Group Counseling Therapies Assignment | Custom Essay Services


At the community mental health center you are assigned to counsel an adult client who has Bipolar Disorder. He is a 48-year-old who also has addiction issues. He is starting to decompensate and beginning to go into a manic phase of his illness. He sleeps less than 2-3 hours per night, engages in risky sexual behaviors, and decreased self-care. He states that he is starting to have auditory hallucinations consistent with Bipolar Disorder with Psychotic Features. He also reports that he has started using drugs again to calm himself down because he couldn’t afford the psychotropic medication due to losing his job and insurance 3 months ago. He further tells you that years ago he managed his symptoms the best when he was in group therapy but could not remember the type of group he was in. After referring this client to the psychiatrist for an urgent medication evaluation due to decompensation, bring this case to the next staff meeting to discuss with the team, explaining your initial counseling plan, initial concerns, and back up plans for this patient. Include a 1-3 sentence response to all of the following: 1-2 initial concerns for this patient 1 initial goal and objective to plan for this patient 1 goal and objective as a back-up plan for this patient Include 1-3 sentence responses to all of the following: Which 1 of the following group therapies would you start with to assist this client most effectively? Dual Diagnosis Group Psycho-educational Groups Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) Give 1-2 reasons why you would utilize your chosen group. Provide a description of at least 2 benefits and 1 drawback that therapy provide

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Group Counseling Therapies Assignment | Custom Essay Services
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

Group Counseling Theories

“No individual, however isolated in time and space, can be regarded as outside a group or lacking in the active manifestations of group psychology” (Bion, 1962, p. 54). People link together through their human roots. How people navigate social relationships is what makes societies and cultures. Still, people connect at the root, and no one is ever completely on his or her own no matter how much distance exists between them physically, spiritually, emotionally, or mentally. Everyone laughs, cries, feels anxiety, gets depressed, and feels effects of physical wellness and illness. When one person hurts, it has an effect on each of us. There are many ways to form a group for counseling purposes.

Directed Evidenced-Based Behavioral Groups

  • Cognitive behavioral groups
  • Dialectical behavioral management groups

Cognitive behavioral groups relate to the connection between how people think expressed through their emotions and by their behavior. There are countless versions of this type of group. Generally, they all work on how their thinking influences their behavior. If people can change their thinking, their behavior will follow.

Dialectical behavioral groups are in conjunction with weekly individual therapy. The groups are intensive because of the intense emotions they work to regulate in the client. These emotions are often around trauma, physical and sexual abuse, and/or abandonment.

Psycho-Educational Groups

  • medication education
  • mental illness education

Psycho-educational groups regarding psychotropic medication and illness education present the facts. Medication usefulness, side effects, short and long-term uses, as well as what to expect are covered in class usually by a health professional. Mental illness education covers the details of particular disorders. The most diagnosed disorders that utilize this type of education are bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, and anxiety and depressive disorders. Classes serve to educate those with the disorder regarding its detailed description and coping skills. These types of groups are short and to the point requiring minimum commitment from the client. Topics are usually posted or given in a handout to clients. Depending on the facilitator, groups are targeted for specific disorders. Clients can choose to go to a group that focuses on their disorder. This may take 1–2 sessions depending on the group leader. Sessions are usually an hour but can take longer depending on the question and answer period provided at the end of most sessions. It is beneficial to clients to learn about their illness.

Dually Diagnosed Groups

  • drug addiction and mental illness
  • MR/DD and mental illness.

Dually diagnosed groups for addicts with mental illness follow along the lines of a 12-step group with focus on issues specific to those suffering with both disorders. Seasoned clients and oftentimes a therapist lead these formatted meetings.

Dually diagnosed groups for MR/DD population with a mental illness are specific to those with these issues. A therapist leads the group, and as issues arise, they are worked on in relation to the group dynamics. Depending on the degree of each, behavioral management can be a top priority of these groups.

Self-help groups such as 12-step groups are usually specific to a particular addiction problem such as alcohol, narcotics, cocaine, gambling, overeating, and the like. They also have family support groups following the same approach such as Adult Children of Alcoholics and Alateen. Members are encouraged to get a sponsor to assist as they process through the 12-steps. An overview of the basic core concepts include admission of hurting others and making amends, the need for forgiveness of self and others, and taking a personal inventory of who we are at the moment.

Therapeutic groups such as redecision therapy, gestalt therapy, and psychoanalytic therapy groups are therapist-directed, and the clients are chosen by the therapist for a particular group. The group can have a focus such as abused women or sexual victims group, but what comes up in the group on a given day is usually the focus of the group on that day.


Bion, W. R. (1962). Learning from experience. New York: Basic Books.


