Integration of theory and practice

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I attempt to demonstrate a critical awareness, reflect upon and evaluate my personal experiences in relation to theory within a humanistic (Glassman & Kates, 1990) interpersonal (Yalom, 1989) group whilst also being aware of confidentiality issues and adhering to the BACP (2009) ethical framework.

Douglas (2001 p.8) describes a group as: ''...a miniature social system...'' whilst Fisher (1974 p.7) suggests: ''Therapy for normal people...'' and Corey (2000 p.489) suggests: ''The group is a place where you can safely explore feelings, events and experiences that you've buried...work through unfinished business from your past, which will show itself through the interactions in the group...to create an accepting and tolerant climate that will promote your active participation''. Barnes, Ernst, and Hyde (1999 p.3) suggest: ''A collection of people becomes a group when those people come together with a common aim'' whilst Bratton, Callinan, Forshaw, and Sawchuk (2007 p.299) suggest: ''two or more people who are in face-to-face interaction...''. Eubank (1932 p.163) argues: ''A group is two or more persons in a relationship of psychic interaction...'' whilst Freud (1921) describes how people become drawn into groups due to emotional bonds or ties that form between its members.

There are three main approaches to working with groups, psychoanalytical, behavioural and humanist. The psychoanalytic approach within a group situation is called ''...'group-analysis' and 'group-analytic situation'...The emphasis is on the individual in the group...the interpretation of the transference situation as it presents itself in the ongoing session (the 'here and now)...'' (Foulkes & Anthony, 1965 p.17-20) whilst Shapiro (1978 p.45) suggests: ''Psychoanalytic group therapy is an extension of classical Freudian psychoanalysis to the group setting...normally these groups have a heterogeneous membership''. Hansen, Warner and Smith (1980 p.25) suggest:

The psychoanalytical approach to groups symbolizes the conventional method of group treatment...group members...[who] typically meet once a week...with eight or nine members who interact with each other...engaged in a 'group-analysis' and 'group-analytic situation'...Group dynamics do exist...the whole group is now in a sense one... (Hansen et al. 1980 p.25).

Shapiro (1978 p.46) suggests: ''The analytic group leadership is fairly passive and non-directive...'' and it would seem that our group leader did not use this approach, was directive, critical and hostile (Barker, Cegala, Kibler & Wahlers, 1979) with a tendency to coerce the co-leader into not allowing members to work through unfinished business (Corey, 2000). I felt that this was not a place to safely explore my feelings as the leader did not as Hansen et al. (1980 p.24) suggest: ''...assume a relatively passive role...''.

The behaviourist approach to working with groups consists of the application of a set of principles based in learning theory (Lazarus, 1971) and grew out of the individual psychotherapy of Wolpe (1958). ''In behavioural group therapy the primary focus is on overt, specific behaviors. It is essentially a treatment of individuals in a group setting. Normally these groups have a homogeneous population...The behavior [leadership] in groups is essentially an expert [she] is active, directive and assumes overall responsibility for the proceedings...'' (Shapiro, 1978 pp.49-51). ''The main techniques...are aimed at behavioural changes...'' (Corey, 2000). It was found that the leaders were inappropriate for a humanistic group as they had been trained as behaviourist (klein, 1963) practitioners and they followed a directive ''Social cognitive theory...'' (Staples & Webster, 2007 pp.60-97). Hays and Danieli (as cited by Rosenbaum & Snadowsky, 1976 p. 113) argue: ''...view[ing] the group as an optimal environment...''. This non-directive Humanist approach to groups reflects the various themes of group life that revolve around closeness (Garland, Jones & Kolodny, 1973 pp.17-71).

Barker et al. (1979 p.11) suggests: ''A small group is formed by a nucleus of individuals who share a common problem...who have common goals and purpose'' whilst Brown (1996 p.44) suggests: ''...an aggregate of people as a group individuals think of themselves as group''. Phillips and Erickson (1970 p.13) suggest five reasons why small groups form as: ''...people feel a common concern about a problem, to bring people together...to investigate a problem...to find a solution...to deal with people issues...''.

