Department of Psychology
Virginia State University
Psychology 531 Instructor: Dr. John E. Fife
Group Psychotherapy Seminar Phone: 524-5456
rsdays, 2:00– 4:50Thupm email@example.com
Office: 112S-Hunter McDaniel Hall Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
9:00 am – 11:00 am and by appointment
This course will expose you to the basic theory and practice of group psychotherapy. The course work combined with observation will give you the knowledge needed to lead and understand a psychotherapy group. The course will address the first two of the following three important areas of learning:
1. ACADEMIC LEARNING: Through textbooks, journals, lectures and discussion issues
to be read and discussed are:
; History of group therapy
; Group dynamics/group roles
; Process observation
; Therapeutic factors in group therapy
; Starting a group; client selection and group composition
; Theories of group development
; Pre-group therapy training
; The group therapy questionnaire
; Individual group assessment for group therapy
; Group therapy ethics
; Co-therapy and group leadership
; Alternative group therapies
; Story telling and metaphors
; Unique group clients
; Diversity/multicultural issues
; Group termination
2. OBSERVATIONAL LEARNING: (a) through videos and role playing in class. Time
will be spent presenting theory and therapeutic issues, viewing and discussing therapy
tapes, and discussing readings assigned to the class. (b) Process observing a group in
action is a part of this experience. Arrangements are being made to have this experience
available to you. More information on process observing will follow.
3. SUPERVISORY LEARNING: This type of learning will not be obtained in class but
will come when you lead groups of your own under supervision.
Regular attendance is required. The seminar will be held every Thursday from 2:00 – 4:50 pm.
A minimum of six out of eight seminar sessions will be required.
Rutan, J. S. & Stone, W. N. (2000). Psychodynamic group psychotherapy (3rd Ed.). New
York: The Guilford Press.
thYalom, I. (2005). The theory and practice of group psychotherapy (5 Ed.). New York:
Basic Books, Inc., Publishers.
Corey, M. S., & Corey, G. (2002). Groups: Process and prcatice (6th Ed.). Pacific Grove,
CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Co.
Friere, P. (1982). Pedagogy of the oppressed, New York: Herder and Herder.
Fuhriman, A. & Burlingame, G. M. (1994). Group psychotherapy: An empirical and
clinical synthesis. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Heider, J. (1985). The Tao of Leadership: Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching adapted for a new age.
Atlanta, GA: Humanics New Age. rdKaplan, H. I. & Sadock, B. J. (1993). Comprehensive group psychotherapy (3 Ed.).
Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins.
Klein, R. H., Bernard, H. S., & Singer, D. L. (1992). Handbook of contemporary group
psychotherapy: Contributions from object relations, self psychology, and social systems
theories. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, Inc.
Rivers, F. (1996). The way of the owl: Succeeding with integrity in a conflicted world.
San Francisco: Harper Collins.
Teyber, E. (1997). Interpersonal process in psychotherapy: A relational approach rd(3Ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Co.
Additional readings will be provided throughout the course.
ADDITIONAL GROUP TRAINING:
Virginia State University does not have a group training program, however arrangements are being made for each of you to have process observing experience. Each student will be required to process observe a therapy group for an undetermined number of times this semester. Hopefully, the experience of process observing will lead to opportunities in group leadership as you move further into your graduate career. The time commitment involved with Process Observing will vary from group to group, and will co-vary with group size and other group dynamics.
Assignments and Responsibilities: All assignments are expected to be submitted on time. Late submissions will not be accepted.
; Class Participation: Students are expected to read the weekly reading assignments and
participate in presentations of issues as assigned to them by the instructor.
; Journal Entries: Write a 1-page journal entry in response to video clips, readings,
discussions and role plays conducted in class. Journals must be given to the instructor on
the required date. Students are expected to be on time and attend every session. Since the
classes also include simulated group experience, attending each session is very important.
Missing classes may result in a failure to pass the course.
; Presentations: Application of Theoretical Orientation: Choose a specific theoretical
orientation (most preferably your own) and make a 20-minute presentation in class
regarding its application to group psychotherapy. (Listen carefully to your colleagues as
they discuss their applications because exam questions will be taken from these
; Term paper: (Nov 29) Students will submit a paper in the form of a review of the
research literature concerning specific issues related to the topic of the course. Topics
will be either assigned by the instructor or they may be suggested by the student and
approved by the instructor. The papers should cover at least 20 references and be 15-20
pages long, double-spaced. Papers must follow the APA Style [see: APA (2006).
Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th. ed.) Washington DC:
; Final Exam (Dec 6): The Final Exam will test your knowledge of lecture and written
material provided during the course. Exam format will consist of fill-in-the blank,
multiple-choice, true/false, and short answer.
Class Participation – 10%
Journal Entries – 15%
Presentations – 20%
Term Papers – 30%
Final Exam – 25%
ABILITIES, KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS OUTCOMES:
Abilities are tasks that therapists should be able to perform. In order to do so, therapists have to draw on relevant knowledge and skills. In this syllabus, abilities are listed as broad categories of performance that also function as class goals and that are further broken down into the sub-
categories of knowledge and skills. The knowledge and skills sections are more specific in
stating criteria for evaluation of these components.