Social interaction is the process by which people act and react in relation to others. This concept is fundamental to understanding all concepts and aspects of social interaction; however, it is also fundamental that each of us realizes that our individual ability to understand or comprehend how people act or react to our actions or comments is at the core of this process.

In a homogeneous society, individuals rarely have difficulty understanding or comprehending the actions or interpersonal communications from another individual. We are socialized in a similar fashion, speaking the same language and developing the same set of value structures.

The dichotomous opposite of this example is the culturally diverse society. In a culturally diverse society, individuals have different sets of cultural values, we tend to speak a variety of different languages, and we may have different processes for verbal and nonverbal interpersonal communication. The foundational aspects of social interaction in a culturally diverse society are challenged by the fact that individuals in a culturally diverse society are socialized in a variety of different processes. They are taught different or multiple languages, and they developed varying sets of values structures.

One of the primary concepts of social interaction is social status. Social status is a social position that an individual occupies. Social status is one of the primary characteristics that govern our social interaction. In many societies, the family that they are born into dictates an individual’s social structure. This is an example of ascribed social status. In the United States and most of the Western industrialized society, the concept of social economic status dictates an individual’s social status. This would be an example of achieved status. How do these concepts apply to groups and organizations?

Groups and organizations are the building blocks of societies. A group is simply defined as any two or more people who identify themselves in the same manner. An organization is more formal in that an organization typically has purpose and tasks as a guiding model for the organization. The manner in which individuals conduct themselves in groups and organizations is the topic of a great deal of sociological investigation and theory.

There are two categories of social groups: primary groups and secondary groups. A primary group is characterized as a small social group whose members share personal and enduring relationships. A secondary group is characterized as a large and impersonal group whose members pursue a specific goal or activity. As our society moves from an agrarian/industrial society to a service/information society, many sociologists agree that our society is moving from a foundation of primary groups to a foundation of secondary groups.

Social interaction and group functioning can also be examined from a global perspective. The phrase global stratification is used to define the process of examining and comparing global income and socioeconomic status. As the world becomes more and more of a global economy, all of our economies are becoming dependent on one another and interrelated. The platform of a global economy has led to the creation or examination of global stratification. The issue of global stratification has a number of subtopics. These


Directed Evidenced-Based Behavioral Groups

Cognitive Behavioral Groups

Cognitive behavioral groups relate to the connection between how we think expressed through our emotions and by our behavior. There are countless versions of this type of group. For the most part, they all work on how our thinking influences our behavior. And, if we can change our thinking, our behavior will change or follow.

For example, a cognitive behavioral group starts with an assessment and ends with an evaluation of how that assessment changed over the course of treatment in 6–8 weeks. The beginning and ending assessments ask the same situational questions relating to how the person perceives daily life events that affect us all throughout life. The informant checks a box agreeing, disagreeing, or reporting he or she is not sure or are neutral at this time. Following are sample questions you might use on a pre- and posttest.

  • When someone criticizes you, this should make you angry. (Agree, Disagree, Neutral)
  • If I want people to love me, I will need to do whatever they want me to do. (Agree, Disagree, Neutral)
  • I can only be happy if other people think I am OK. (Agree, Disagree, Neutral)

For 6–8 weeks, the therapist directs the group by facilitating discussion through utilization of specific scenarios that are applicable to the initial assessment. The facilitator presents the pros and cons of each scenario to the group. Negative thinking results in strong negative emotions and result in negative behaviors. Positive, edifying thoughts result in more healthy emotions and appropriate behavior. In other words, feelings follow thoughts. The connection from thought to behavior is linked with the hopes of change in the client. Change the way a person thinks and his or her behavior will change. This is true whether you move toward negative thoughts or move toward positive thoughts.

Some of the self-defeating behaviors discussed begin with thoughts like the following:

  • exaggerating situations
  • making a tragedy out of a small insignificant event
  • all or nothing thinking
  • prognosticating events
  • pretending to know exactly what others are thinking
  • degradation of self
  • not seeing the whole picture, selecting what fits an idea of the situation rather than what is true
  • unrealistic demands of oneself
  • egotism or thinking you are the center

Self-enhancing thoughts that promote positive behaviors relate to thinking patterns such as the following:

  • encouragement of oneself
  • educating oneself
  • beng more realistic
  • solving problems in a proactive manner
  • obtaining contentment for your actions
  • fostering confidence
  • a healthy sense of pride.

The scenarios used are typical to the population the group is targeting. For example, in a prison setting the group self-defeating scenario takes on the events that occur in prison. The scenario may state: Joe has been in prison for 10 years. His wife of 20 years has written him weekly the entire time he has been incarcerated. This week he did not receive any mail from her. He said to himself “I know she is cheating on me. She never really loved me. Everything in my life ends up in the trash. No matter what I do I will never have anyone who truly loves me. No one could ever love a man like me.” In this scenario Joe’s self-defeating statements are many. He is exaggerating. He engages himself in self-pity and self-degradation. His thoughts are irrational and unrealistic.