Homans (1961) developed a theory for why people stay in groups based on the reward minus cost equation...'' whilst Cooley (1902) describes how small groups could be seen as the most basic social entity and Lazell (1921) proposed the notion of a group as an eco-sysytem. Verny (1974 p.212) suggests: ''...encounter groups are to make the well better'' and Corey (1987 pp.9-11) also suggests: ''...having as a broad purpose increasing people's knowledge of themselves and others....''. Hansen et al. (1980 pp.4-5) describe: ''...a dynamic interpersonal process focusing on conscious thought and behaviour...'' whilst Mullan and Rosenbaum (1962) suggest: ''...the human need for group communication [the]...means for persons to communicate intimately, one with another'' and psychologically aware of one another as part of a group (Shein, 1997). Research by Paulus (1989 p.37) suggests: ''A group comes into existence only because individuals meet, gather together and thus become visible to one another...'' whilst Rose (2008 p.3) suggests: ''Every PD group member is faced with the challenge of learning...''. I agree with Douglas (1983 p.132) who argues: ''No one ever truly learned how to operate in a group situation by reading a book'' and Douglas (1976 p.11) suggests: ''The majority of human groups are established for a purpose...''.

The purpose of my group (Corey, 2000) was to form a humanistic personal development or growth group (Glassman & Kates, 1990) that members named empowerment. This group was affiliated to the main learning group within my counselling school. It was hoped that: ''...the development of a open, honest, caring, non-judgemental environment...'' (Shapiro, 1978 p.52) adhering to Rogers' (1957) person-centred values would prevail facilitated by a non-directive leadership (Rosenbaum & Snadowsky, 1976). Jaques (1991 p.37) suggests to: ''...become increasingly productive with time and learning...more friendliness and teamwork, prais[ing] one another and express[ing] greater satisfaction in the group experience'' and offer members a climate in which to learn (Benjamin, 1978).

The recruiting and screening of members for participating in the small group (Corey, 2000) was undertaken via interview by the facilitator of the main group. It was found that: ''[p]ersonal contact is the best way to recruit potential candidates for a group ''...because members are committing themselves to working with a specific person'' (Corey, Corey, Callanan & Russell, 1992 p.37). All group members previously knew other members and admitted to liking each other. It was hoped that the group would define its own reality and its goal would be the emergence of an amiable 'group climate' (Corey, 2000) in which ''...members are interdependent on each other [with] the use of the group as a vehicle for work or working through of problems'' (Northen, 1969) but without ''...misusing jargon [and]...descriptive group language... (Corey & Corey, 1987). Holmes and Kivlighan (2000 pp.478-484) ''...analysed processes within group and individual psychotherapy and found that components of the 'relationship-climate' were more salient in a group''.

The big group decided that the 'small group' (Douglas, 1976) would be open to new members for the first two sessions. The group's purpose, task and goals (Fisher, 1974) were then discussed by all members in a pre-session meeting (Harrison & Lubin, 1965). It was hoped to facilitate growth through personal development in an atmosphere where ''[p]eople have inherent worth and capacities regardless of race, class status, age and gender...'' (Glassman & Kates, 1990) and endeavour to be caring and respectful ''...with its emphasis on bringing people together to support and encourage one another towards similar goals...'' (Sharry, 2001 p.7). It would seem that ''It is usually easier to change individuals formed into a group than to change any one of them separately'' (Lewin, 1951 p.228).

The group membership then became closed to newcomers (Douglas, 1976) as per the pre-group discussion meeting (Douglas, 2001). The reasons for this were because of member confidentiality (Corey, 2000) and it was deemed necessary for as a closed group (Corey, 1987) it was expected that intense relationships would develop (Douglas, 2001). The group was contracted to be time-limited with members' attendance being generally poor and one member becoming disruptive (klein, 1963) and developing a ''discussion attitude'' (Barker et al. 1979 p.101) by refusing to contribute towards the group's continual development as she frequently mentioned ''...the concept of personal space'' (Barker et al. 1979). Member Jo became ''...the 'help-rejecting complainer'... (Yalom, 1996 p.12) whilst member Jim portrayed the 'deviant' (Barker et al. 1979) member who had developed and reflected his own self-opinions.

