Kalivas & O’Brien, 2008). The group leader should ensure that all members understand the consequences of drug abuse so that they can avoid getting into or stopping the vice.
The other issue is drinking and driving. The group leader should first give the group members an opportunity to give their views and opinions on the issue. The task of the leader is to summarize the point and add more on the issue. The leader should emphasize the dangerous consequences of drinking and driving (Harper & Cole, 2012). To begin with, drinking and driving is a serious crime under the law that can make a person spend the rest of his or her life in jail, especially if the accident caused death of other innocent road users. Statistics show the increased loss of lives related to careless driving because of driving while being drunk (Kalivas & O’Brien, 2008). The government should put strict policies on those who drive while drunk to protect the lives of the innocent citizens. The leader should in the end ask and answer any question the group members might have concerning the problem.
The last issue is abortion. Just like the other matters, the group leader should allow the group members to discuss the problem freely. They should give every detail they have concerning the issue as this discussion help in their healing process. The leader should let the group members understand that abortion is a crime in many parts of the world. Morally, it can be considered as a murder of an innocent life (Harper & Cole, 2012). Even if it may go unnoticed, abortion is associated with a lot of guilty feeling, which can lead to depression of the affected individual if the issue is not addressed early. People especially the youth should stop engaging in premarital sex, as it is one of the leading causes of abortion. The leader should then ask and answer any question from the members of the group.
The process of ending a psychotherapy relationship is a hard stage of the therapy. The transition process should be smooth to ensure all group members are left comfortable and satisfied (Harper & Cole, 2012). These are the tips that a group leader can use to facilitate this process. First, the therapist should understand the process and present precisely before the group members. The leader should then involve the members to set a final session date and communicate it (Foulkes & Anthony, 2014). If any member is not ready, he or she needs to tell the leader. The final session should be done face to face, and group leader should explain to the members that termination is not the end. Referral of a member for ongoing services should be done appropriately. In this case, the counselor should refer the client to another therapist for more specialized care (Foulkes & Anthony, 2014). However, the therapist should explain to the client that their issues are beyond his or her expertise or experience. The therapist can take the client to the referred therapist or direct them if it is appropriate.
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To summarize, group therapy has many benefits to the clients. When individuals who are encountering the same problem come together to discuss the issue, it helps to bring cohesiveness, instill hope, identify maladaptive behavior, and provide a supportive environment necessary for the healing process. A group leader should assist the group members during their discussion to enhance the process of healing. He or she should ensure that the session termination process is fair to all the members of the group and referral done appropriately. Group therapy is among the best methods of providing psychotherapy to the clients.
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