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Jenna Lee 

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DB 2: Beginning and Transition


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The word cohesive is derived by the Latin word haesus meaning to cling to. This describes cohesive groups as “unified groups, but their unity is often the result of different causes and processes”. (Forsyth, 2018, p. 128) There are five sources of a groups unity: Social cohesion ( attraction of members and group as a whole), Task cohesion (a shared commitment and goal), Collective cohesion (shared identity and belonging), Emotional cohesion (group-base emotion, overall affective intensity), and Structural cohesion (integrity, clarity of roles, density of relationships). (Forsyth, 2018, p. 128) All of the factors listed above are what create and unify a group.

            There are three phases of holding a group session. The three phases are “the warm-up or the beginning phase; the middle or working phase; and the closing phase.” (Jacobs, Schimmel, Masson, & Harvill, 2014, p. 80) The beginning phase is where you begin your introduction and discuss group expectations. The main responsibility of the group leaders are, “helping members get acquainted, setting a positive tone, clarifying the purpose of the group, explaining the leader’s role, explaining how the group will be conducted, addressing questions, facilitating interactions between members, helping members verbalize expectations, and closing the first session.” (Cengage Learning, n.d.) With a new group, the introduction can last no longer than 15 minutes. During a group that has met before, the introduction should be shorter lasting about 10 minutes. Taking too long in the beginning phase can make people lose interest and become bored. Once the beginning phase is complete then we move on to the next phase.

There is a phase that is between the beginning phase and the working phase, also known as the transitional phase. During this phase the leader’s responsibility is to provide a safe space that helps build trust in each member and in the group itself. It is said that the transitional phase during a group session is the hardest phase because this is when the “honeymoon phase” is over and the reality of discussing what is really the reason why they are attending the group sets in. It is uncomfortable for many people and the group leader’s role is to “make is safe to find comfort in our discomfort” (Liberty University, 2017)

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Cengage Learning. (n.d.). Group Counseling: Strategies and Skills Chapter 5 [Video Presentation].

Forsyth, D. R. (2018). Group Dynamics (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Jacobs, E. E., Schimmel, C. J., Masson, R. L., & Harvill, R. L. (2014). Group Counseling: Strategies and Skills. Scarborough, ON: Nelson Education.

Liberty University. (2017). Benefits of Group Counseling [Video Presentation].

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2 hours ago

Teerica McClain


Discussion Forum 2


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As human beings, we proud ourselves on impressing our friends and others to boost up our self esteem. We want to make sure that the people around us are genuine and share the same beliefs as us. This brings me to a very popular term named group social cohesion. Group social cohesion is expressed by how the group members get along with each other and liking the group ( Forysth, 2019).  The five-stage model of group development is a big concept when it comes to the group cohesion and the factors. The five-stage model of group development consists of the stages orientation (forming), conflict (storming), structure (norming), performance (performing) and dissolution (adjourning) stages. The beginning stage or orientation consists of the characteristics polite, group’s goals; leader is active; tentative,concern for ambiguity, members are compliant (Forsyth, 2019). Some of the characteristics of storming (conflict) are poor attendance; polarization; hostility;Criticism of ideas and coalition formation (Forsyth, 2019). Lastly, the group development on structure (norming) consist of reduction in role ambiguity;Agreement on procedures, and increased “we-feeling”(Forsyth, 2019). 

              In Group Counseling Strategies and Skills, there are many different leadership skills and development listed that are used in group development. Some examples of the leadership approaches are setting a positive tone that all members can relate too, explaining the leaders’ role and the expectations, and helping new and old members get acquainted (Jacobs et al., 2016). One of the main purposes of the leader in the group is to figure out the purpose of each member joining the group and helping them get comfortable in the overall setting. Cohesion is created between members when they feel like they are in a safe and uplifting environment which causes them to be more open to them. The leader or facilitator’s job is to make the space amongst the group members safe (Brooks, 2017). 

             The most critical setting in group development is storming/norming according to the video. Our flesh tends to show up when we are moving from the beginning stage to the  transitional stage (Brooks, 2017). Therefore, tensions and conflicts will arise due to different outlooks and beliefs, but they have to overcome it in order to reach the working stage. Due to conflict being the yang to the yin of group harmony, the leader should be able to balance it and help the group overcome it (Forsyth, 2019). Conflict is needed in the group development process because it helps members to engage with people that might not always share their point of view, help them learn anger control, and help them learn communication skills. 



Brooks, J., Barker, G. (2017). HSCO 511 Week Two, Lecture One: Benefits of Group Counseling.  [Video]. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty University Online


Forsyth, D. R. (2019). Group dynamics (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.


Jacobs, E., Schimmel, C., Masson, R., and Harvill, R. (2016). Group counseling: Strategies and skills (8th ed.).  Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

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