Group development (Jaques, 1991) refers to the life-cycle developmental processes of groups or stages that groups undergo, the various steps that need to happen for a group to work and develop effectively. Peck (1987) describes four stages of development that ensue in community groups as 'pseudo-community', 'chaos', 'emptiness' and 'true-community' whilst Rogers (1971) describes how groups are structured around thirteen stages of development. Research undertaken by Bion (as cited by Rosenfeld 1973 p.25) suggests:

A Group has its own development, characterized by four phases. The first phase...is concerned with attempting to define direction...The second phase...with specific task problems...The third phase, usually of long duration, centers on the expression of feelings...the fourth phase centers on high-level work...the interpersonal problems have been dealt with effectively...with the approach of the group task resolution.

Bales (1950) describes how each group continues through various phases of development and each phase is characterized as a problem demanding solution before the group can progress to a subsequent stage. The first stage is called orientation and the second stage is called evaluation, the group must establish the values that will guide them. Tuckman and Jensen (1977) describe a five stage cycle of group development of forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. ''Not all groups...pass through all of these stages...'' (Rogers, 2002 p.109) as this is due to 'situationalities' (Beatty, 2002) whilst Miles (1981 p.38) describes group norms as being: ''...standards for behaviour in the training group''. Tuckman and Jensen (1977 p.37) suggest:

The first group norm [is] the 'forming' stage, personal relations are characterised by dependence...members rely on safe patterned behavior and look to the group leader for direction...the next stage 'storming' is characterised by compete-conflict in the personal-relations dimension. Individuals have to bend and mold their ideas, attitudes, and beliefs...In the 'norming' stage, interpersonal relations are characterised by group members who are engaged in active acknowledgement of all members and solving of group issues...The 'performing' stage is not reached by all groups...In this stage people can work independently, individual members have become self-assuring...There is unity, group identity is complete, group moral is high, loyalty is intense...There is support for experimentation in solving problems... an emphasis on achievement whilst the 'adjourning' stage describes the group's disbandment or individuals leaving the group and being replaced by others (Tuckman & Jensen, 1977 p.37).

The group experienced both 'social tension' and 'secondary tension' (Kloph, 1994 pp.32-33) with the leader showing little support in solving problems as it would seem that she was not people oriented or task oriented (Mcshane & Travaglione, 2007) and displayed favouritism (Smith, 1970) acting as 'critical-parent' (Hargaden & Sills, 2002). A sense of transference and counter-transference (Yalom, 1996) emerged when the leaders verbally reacted ''...to members as if they were significant figures of their own original family'' (Corey, 2000). Both leaders also failed to ''...carefully observe interaction among[st] group members'' (Schaffer & Galinsky, 1974 p.206) and neither leader motivated ''...the dynamic group process...to help others to contribute...to the achievement of group tasks...and not offering...guidance and direction or provid[ing] socio-emotional support'' (Pettinger, 2000 p.120).

Rosenfeld (1973 p.127) argues that: ''both leaders are essential to insure proper group functioning''. The norming stage didn't work as the leader lacked direction, had little sense of community building. In the forming stage the leader failed to encourage ''...co-community building...'' (Tuckman & Jensen, 1965 p.37) ''and the myriad of human concerns...'' (Benson, 2001 p.239). It would seem that the leader and co-leader of the group also failed to effectively manage the group composition (Corey & Corey, 1987) by initially declaring that the group was to be homogeneous (Yalom, 1996) but due to demographics, it was deemed that ''blending together...heterogeneity for conflict areas...group balance...[would enhance]...intermember relationships (Yalom, 1996 pp.262-263) and It was found that as Foulkes and Anthony (1957 p.94) suggest a: ''...mixed bag of diagnoses and disturbances...'' is needed to form an effective group.

