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You will be required to write 200–250-word replies to at least 2 of your classmates’ threads. In your replies, expand on the discussion by analyzing and building upon the thread and incorporating at least 1 scholarly reference in each reply. Integration of Scripture is encouraged, but is not required. Assertions must be supported by in-text references in current APA format. Use first person and single-spaced formatting and indent new paragraphs. Your threads and replies must be well written, well organized, and focused.

1. D C Posted


Hi Class,

I have enjoyed this weeks readings and videos. What I have found to be the most interesting is how to get a group talking, creating an environment that feels trusting, and comfortable. I have been a part of many groups, and have always found that when I am made to feel comfortable, the more willing I am to open up and talk, what I didn’t know was how important those first few minuted of phase one really are.

Chapter 4 in Cengage was lead by Jacobs & Schimmel who talked about the importance of stages, breaking down a group session into a plan. Starting with a warm-up, middle stage, and closing phase. The emphasized how having a plan that encompass the big picture helped for facilitators to be able to lead a successful group (Jacobs & Schimmel, 2016). Once you are able to establish your participants, screen members who are appropriate, determine length of session you become able to began stage 1.

In order to develop cohesion over time it’s important to understand the components that people desire in order to create a bond (Forsyth, 2019). The likability of other members could change the entire dynamic of the group, meaning, that members need something to grasp something to relate to in order to not feel alone. Many groups will encompass the emotions of the members in a raw and unexpected way, so in order to provide this sense of safety the structure of the group clarify the rules, and factors of the group (Forsyth, 2019).

The importance of a plan allows the facilitator to know what they will talk about when, keeping the group in a continuous flow. The plan should include which topics will be talked about during the length of the sessions/ class. It should also include what should be spoke about this time around and what can wait. Knowing the topic of what should be covered allows for the group to feel secure in what they can share, and when (Jacobs & Schimmel, 2016). In this plan a good facilitator will be able to create a warm-up, a starting off point, a middle point and a closing that encompasses all these points, this can not be reiterated enough in my opinion.

Lastly, I think it’s important to keep the group engaged. I have found the getting to know you, round robin phase to be effective, though I hate having to write answers to questions on a paper and then read them allowed. It has always made me feel like I’m in school and someone is teaching me me how I should feel. Investing your true self into a group is the only way to actually get something out of it. Communicate and create an equal investment to what you are aiming to help your clients do.


Forsyth, D. R. (2019). Group dynamics (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

Jacobs, E. E., Schimmel, C. J., Masson, R. L., & Harvill, R. L. (2016). Group counseling: Strategies and skills (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

2. S C Posted

DB Forum 2

There are numerous variables that contribute to the success and harmony of a group. One of the most important aspects of the group dynamic is cohesion. Group cohesion is a necessary variable for a group to achieve solidarity and unity between members (Forsyth, 2019). Cohesion within the group dynamic is comparable to the strength and trust of the therapeutic alliance seen between a counselor and client (Liberty University, 2017).

Groups pass through various stages from beginning to end. The initial stage is the orientation / forming stage which is characterized by member introductions, becoming familiar with other group members, politeness amongst group members, and member compliance (Forsyth, 2019). During the orientation stage, the group leader takes an active role in clarifying the group’s purpose, explaining group expectations, and initiating member introductions. The next stage is the conflict/storming stage in which members begin to express disagreement, dissatisfaction, antagonism, criticism, and hostility within the group (Forsyth, 2019). The storming stage is a time when tensions may be extremely high and group attendance may suffer (Forsyth, 2019). Following the storming stage, the group enters the structure / norming stage where members begin to establish roles, standards, and relationships within the group (Forsyth, 2019). During the norming stage trust, communication, agreement, organization, and cohesion increase within the group as well as a sense of “we” instead of “me” (Forsyth, 2019).

Before leading a group, the group facilitator must become knowledgeable and skilled in group structure and development. The facilitator plays a pivotal role within the group and has the power to influence and motivate group members through expressions of praise, encouragement, strength, experience, commonality, and relatability (Bond, Wright, & Bacon, 2017). The facilitator must have a “thick skin” as the group transitions through the beginning stages. As the group progresses, the facilitator must be both empathetic and firm as tensions build and members challenge both other members and the group leader (Forsyth, 2019). An effective facilitator must be comfortable with oneself and others, enjoy being around people, be comfortable in an authority position, have confidence in their ability to serve as a leader, and be sensitive and responsive to others feelings, moods, reactions, and words (Jacobs, Schimmel, Masson, & Harvill, 2016). The facilitator must understand how to handle conflict in a manner that addresses the concerns of group members while simultaneously keeping control and calm within the group. In this manner, the facilitator serves as a mediator who helps to guide the direction of group relationships and encourage support between members (Bond et. al., 2017).

Conflict can be healthy and the skilled group leader recognizes the importance of group members working out their struggles and voicing their concerns amongst each other while maintaining an atmosphere of respect where certain lines are not crossed. It is important that the group leader help to minimize conflict and encourage group members to resolve hard feelings promptly so that permanent group damage does not occur (Forsyth, 2019). Jacobs et al. (2016) state that the skilled facilitator should have the ability to structure and lead the group in a way that eliminates the inevitability of a storming phase. The group leader sets and controls the tone of the group so the tone must remain positive, constructive, and purpose-oriented even when conflict arises (Jacobs et al., 2016).

During the transitional phases of group development, the “flesh” of the members begins to show and hurtful behaviors can manifest (Liberty University, 2017). While this can be a trying and awkward time for the facilitator, they must help the members navigate their thoughts and feelings, and find comfort in their discomfort, so that the group remains a safe place for members to come (Liberty University, 2017). This is a great example of the importance of showing love to others around us regardless of their flaws and weaknesses. When we show love to others in their darkest and hardest moments, we exemplify what it means to love others regardless of who they are or what they have done. The act of receiving love is a prerequisite to giving love to others (Liberty University, 2017). When we walk with others in their brokenness, we demonstrate what it means to be a light in the darkness.


Bond, B., Wright, J., & Bacon, A. (2017). What helps in self-help? A qualitative exploration of interactions within a borderline personality disorder self-help group. Journal of Mental Health, 28(6), 640–646. doi:10.1080/09638237.2017.1370634

Forsyth, D. R. (2019). Group dynamics (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

Jacobs, E. E., Schimmel, C. J., Masson, R. L., & Harvill, R. L. (2016). Group counseling: Strategies and skills (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

Liberty University (Producer). (2017). Benefits of Group Counseling [Video file]. Retrieved from…

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