The facilitator then asks the group to challenge each one of Joe’s statements and rewrite them in a self-enhancing manner. For example, the mail might be late. There might be other reasons why she did not get her letter out on time. Maybe it is not about him. The group can also challenge his thought that “No one could ever love a man like me” by using the fact that he has been in a 20-year loving relationship and that his wife has not deserted him but has given him consistent, loving support for the past 10 years. The group identifies how Joe could change his thoughts to reflect a more accurate assessment of the current situation. For example, Joe could make a conscious decision to give his wife the benefit of the doubt based on the evidence provided, which is her enduring commitment to him. He could give himself the same benefit utilizing the same evidence. He could say, “I haven’t heard from my wife. I wonder if she is OK. I usually hear from her weekly. Maybe the mail is late. I will wait a few more days and try to call home.” These are more accurate statements of his situation. Thus, more positive life-affirming emotions will follow.

The last step in this process is to relate it to the experience of each group member. It is given as homework, or if time permits, this exercise is completed during class time. The goal of this exercise is to put it into the real-life experiences of the clients. They choose how they made these types of statements and provide more realistic positive statements to replace them. For example, if the group is discussing self-degrading thoughts/behaviors, the homework might look as follows:

Homework Lesson One

Self-Degrading Statements

Write a self-degrading statement you have used.


Write 1–2 more realistic statements versus the above statement that would increase your self-worth.


Dialectical Behavioral Groups

Dialectical behavioral groups are in conjunction with weekly individual therapy. The groups are intensive because of the intense emotions they work to regulate in the client. These emotions are often around trauma, physical and sexual abuse, and/or abandonment. The group meets weekly for 2–3 hours, is small with 6–8 clients, and needs strict adherence to group goals and objectives. The small size facilitates the intensity of the work and the need for attending to the serious life-threatening issues. The clients are in weekly therapy and have ongoing access to the therapist. This cannot be done in large groups because it is not practical for the client, the therapist, or the group. Clients commit themselves to four modules that last approximately 12 months. It is a skill-based behavioral group process intending to assist the client in reducing risk for harm, especially to self and relationships with others. DBT encourages the client to live in the moment by practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness assists clients in becoming aware of where they are in the present. They become aware of how they are thinking, feeling, and become increasingly able to be more in control of emotions rather than their emotions controlling them. Mindfulness means just that. It means becoming more aware of your surroundings—emotional and physical. One way to become more mindful is through relaxation exercises. Here, the clients sit quietly in a chair, hands on their knees, and feet on the floor in front of them. The clients then closes their eyes and focus on their breathing, becoming more mindful and aware of the breath and its rhythm. Once focusing on breathing, the clients can breathe deeper and longer increasing their ability to relax. The skills contained in subsequent modules include assertiveness skills, skills to regulate emotions, and skills to deal with overwhelming imminent emotions that cause the client to react in self-mutilating ways. The client learns to stabilize an emotional crisis through skills such as distracting and self-soothing. In a prison setting, one example of a distraction technique is to count the blocks in the walls, ceiling tiles, or tiles in the floor. For a female at home, examples of a self-soothing technique is listening to music and taking a long bath.

Dually Diagnosed Groups for Addicts

Dually diagnosed groups for addicts with mental illness follow along the lines of a 12-step group with focus on issues specific to those suffering with both disorders. Seasoned clients and oftentimes a therapist lead these formatted meetings. The uniqueness of the dually diagnosed group is in the acceptance of prescribed psychotropic medication for mental illness. The attendance is open-ended and ongoing.

Self-help groups, such as 12-step groups, are usually specific to a particular addiction problem such as alcohol, narcotics, cocaine, gambling, and overeating—among others.

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
  • Cocaine Anonymous (CA)
  • Alateen is geared toward teens of addicts and is part of Al-Anon.
  • Al-Anon focuses on family members of addicts.
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA)
  • Gamblers Anonymous (GA)
  • Overeaters Anonymous (OA)

Bill Wilson is the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous and wrote Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book, which is the foundational guide all 12-step groups use today. The 12 steps include the following (12 Steps, 2009):

  • Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  • Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  • Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  • Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  • Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  • Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  • Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  • Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  • Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  • Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  • Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His Will for us and the power to carry that out.
  • Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.