I felt that the leaders failed to act within their ''...range of competence'' (Miles, 1981 p.112) and were unsuitable for a humanistic group as they perceived themselves to be 'expert leaders' (Barlow, Burlingame, Hardman & Behrman, 1997; Burlingame & Barlow, 1996) and had a mixed bag of traits with regards to their leadership personality (Bird, 1940). Both remained unsupportive to members during the development stages (Tuckman & Jensen, 1977). In the storming stage, both leaders regularly intervened in the conflicts of the members as it was deemed to be 'killing the group' (Rogers, 2002) and never attempted to ''...encourage the members to look at how all of them can contribute to the group...'' (Glassman & Kates, 1990 p.27).

During group sessions, members would often be seen pairing as Goldberg, (1979 p.108) suggests: ''...involved in a conversation'' and Bales (1950 p.97) proposes: ''...two members pair and become involved in discussion'' and can form a 'dependency' (Bion, 1961) where ''members feel that benefit comes only from the leader and that they can learn nothing from each other'' (Goldberg, 1979 p.113). It would seem that work-pairing (Rosenfeld, 1973) is characterized by the group working to find strength from within its own group whilst Bales (1950) focuses on the group-level, the identities and relationships which exist 'because' the group members exist.

The performing stage shows group approval and a sense of unity (Tuckman & Jensen, 1977) but this was eroded by members being perceived as critical and not being ...''moral-builders''... (klein, 1963 p.51). It was found that the co-leader was an ''...indigenous leader...'' (Levine, 1979 p.135) who manipulated others to their own ends (Redl, 1966) whilst being machiavellian (Kloph, 1994) and gave negative feedback (Jaques, 1991) to members with a ''[d]issenting voice...'' (Brown, 2000 p.126). This was a denial (Yalom & Vinogradov, 1989) of an explicit ethical guideline (Corey, 1987) that was discussed during the contracting meeting. I intervened and became more vocal in the group process, however this was one of many conflicts that remained without a resolution (Rosenfeld, 1973) as unfinished business as Corey (1987 p.209) suggests: ''Some inter-member issues may not get fully resolved...''.

It was found that solutions were never focused on individual member's issues (Levinger, 1957) and therefore ''...the emotional catharsis of personal confession, the relief of saying the unsaid, of holding nothing back'' (Lifton, 1957 p.18) resulted in members' lack of confidence... (Asch, 1956). I disagree with Verny (1974) who proposes that members make ''...most progress by being only in group'' (Verny, 1974 p.221) as members immediate thoughts and feelings were often taken out of group (Corey, 1987) and discussed individually and this led to the group discussing the Johari window (Yalom, 1996). The group catharsis (Yalom, 1996) enabled a healing effect that resonated with my own person-centred philosophy and sustained the interpersonal dynamics of future group meetings.

Prior to the group adjourning, members' confidence and feeling of 'groupness' (Fisher, 1974 p.21) were noticeably absent with members not being helped to ''...re-experience or assimilate important events of a meeting...'' (Yalom, 1996 p.441). This became a depressed period (Mullan & Rosenbaum, 1978) with similarities to the group therapy outcome of ''...group alliance and group cohesion...'' (Budman, Soldz, Demby, Feldstein, Springer & Davis, 1989). During this time It seemed that the group's mental health (Low, 1968) self-esteem, interpersonal relationships, cohesiveness (Yalom, 1996) and 'groupthink' (Janis, 1983) had diminished. Janis (1983 p.13) suggests 'groupthink' as: ''...a deterioration of mental efficiency...which results from in-group pressure'' and one member then became withdrawn (Levine, 1979) and said she felt isolated and socially-excluded by the ''...chaos and confusion of the group'' (Kreeger, 1975 p.25).

All members of the group were contracted to attend personal one-to-one therapy sessions and this provided emotional support after finding ''...their group was an unpleasant, turned off, destructive experience in which they learned very little'' (Lieberman, Yalom & Miles, 1973 p.80). The members met twelve times in total and no fixed termination date ''was announced at the outset...'' (Corey & Corey 1987 p.87) therefore members did not have a clear idea of time limits. The group met in a member's house for eight informal sessions sitting on cushions on the floor (Yalom, 1996) and four other times in the more formal seating area inside the university library with tensions running high (Klopf, 1974). During the first session members were milling around (Rogers, 1971) and most had ''[s]ome overt fears...about groups and participation...'' (Levine, 1979 p.47) with one member requesting to know ''...who is the leader?'' (Rogers as cited by Bugental, 1971 p.264). Member Juulz became the 'group thermostat' (Levine, 1979) acting-act with the emotionally laden material of meetings. The last session lasted for four hours, with a chance for the group mourning or adjourning session (Tuckman & Jensen, 1977).

