Education | Introduction to Group Counseling
G532 | 5935 | Dr. Amy Heesacker


This course is a combination of didactic information about groups
(history, theory, techniques and applications) along with a clinical
training portion that will prepare future group leaders. As part of
your training you will be asked to role-play, practice techniques,
and lead, observe and actively participate in a personal growth group
(composed of class members and observed by an experienced group

Goals - The goals of this class are for you to:

1 Develop and demonstrate knowledge of group dynamics including group
process components, developmental stage theories, and group member’s
roles and behaviors.

2 Develop a basic understanding and personal awareness of how racial,
ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, functional ability, socio-
economic class, and other background/cultural factors affect your
group clients and your interactions with them.

3 Understand and demonstrate group leadership styles and approaches
including characteristics of various types of group leaders and
leadership styles.

4 Develop and demonstrate an understanding of group theory
(commonalities & distinguishing characteristics), group development,
group process and outcome and relevant research.

5 Demonstrate knowledge of group counseling methods including group
counselor orientations and behaviors, appropriate selection criteria
and methods, and methods of evaluation and effectiveness.

6 Demonstrate understanding of and ability to apply ethical
principles and standards to group topics.


A final grade will be determined through a midterm exam, three
reaction papers and feedback on your group facilitation skills.  The
clinical component of this class will include skill development
through role-plays with classmates, feedback from the professor,
group supervisor and peers, exercises, and participation in personal
growth group. This course will be infused with multicultural
awareness and sensitivity.

Grade: Midterm 20%, Paper 1 20%, Paper 2 20%, Paper 3 20% and group
presentation 20%.

Attendance and timeliness in this class is mandatory. As in any group
activity absences will sabotage the group process. Every attempt will
be made to meet class members at a level appropriate for their
previous clinical experience. Differences in experience, natural
ability and other individual variables are likely to exist within the
group; therefore you will be graded on individual improvement rather
than relative to your classmates.

Required of all students:

Corey, M.S. & Corey, G. (2002). Groups: Process and Practice (6th

Required of community track students only:

Yalom, I. (1995). The theory and practice of group psychotherapy (4th

Required of school track students only:

Greenberg, K. (2003). Group Counseling in K-12 Schools.

Other readings and activities will be posted online through ONCOURSE


Student membership in ACA and the Association for Specialists in
Group Work (ASGW)

Course Requirements:

Reading – There are two required texts for this class. Corey and
Corey is required of all students. Both Community and School track
students have a second required book that is specific to their track.
All texts integrate research, practice and personal reflection. There
will be online readings to supplement the books. It is important that
you stay current with the reading and come to class ready to discuss
the topics outlined in your syllabus. It is recommended that you keep
a personal journal detailing your thoughts and reactions to the
course material and experiences. This journal is not a requirement of
the course.

Group Participation and Leadership Skills – As a part of this course
you are required to participate in a personal growth group. The focus
of this group is on your personal growth and development as a
counseling professional. The group will meet for 6 or 7 sessions,
which will occur during class time. You will take on the roles of
group leader, group observer and group participant. Group leader will
rotate every group and will meet with the instructor before the group
you lead and will meet with the group supervisor and process
observers after your group. To prevent introduction of personal
issues (introduced or discussed during the group sessions) into the
grading of this course, the instructor of this course will only
receive process evaluations of class members from the group

Papers: see paper guideline section.

Group Proposal Presentation – You will be responsible for presenting
to the class a presentation of Applications of Group Process to
Specific Group (see Corey & Corey page 299 for an example). This
presentation should be a group that you are interested in running and
appropriate to your practicum setting. A maximum of 4 people can work
on presentations together. You will be expected to provide an
overview of group issues and provide resources.

Class Participation – You are expected to be an active participant in
this class, engaging in lectures, asking questions and providing
feedback to your class mates. You will be actively involved in
soliciting and providing feedback to other members of the class in a
professional manner. The focus will be on providing developmentally
appropriate, specific and clinically relevant feedback to class
members to facilitate their growth as a group leader.

Confidentiality –It is expected that all classroom discussions and
group interactions remain confidential to facilitate honest

Course Schedule
Date	Course Schedule
1/15/04	Introductions
Review Syllabus
History of Group Counseling (lecture)
Introduction to Group Leadership (lecture)
Overview of Yalom’s Therapeutic Factors (lecture)

1/22/04	ALL: Corey & Corey Chapter 1, Introduction to Group Work
Corey & Corey, Chapter 2, the Group Counselor: Person and Professional

Community: Yalom, Chapter 1, The Therapeutic Factors, Chapter 2,
Interpersonal Learning, Chapter 3, Group Cohesiveness

School: Greenberg Chapter 1 Introduction to Counseling in Schools
Chapter 2 Getting Started

