You will lead a 1–2-hour group session in your community. The purpose of this assignment is for you to gain experience planning and leading a group with attention to group dynamics, group process, ethical and effective group facilitation, and leadership responsibilities. The group must have between 5–12 adult participants, excluding yourself and any co-leader.
• You may use a group that you already lead.
• You may lead a session for a group that you are a member of (with the leader’s approval).
• You may “guest lead” an existing group (with the organization’s and leader’s approval, as applicable). However, you may not lead the same group you are attending for the Support Group Attendance assignment.
• You may organize a 1-time group meeting for the purpose of this assignment. The group must not consist only of your own family members.
Note that you must submit this Group Leading Proposal and check Blackboard and your email for approval/changes/feedback from the instructor prior to leading the group. While there is some flexibility allowed in the type of group and its purpose, these important parameters must be met:
1. All group members must be engaged and participate orally.
2. The session must give opportunity for all group members to share meaningful, personal information openly.
3. You will practice the group leader skills described in the Jacobs et al. text, including:
a. Opening the meeting in a way that engages and provides necessary information;
b. Guiding and keeping the group on task and purpose;
c. Holding, shifting, and deepening the focus;
d. Using active and empathetic listening;
e. Reflecting, clarifying, and summarizing;
f. Asking effective and appropriate questions;
g. Linking, cutting off, and drawing out members; and
h. Closing the meeting within an agreeable timeframe.
4. The meeting may take place in a church context, but the focus must not be Bible study/discussion or prayer with little or no time for or emphasis on sharing personal information. Possible topics could be grief, anger, time management, parenting, etc.
5. While there may be a psychoeducational component of the meeting, it must not be mainly a lecture, presentation, sermon, etc. The majority of time must be spent in group interaction.
6. As the leader, you must model appropriate behavior by cultivating a caring, supportive, safe, encouraging, and accepting environment. You must closely observe members and facilitate effective processing of the meeting’s content while managing your own emotions and reactions.
7. You must not lead a psychotherapy session, unless you hold the necessary license and liability insurance (if so, you must furnish the instructor with copies of these documents).
Note that any exceptions to these parameters must be discussed with and approved by the instructor at his/her discretion on a case-by-case basis. Also note that in order to receive credit for leading, the group and the meeting must be consistent with your approved proposal.
Your Group Leading Proposal must provide the requested information and be submitted as a Word document organized using the subheadings indicated below. The proposal must be well-written in current APA format with a cover page and use of the first person pronoun is encouraged. An abstract and references page are not required.
Introduction and Background
Briefly describe your prior experience leading groups. Explain your choice of group for this assignment.
The Group Context
Briefly describe the (organizational) context for the group you propose to lead, as well as its nature and general purpose. Is it an existing group? If so, is it open or closed, how long has it been meeting, and how frequently? Is participation voluntary or mandatory? What is your prior role and involvement in this group? Is the group created solely for this assignment?
Disclose when you will lead your meeting (date, time, and length). What is the location and setting for this meeting? How many participants do you expect? Provide relevant demographic information about them. What is their relationship to you? What communication will be used to announce/promote the meeting?
Meeting Goal and Norms
Identify the goal of the group session you will lead and explain how and why this goal is appropriate for this particular group and this meeting. Describe the ice-breaker or warm-up activity you plan you use to open the meeting. What expectations and norms will you need to communicate up front in regards to your role, confidentiality, member participation, etc.?
Meeting Content and Process
Describe the thematic content for the proposed meeting in some detail and how it will be processed, including format and type of exercise(s), if any. What materials, supplies and/or props will you distribute? Provide a timeline for the session. You must plan with the number of participants and the available time in mind, allowing enough time for processing and sharing.
Conclude your proposal with a final paragraph articulating your thoughts and feelings about the proposed meeting. Also, disclose any additional pertinent information that was not asked above.
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