I have learnt that ''...the basic form of any group is...a collection of people...together for a period of time in a given place'' (Douglas, 2001 p.10) and it would seem that the meeting environment (Levine, 1979) plays an important part in the life of the group as ''...the lack of a consistent meeting place'' (Rose, 2008 p.35) became more problematic and everyone agreed that the message was that group members were not valued.

The eight group members joined voluntarily, agreeing to attend all twelve contracted group sessions (McCullough & Ely, 1968). The group followed a humanistic approach which I felt was the right one for me as Rogers' (1967) core values are rooted in my embodied-self (Laing, 1990). The group hoped that an atmosphere of trust, warmth, empathic understanding and role playing (Ohlsen, 1973) would ensue. If I was facilitating this group today, I would have one meeting place and integrate with integrity (Worsley, 2004) ''...a therapeutic pluralism in which effective interventions are drawn from several different therapy approaches'' (Yalom, 2002 p.xv). I felt that the group library meetings were rushed with a sense of intrusion caused by ambient conversations. The meetings invariably ran-over the allotted three hour times (Douglas, 1976). My own ethics embrace those that (Glassman & Kates, 1990 pp.21-23) suggest:

''...values the individual, foster responsibility for others, supports and enhances social and mental health...have a right to take part...a right to freedom of speech...differences among members are enriching to one another...a right to freedom of choice...a right to question and challenge...''.

The group did not have an affiliation to either the psychodynamic (Jaques, 1991) or behavioural (Ohlsen, Horne and Lawe, 1988) models as the therapeutic model associated with the group (Sharry, 2001) was Rogers' (1957) person-centred. The proposal for the group included what Corey (1987 p.78) suggests to be: ''...[a] rationale...a clear and convincing rationale...objectives...specific, measurable and attainable...practical considerations...meeting time, frequency of meetings and duration of the group...procedures...to meet the stated objective...evaluation...strategies for evaluating...''. One of the group objectives was to conceptualise a commonality of teamwork behaviours, to delineate the diverse behavioural processes such as communication, coordination, and cooperation (Hoegl & Gemuenden, 2001) and it was also hoped that this: ''...would offer members a chance to remedy [the] climate in which to learn'' (Benjamin, 1978) as well as to probe and explore feelings, be challenging to other members whilst monitoring power related and task-related behaviour of the group. Douglas (2001) describes how the use of power can be overdone and the resulting scene being set for domination by the leader. I sensed a greater awareness of group issues and bodily messages (Rosenbaum & Snadowsky, 1976) amongst: ''...co-workers and administrators'' (Corey, 1987 p.78).

'Pre-group issues (Corey, 2000 p.86) were discussed by the leaders during the potential member and group proposal meeting and members were also asked ''Is the leader a member of the group?'' (Benjamin, 1978 p.94). ''Ground rules...sanctions...conformity...newcomers...consensual issues...'' (Douglas, 1991 pp.88-89) were all discussed by the group. A process called 'setting a contract' (Hartford, 1971) was then made to explicit the aims and dominant purpose of the group. Vernelle (1994 p.86) suggests: ''A contract is an agreement between members and organisers which spells out mutual expectations about the group''. In research undertaken by Fagan (as cited by Douglas 1976 p.59) ''...the contract can be seen as a method of neutralizing threats explicit or implicit toward the group leader by members of the group''. An effective way of neutralizing these threats is to initially undertake a clear contract (Fagan as cited by Douglas, 1976). One member wanted to exit from the group (Corey & Corey, 1987) and it would seem that the co-leader's role as 'aggressor' (Barker et al. 1979) became more intense as he pressured the member to remain. Douglas (1976 pp.58-59) suggests: ...a member...will remain actively within that group if it can be seen by him to be giving him some satisfaction greater than he could obtain elsewhere...''.

