Group Behaviors

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Mezzo Skills: Group Roles

During recent meetings with your sexual assault survivor group, you have noticed some potentially counter-productive behaviors from some of the members. One member always wants to sit next to you. When you speak, she nods her head and, at times, she repeats your very words. Two members always sit together and have side conversations. You have not said anything yet to them, but you feel it is distracting to the others. When you ask them to participate, they both provide little input and often just shrug their shoulders. One member talks at length during every session, forcing you to interrupt her by asking others to contribute to the discussion. You need to set boundaries with this person or she will continue to dominate the entire session.

Behaviors in group settings often are manifestations of the roles members play based on their personality. While groups have many benefits for clients, including validation, support, comfort, and education, they also can highlight some personalities and behaviors that might be challenging for you to manage as the group leader. How might you respond to these behaviors and roles? How might you redirect these behaviors and reposition the member roles for the benefit of the group?

For this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources. Search the Walden Library for an article dealing with group roles in social work practice. Then, consider the group member role that might be most challenging to you as a group leader and why. Finally, think about skills you might use for overcoming the challenges that member role presents.

By Day 4

Post brief description of the group member role that might be most challenging to you as a group leader and explain why. Then, explain a skill you might use for overcoming that challenge.

Support your posts and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.

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