View Video: Developmental Aspects of Group Counseling, Part 1: Early
1/29/04	ALL: Corey & Corey Chapter 3; Ethical and Legal Issues in
Group Counseling, Corey & Corey Chapter 4; Forming a Group

Community: Yalom, Chapter 4 The therapeutic factors: An integration,
Chapter 5, the Therapist: Basic Tasks, Chapter 6 The Therapist:
Working in the here and now

School: Greenberg Chapter 3 Group Counseling in an Elementary School
Chapter 4 Group Counseling in the Middle and Junior High School

Group selection and preparation

View Video: Counseling in the Schools
2/5/04	ALL: Corey & Corey Chapter 5, Initial Stages of a Group

Community: Yalom Chapter 11, In the Beginning, Chapter 7 The
Therapist: Transference and Transparency, Chapter 8 The selection of

School: Greenberg Chapter 5 Group Counseling in the High School
Chapter 6 Group leadership

View Video: Developmental Aspects of Group Counseling, Part 2:
Transition/Working Stage.

2/12/04	ALL: Corey & Corey Chapter 6 Transition Stages of a Group

Community: Yalom: Chapter 9, Composition of therapy groups, Chapter
10 Creation of the group: Place, Time, Size Preparation, Chapter 12
The advanced group

School: Greenberg Chapter 7 Problems and Solutions Chapter 8
Multicultural Group Counseling in the School Setting

Group presentations
2/19/04	All: Corey & Corey Chapter 7; Working Stage of a Group

Community: Yalom: Chapter 13, Problem Patients Chapter 16 Group
Therapy and the Encounter Group,

School: Greenberg Chapter 9 Group Plans Chapter 10 Group Plans II

Group presentations 2

2/26/04	ALL:  Corey & Corey; Chapter 8 Ending a Group

Community: Yalom Chapter 12, the advanced group, Chapter 14 The
therapist: Specialized formats and procedural aids

School: Greenberg Chapter 11 Professional Issues

View Video: Developmental Aspects of Group Counseling, Part 3:
Working Stage/Termination
3/4/04	ALL:  Read Corey and Corey Chapter 9, 10, 11 & 12

Group Presentations (if needed)

Review for Midterm

Finalization of group schedule
3/11/04	Midterm
3/18/04	Spring Break
3/25/04	Group 1
4/1/04	Group 2
4/8/04	Group 3
4/15/04	Group 4
4/22/04	Group 5
4/29/04	Last day of class, all assignments due
Teacher evaluations
No final exam

1. Incompletes will not be given in this course.
2. Late assignments will not be accepted.

Guidelines for Reports
Here are the guidelines for your reports. All reports must be typed
and double spaced. You can submit your reports electronically to the
instructor. Your report should adequately address the issues and
therefore the length will vary. The reports are due 2 days after the
group you choose.

Please remember: Protect the confidentiality of group members, do not
identify group members by name. Make up names instead. Remember, I am
interested in the process of the group and the development of group
leadership, I am not looking for personal information on group

Group Leadership Reflection Report
A. Analysis of Three Group Leadership Interventions.

Please answer all five of the questions below for three different
interventions that you select to discuss. Write about each
intervention separately. You can expand or add additional
reflections, but please make sure to cover all of the requested

1. What did I try to do as a group leader?

2. What response did I get from individuals and/or the group?

3. How did these responses fit with what I wanted or expected as a

4. How might I respond in another way to get closer to what I wanted
or expected?

5. Based on the readings, what made this intervention appropriate?

B. Analysis of Strengths and Areas of Improvement
For strengths and improvements, please comment on a number of
strengths and areas for improvement (not just one each) related to
you as a group leader.

Group Member Reflection Report
A. Reflection on Group Membership

1. How did I respond to group leadership interventions?

2. What response did I get from individuals and/or the group?

3. How did these responses fit with what I wanted or expected as a
group member?

4. How might I respond in another way to get closer to what I wanted
or expected?

5. Connect the readings to your experience as a group member (group
stage, interventions, leadership interventions).

B. Analysis of Strengths and Areas of Improvement
For strengths and improvements, please comment on a number of
strengths and areas for improvement (not just one each) related to
you as a group member.

Group Observer Report
A. Analysis of Three Group Leadership Interventions.

The role of observer is different than leader or group member. By
taking the role of observer you can bypass the anxiety and
performance concerns of being in the group, and take an "outsider"
perspective on what is happening in the group.

In the role of group observer you may choose a variety of techniques
to record your observations. For example, you can map out interaction
or used structured checklists (there is information available on this
in the Corey & Corey text and I will provide some additional ideas).

This paper will be your report on the process of the group and you
will be expected to tie your observations to the readings. How might
the group members and group leaders improve their interactions and be
more effective?