During the first meeting there was some focus on the members' here-and-now (Goldberg, 1970) material but this gradually increased to include their outside lives and experiences and I discovered a growing sense of personal identity with my 'real-self' (Brinich & Shelley, 2002) encountering the group members. Siroka, Siroka and Schloss (1971 p.83) describe how: ''Encounter...is often used interchangeably with sensitivity training as a general term...to those groups which focus on ''here and now'' interaction between individuals...''. Williams and Huber (1983: p 291) argue: "A Group gives its members a sense of personal identity-a sense of being somebody If one feels a strong identity with an informal group, personal identity is maintained...''. I agree with Lloyd and Maas (1997 p.226) that support...is effective as a treatment because the interrelationships and personal reactions create the potential for therapeutic change.

During the initial session, member Jess caused conflict over status (Klein, 1963) when she declared herself to be the un-appointed leader (Klein, 1963). It would seem that there was no obvious leader (Belbin, 2003) or group 'task specialist' (Bales, 1950) as she chose to be called. The group felt that she wanted to be a 'manager' (Yalom, 1996) and not a peer but was perceived to be the 'autocratic expert' (Lewin, Lippitt & White, 1939) and although not competent or trained in leadership roles, Jess acted as though she was ''...more knowledgeable about group process and group dynamics than is a typical member...'' (Schaffer & Galinsky, p.206) and perceived her role as a non-supportive 'task-oriented leader' (Mcshane & Travaglione, 2007). ''Psychological support is likely to help team members to effectively cope with the different factors that can lessen their will to contribute to task accomplishment. It may also provide incentive to team members to perform better...'' (Weldon & Weingart, 1993). It would seem that the leader ''...was authoritative...'' (Hainman, 1955) but not facilitative or democratic (Lewin et al. 1939) as well as directive in a way that Benson (2001 p.40) argues: ''...assumes major responsibilities for organizing, convening, guiding...identifying tasks''.

Heron (as cited by Jaques, 1991) proposed two main groups, authoritative and facilitative. It was found that the authoritative group leader lacked sufficient theoretical knowledge of humanistic group theory and was the group member who was continually at odds with all the other members of the group (Asch, 1951). Connolly (1999 p.111) suggests: ''...the lack of theoretical emphases leaves them without the tools to fully examine their perspectives'' as well as to continually seek attention and power (Adler, 1964) and had very few personal qualities to offer the role of leader including a lack of empiricism. She was ''not clear in [her] mind about the sort of group [she] wish[ed] to conduct'' (Whitaker, 1976 p.249). Northen (1969 p.1) suggests: ''Good intentions must be buttressed with knowledge and special competence'' and the group's 'indigenous leader' (Levine, 1979) was aggressive, used threatening non-verbal communication (Barker et al. 1979; McCullough & Ely, 1968) and did not ''...provide a central structure...'' (Corey & Corey, 1987 p.235).

Some members questioned both leaders' competence but at times I became invisible within the group and did not offer constructive feedback to elicit my feelings (Hansen et al. 1980) regarding their 'out meetings' (Lieberman et al. 1973) described by one member as Leader 'parataxic distortions' (Yalom, 1996). The leader's behaviour towards the group was complicit with the role of ''...autocratic [leader] where all decisions are made for the group...'' (Brill, 1995 p.189) and at times took on a dual-role as dominant member (Levine, 1979). The nominated co-leader's own process mirrored the ''...situation where the leader view[ed] himself and is perceived by others as holding the key to life's secrets...'' (Verny, 1974 p.27). Some members of the group were not allowed to voice their concerns and began using 'silent messages' (Barker et al. 1979) as their vocal behaviour. If i was in the same group today, I would be more probing and objective and not be the 'compromiser' (Barker et al. 1979) and develop my potential to give appropriate feedback as Verny (1974 p.26) argues: ''In a situation where the leader views [her]self and is perceived by others as holding the key to life's secrets, it is very difficult for these ''others'' to mature and develop their full potential''.