1. Demonstrate competency in entry level group therapy skills.
2. Choose a specific theoretical orientation to be used in group therapy. 3. Recognize and deal effectively with transference and counter-transference. 4. Examine one's own cultural biases and limitations.
5. Demonstrate understanding of the types of group therapy and counseling and the
differences between them.
6. Know the stages of group process.
7. Understand the issues in the screening and selection of members for specific groups. 8. Know the major theoretical approaches to group psychotherapy including Psychoanalytic,
Adlerian, Psychodrama, Existential, Person-Centered, Gestalt, Transactional Analysis,
Behavioral, Rational Emotive, and Reality.
9. Know the factors involved in choosing the appropriate theoretical orientation and related
interventions for specific problems in group therapy.
10. Understand the role of the group leader.
11. Know the basic counseling skills as they apply to group process. 12. Know and understand the ethical considerations related to group psychotherapy. 13. Know and understand issues of diversity as they apply to group process.
RANGE OF WEEKLY RESPONSIBILITIES & ESTIMATED TIME COMMITMENTS
FOR GROUP LEADERS:
Room set-up: 5 minutes (weekly)
Pre-group leadership meeting: 15 minutes (weekly)
Pre-group interview: 30 minutes (as needed)
Group therapy session: 90 minutes (weekly)
Post-group processing: 30 minutes (weekly)
Post-group leadership meeting: 15 minutes (weekly)
Group session notes 60 minutes (rotates weekly)
Group process notes 30 minutes (weekly)
Group supervision (Tuesday mornings) 90 minutes (weekly)
Weekly total (low end): 245 minutes +/-; (4.08 hours) (4.58 for PO’s)
Weekly total (high end): 335 minutes +/-; (5.58 hours) (6.08 for PO’s)
Semester total (low end) x 16 wk semester = 65.28 hours (73.28 for PO’s)
Semester total (high end) x 16 wk semester = 89.28 hours (97.28 for PO’s)
Course Outline:Intro to Group Therapy - PSYCH 531
Week Dates Topics Readings
1 Aug 23 Intro group Assigned Reading &
Groups in Society Chpt 1(Rutan/Stone)
2 Aug 30 The Selection of Clients Chapter 8
Group Dynamics Chpt 2 (Rutan/Stone)
3 Sept 6 The Therapist (Basic tasks) Chapters 5
Chpt 9 (Rutan/Stone)
4 Sep 13 The Here & Now Chapters 6
5 Sept 20 Therapeutic Factors Chapter 1
6 Sep 27 Interpersonal Learning Chapters 2
7 Oct 4 Therapeutic Facts/Intg Chapter 4
8 Oct 11 Transference/Transparency Chapter 7
9 Oct 18 Formative stages of Group Chapter 11&13
Problem Group Members Chpt 14(Rutan/Stone)
10 Oct 25 Specialized Formats Chapters 14
11 Nov 1 Specialized therapy groups Chapter 15
12 Nov 8 Family Therapy Guest Speaker
13 Nov 15 Presentations Chpt 12
The Advanced Group
14 Nov 22 Thanksgiving No class
15 Nov 29 Presentations/Termination Chpt 16(Rutan/Stone)
16 Dec 6 Final Exam
Mid-term: Oct 18
There will be an in class mid-term on Oct 18. Questions will come from Chpt 1-8 (Yalom) They
will include multiple choice, fill in blanks, True/False and short answers.
Professionals will be expected to keep a weekly written journal wherein they reflect upon their observations, experiences, and learning from each class session (i.e., what impacted me the most and in what way?). This journal will be submitted by at the end of class every other week. (next due Oct 18). It is expected that students will write about 1-2 pages per week in their journal; however, they are not limited to this. No credit will be given if these journals are turned in late. Professionals are reminded to date each class period and put their name on the front page of their journal. You are expected to be self-analytical with regard to the group experiences. You should also feel free to comment on any class activities, experiences, or material which impacted you personally or professionally. Along with reactions to your weekly learning experiences, your
journals can also include (1) Your overall impressions of each class (positive or negative); (2) How well you think you were able to link your experiences and readings in this class to your knowledge and skills as a counselor and group leader, family therapist; (3) How your thinking about group work has changed as a result of taking this class; (4) Areas of specialization you would be most and least likely to focus on as a group leader/therapist in the future, including those you may not be sure about currently; and (5) Your perceived strengths and weaknesses as a group leader/therapist (as well as you know yourself presently). Feel free be open and honest, and yet professional, in your responses.
Presentations: Application of Theoretical Orientation: Choose a specific theoretical
orientation (most preferably your own) and make a 20-minute presentation in class regarding its application to group psychotherapy. (Listen carefully to your colleagues as they discuss their
applications because exam questions will be taken from these presentations). Presentation dates ththare Nov 15 and 29. 50% of the grading will come from your classmates, 50% will come from the professor.
Final Exam (Dec 6): The Final Exam will test your knowledge of lecture and written material provided during the course. Exam format will consist of fill-in-the blank, multiple-choice, thtrue/false, and short answer. A study guide for this exam will be posted on blackboard on Nov 9.
Final evaluation methods:
Class Participation/Attendance – 15%
Journal Entries – 20%
Presentations – 30%
Final Exam – 35%