12 step resources. (2009). Retrieved October 12, 2009, from 12 Step Web site:

There are therapeutic groups led by the prevailing issues of the group on a specific day. These are process-oriented groups that are directed by the therapist, and the clients are chosen by the therapist for a particular group. The group can have a focus such as abused women, grief group, or sexual victims group. However, essentially what comes up in the group on a given day is usually the focus of the group on that day. The therapist acts as facilitator and encourages dialogue among the members. The group becomes like a second family, and the members support and challenge each other on issues. The group is usually closed because of the work that occurs within the groups. There are many forms of group therapy such as the following: redecision therapy, gestalt therapy, and psychoanalytic therapy groups. They are psychodynamic and process-oriented in nature. Some have unique techniques including psychodrama that includes clients acting out their issues in dramatic form. This takes a skilled therapist who is familiar with this format due to the amount of emotional material that can emerge from this type of group. Often, there are 1–2 therapists. They serve to keep the group moving in an appropriate direction. They keep the group on track and help model appropriate behavior among the members that they can use in outside social, relational situations. Membership into the group may include an interview by the therapist to provide the best fit for the client and the other group members. Groups typically have 6–12 clients and meet weekly for 1–3 hours depending on the type of therapy employed. These groups can progress from months to years depending on the commitment and the needs of each member.


The different types of therapy groups are as follows:

  • Growth groups
    • T-groups
    • Encounter groups
    • Structured growth groups
    • Human relations training groups
  • Self-help groups
    • Mutual-support groups
    • Large variety exists for every major stress-related, psychological, or medical-related problem
  • Counseling and therapy groups
    • Psychoanalytical
    • Adlerian
    • Psychodrama
    • Gestalt
    • Cognitive-behavioral
    • Existential
    • Person-centered
    • Rational-emotive behavior
    • Reality group psychotherapy
    • Interpersonal

Best Practices Literature

Irvin Yalom’s writing has long been the gold standard of group psychotherapy. His many books on the topic are a testament to his expertise in this area of psychology. He discusses group stages and the healing factors in group therapy. It has stood the test over time. According to the Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders web site, “The noted psychiatrist Dr. Irvin D. Yalom in his book The Theory and Practice of Group Therapy identified 11 ‘curative factors’ that are the ‘primary agents of change’ in group therapy” (Group Therapy, 2009). These agents are as follows (Group Therapy, 2009):

  • instillation of hope
  • universality
  • information giving
  • altruism
  • corrective recapitulation of the primary family
  • improved social skills
  • imitative behavior
  • interpersonal learning
  • group cohesiveness
  • catharsis
  • existential factors

Aaron Beck M.D. and Judith Beck, Ph.D. have written many excellent books on cognitive therapy for today’s therapist. They utilize the foundations of cognitive behavioral therapy through examination of thoughts that lead to behavior. They successfully give step-by-step directions for using this type of therapy over many mental disorders. They currently conduct training seminars through their organization: The Beck Institute of Cognitive Therapy and Research.

Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcohol Anonymous, wrote Alcohol Anonymous: The Big Book, which teaches the foundations and concepts of recovery from Alcoholism. It was first published in 1939 and has been revised through several editions over the years. It has become one of the most widely used resources for individuals dealing with addictions.


Group therapy. (2009). Retrieved November 24, 2009, from the Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders Web site:


Homework On Time
Calculate the Price of your PAPER Now
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Choose Us

Top quality papers

We always make sure that writers follow all your instructions precisely. You can choose your academic level: high school, college/university or professional, and we will assign a writer who has a respective degree.

Professional academic writers

We have hired a team of professional writers experienced in academic and business writing. Most of them are native speakers and PhD holders able to take care of any assignment you need help with.

Free revisions

If you feel that we missed something, send the order for a free revision. You will have 10 days to send the order for revision after you receive the final paper. You can either do it on your own after signing in to your personal account or by contacting our support.

On-time delivery

All papers are always delivered on time. In case we need more time to master your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you cannot provide us with more time, a 100% refund is guaranteed.

Original & confidential

We use several checkers to make sure that all papers you receive are plagiarism-free. Our editors carefully go through all in-text citations. We also promise full confidentiality in all our services.

24/7 Customer Support

Our support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and committed to providing you with the best customer experience. Get in touch whenever you need any assistance.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

No need to work on your paper at night. Sleep tight, we will cover your back. We offer all kinds of writing services.


Essay Writing Service

You are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper. Our academic experts will gladly help you with essays, case studies, research papers and other assignments.


Admission help & business writing

You can be positive that we will be here 24/7 to help you get accepted to the Master’s program at the TOP-universities or help you get a well-paid position.


Editing your paper

Our academic writers and editors will help you submit a well-structured and organized paper just on time. We will ensure that your final paper is of the highest quality and absolutely free of mistakes.


Revising your paper

Our academic writers and editors will help you with unlimited number of revisions in case you need any customization of your academic papers