The leader enacted her difficult central position (Redl, 1942) but lacked conventional wisdom (Fisher, 1974) was high-challenging and ambivalent to others, offered minimal emotional support towards interpersonal concerns (Yalom, 2002) and disregarded explicit ethics by self-disclosing (Corey, 2000) inappropriate intrapersonal (Yalom, 1996) material deliberated during the sessions. The leader's 'labeling techniques' (Corey et al. 1992) coupled with the 'leader-follower dimension' (Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswik, Levinson & Sandford, 1950) went unchallenged by my self and others. If I was in the same group today, I would challenge the 'self-appointed leader' (McCullough & Ely, 1968 p.30) as to why she was persistently confrontational ''...in an effort to open [members] up'' (Lieberman et al. 1973 p. 29) and seek answers for their ''...reasons for using group-work, without adequate planning...'' (Benson, 2001 p.13). Corey and Corey (1987 p.7) argue: ''Group leaders without any theory behind their interventions will probably find that their groups never reach a productive stage''.

I found the group leader to be ''...egocentric...confrontational [lacking any] content orientation...ethical awareness [and] awareness of self'' (Corey & Corey, 1987 pp.36-38) and methodically self-disclosed whilst declaring: ''...each of us is the center of our universe'' (Gilovich, Medvec & Savitsky, 2000 pp.211-222). The leader's 'reign' (Hollander, 1958) evolved to become a pernalism (Miles, 1981) and she failed to embody Rogers' (1957) core conditions displaying little empathy whilst in the facilitative role (Jaques, 1991) and neglecting ethical boundaries (Brill, 1995) and confidentiality issues agreed whilst pressurising members who wanted to talk over a personal problem by being inconsiderate and neglecting to value member talents and task contributions (Cohen & Wills, 1985; Rosenfeld & Richman, 1997).

The leader also neglected to build-up 'credit' (Hollander, 1958) by being inconsiderate towards the group norms (Merei, 1949) causing friction (Jaques, 1991) amongst members. It was found that she became more directive and ambivalent towards the evolving group dynamics (Corey, 1987) and I agree with Corey (2000 p.62) who argues: ''...it is a mistake to assume that anyone...with certain personal qualities...will be an effective group leader. ''Human diversity is a significant factor in working with all people'' (Brill, 1995 p.55) and the leader portrayed limited awareness of important ethical guidelines knowing ''the central ethical issues in group work is confidentiality'' (Corey & Corey, 1987 p.55).as well as in relation to the ethical framework (BACP, 2009) and It was found that both leaders demeaned and derogated the centrality of the group members (Miles, 1981).

The leader also failed to acknowledge the principles of beneficence (BACP, 2009) by refusing to act in the best interests of members whilst also contravening the group contract by utilising the sessions for her personal therapy (Corey et al. 1992). The co-leader unethically solicited members for private counselling consultations and misused his position regarding non-maleficence (BACP, 2009) this being the commitment to avoiding harm and remaining impartial towards group members. This violation was accompanied by prejudice, derogatory and discriminatory behaviour (Brown, 1995) becoming openly antagonistic towards members by consistently interfering with task achievement (Benjamin, 1978 p.90) and ''...task work behaviors and teamwork behaviors...'' (McIntyre & Salas, 1995). One member became notably aberrant and ambivalent (Benjamin, 1978 p.98) towards the group during confrontations with members as Weisharr (1996 p.188) argues that: ''...during psychological distress a person's thinking becomes more rigid and distorted''.

The co-leader made distressful comments to member Jim who became known as the group monopolist (Yalom, 1996) and to member Joolz the African-American member concerning 'equalitarianism' (Kloph, 1994) after which Joolz remarked that she experienced a sense of diminishing self-esteem (Brinich & Shelley, 2002) whilst remaining in the group. Festinger, Pepitone and Newcomb (1952 pp.382-389) describe the phenomenon of de-individuation as the loss of individuality when a person becomes a part of a group. Smith, Stewart, Myers and Latu (2008 pp.264-277) propose: ''Coping responses toracism have been suggested to mediate the relationship between discrimination and distress...''. This member then became ''...the silent member...'' of the group (Yalom, 1996 p.385) but continued to use ''...silent messages...'' (Barker et al. 1979 p.198) during which the co-leader made comments such as: ''[t]here are some people in here who never say anything'' (Corey & Corey, 1987 p.144).

I commented to the co-leader that not everyone was as talkative as him (Corey & Corey, 1987) and It was found that as Simmel (1955 p.13) argues: ''It is impossible to have social conflict without interaction among the parties in conflict...''. It would seem that the member who departed for no apparent reason had been victimized [and] 'the angry exit'...is upsetting to the group'' (Mullan & Rosenbaum, 1978 p.199) but as Fisher (1974 p.110) argues: ''...it is a way of achieving some kind of unity, even if it be through the annihilation of one of the conflicting parties''.

The Members' sense of unity and emotional welfare, their 'Habeas emotum' (Luft, 1966) became more nurturing by group members to form the cohesive interpersonal commonality of a 'cubeness' (Fisher, 1974) and a group 'entity' (Shaw, 1971). This manifested with the group finally becoming more productive, experiencing a learning milieu (Jaques, 1991) and a 'golden glow' (Miles, 1981) embodied the group as it neared the adjourning stage (Tuckman & Jensen, 1977). It was found that this invigorated and assimilated the group into a whole and it had finally cultivated a self-acceptance (Rogers as cited by Bugental, 1967) and a beget healing, despite some ''...structural restrictions [did]...in time develop into an interactive group...as a social microcosm (Yalom, 1996 p.29).

A social unity is developed by how a ''...group thinks in the sense that individuals 'think' together...'' (Douglas, 2001 p.150) by ''...using evaluation techniques that...give individuals the chance to reflect on their own behaviour...'' (Cox, 1975 p.43). Members can derive a wealth of ideas from recording events in a diary or journal (Rainer, 1980) whilst Parlett (as cited by Jaques, 1991) proposes that a ''...learning group...can be profoundly affected by aspects...outside the formal curriculum'' and Miles (1981 pp.42-42) suggests: ''...a basic aspect of the learning process in a training group is ''learning to learn...'metalearning'...''. Personal learning and change in a group is facilitated more effectively with a blend of support and challenging metalearning (Miles, 1981) in a cyclical movement. Schein and Bennis (1965) propose that some people metalearn in gradual increments. Group learning and facilitation skills can be applied to various group activities as Miles (1981 pp.111-167) suggests:

...group observer...a service role...the use of a learning journal...discussing group events...expressing personal feelings and behaviour...using audio-visual recording facilities...relationship...charting...using...systematic feedback...awareness exercises...role reversal and case analysis exercises and perception checks...experimental demonstrations...experimental tryout...skills practice sessions... (Miles, 1981 p.p.111-157).

Skills practice sessions sometimes involved a climate of hostile stereotyping and scapegoating (Bion, 1961) and this manifested as ''...mild confrontations...into forceful confrontations'' (Carkhuff, 1969 p.110). Today I question how my group behaviour and personal needs were (Douglas, 2001) as my job then was 'encourager' (Barker et al. 1979) and what I do now is different to what I did then, having learned the value of the here-and-now focus (Glasser, 1980). ''There should be strong focus on the 'here and now' the social-self and not the inner world...'' (Jaques, 1991 p.211). I have experienced ''...the politics of the large group'' de Mare (as cited by Kreeger, 1975) and the benefits of 'spectator therapy' amongst members (Yalom, 1996) as well as the use of appropriate humour in psychotherapy (Strean, 1993) and in group work as Lieberman et al. (1973 p.336) suggest: ''...some may be 'called upon' when a wry sense of humor or other tension reducing behaviour 'seems required'...''.

The group learning experience has enabled me to review, evaluate and define my own behaviour, to evolve, be my real and authentic self (Rogers, 1959) and be critical of other theories including the ''...demands of reality in society'' (Glasser, 1985) and I agree with Yalom (1996 p.xi) who says that ''groups with similar goals use similar curative factors...are the primary agents of change'' and that no one ever transcends their need for people (Yalom, 1989).

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