Free «School Counseling Group Proposal» Essay Sample
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Ideally, the roles of school counselors have been wrongfully perceived and minimized to simple handling of the issues among students that affect their behavior, addressing college applications, or making schedule changes for the students who desire to change or drop classes. Nevertheless, the counselors’ functions are far more important, which will be seen later in this discussion. For instance, their roles go beyond the counsel regarding behavior to providing guidance on the matters of academic performance, personal development, social life, and career development. They help the students on their paths to becoming holistic, productive, and well-adjusted professionals and adults of the future. In essence, the fundamental function of a school counselor is the creation of a comprehensive program for the students, in collaboration with teachers and parents, to enhance the effectiveness of the school courses.
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This paper is a proposal for a school counseling group. The proposal will highlight the group duration as well as the purpose. It will break down its structure and list the goals. It will also provide a rationale for the group as well as the logistics and a means of evaluating the accomplishments. Furthermore, the paper will discuss the pertinent aspects of a group including membership, leadership, theoretical framework, ground rules, ethics, and group stages.
Counseling at the elementary level may be designed at a therapeutic or psycho-educational level. Some scholars believe that school-based treatment goes a long way in helping the clients address the issues long before they require remedial counseling. Therefore, considering the facts that the clients are at the elementary level, the group created will serve a long-term purpose. It will be a developmental faction inclined towards the improvement the individuals within the group in every aspect of their lives. The group will focus on the growth of the individuals by integrating their development, improvement, self-control, awareness, and blocking hindrances to growth (Corey, 2015). Additionally, it will provide guidance towards reconstruction in the cases of broken habits. Instead of the exclusive focus on problem-solving antics, the group will make efforts oriented towards the growth of the individuals. The emphasis lies on the discovery of useful internal resources that serve to strengthen the individual’s capacity. It is important for everyone within the group to understand each other and recognize the fact that there may be situational crises, personal and inter-personal problems, or difficulties with life transition (Jacobs, Schimmel, Masson, & Harvill, 2015). The group members will use verbal and non-verbal cues to interpret various problems and try to maintain a steady and regular communication pattern with each other. Structured exercises will help in establishing working relationships. Essentially, the counselor’s role will be to facilitate healthy interactions and guide the process development.
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Ideally, every member will develop individual goals and objectives. Nevertheless, it is equally pertinent for the group to have collective goals that guide the path of the counseling process. Firstly, the group will create a sense of self-awareness and develop each person’s unique identity. Secondly, the group will increase self-acceptance and help the members to gain self-confidence because everyone needs to have a certain level of respect towards oneself. Thirdly, the group will guide members in developing a sense of direction in their lives and will assist them in establishing healthy relationships. Thus, they will develop a sense of unity, togetherness, and connection. Furthermore, they will be made aware of the importance of making the right choices in life and that sometimes, these decisions will have consequences. The members will learn about social skills as well as the expression of emotions and sentiments in a proper manner. They will also learn to be empathetic towards the people around them. The group will also acquire assertiveness and learn to contest the opinions of others with concern, care, and honesty. The members will gain the ability to deal with the issues that come along with the development and the skill to resolve the conflicts. Lastly, the group will learn to use resources around them as the means of helping them handle their concerns.
The rationale behind the conception of the counseling group is to provide a re-creation of the members’ daily world, considering the diversity of habits, gender, interests, behaviors, socio-economic background, race, and personal goals (Jacobs et al., 2015). The group will exist as an encapsulating miniature of the world of reality. It will capture the usual struggles and conflicts that the members come across. The rich feedback derived from the participation will help the members understand themselves better and foster the will to explore their challenges. The group will gain a wealth of experience from the interactions as well as from drawing comparisons with their peers. In contrast, individual counseling limits the exposure of the child (Jacobset al., 2015). The disadvantage of this lack of experience with a diverse population is that the correspondent may think he or she faces the challenges of development alone. Additionally, the child undergoing the process loses a broad insight into issues that surround the individual.
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For a comprehensive range of sessions that will guarantee efficiency in the process, the group will schedule two meetings weekly. The first meeting should be held mid-week and the other - at the end of the week. However, the schedule should be flexible enough to allow the members adequate time to deal with other important activities such as schoolwork.
It is necessary and important for the counselor to make regular evaluations of the group to establish the level of achievement of their objectives and goals or the lack of it. This examination will help the leader to know how effective the methods employed are and whether they are useful or not (Corey, 2015). In essence, the evaluation process determines the level of success of this process. Additionally, it will help the leader to determine the type of interventions to make in the process. Considering the inconsistency and unpredictability of elementary school students, it is wise for the counselor to employ a formal evaluation process. The group leader will make a consideration of variables, including behavior change, skill development, leadership, emotional control, interaction, adaptability, and satisfaction. The examination will be conducted on two levels. A formative evaluation will help the refine the process, as it is ongoing. The consequential adjustments will aid in improving the possible outcomes. Formative evaluation will be conducted fortnightly (Corey, 2015). A summative evaluation is conclusive and it will determine whether the group has achieved its goals and objectives. The group will apply retrospective surveys to reduce the limitations based on the individual’s idiosyncrasies. The Group Sessions Rating Scale will be a pointer of the group’s satisfaction.
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The recruitment will target the students in the elementary school. It will be a compulsory process for the students who have displayed a clear regression with respect to development or no consistency in it (Shulman, 2010). The membership will help to set them on a clear path. Moreover, it will be voluntary for the individuals who wish to get guidance regarding their future. The selection will be conducted in four stages. The first will identify the needs of every student in the school to determine whether they fall under the category. Secondly, the counselor will challenge the myths and misconceptions associated with counseling groups. Next, the counselor will integrate the chosen members by conveying information to the group about the process and the stages involved. Lastly, the counselor will use intuition to screen the selected members and establish their suitability for the process and decide whether they will benefit from it.
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As any group, this counseling group will require a leader. The leader will promote the members’ growth and inspire them towards the achievement of their goals. Therefore, the leader’s qualities must facilitate the group process. To do so, the leader must have an emotional and physical presence around the rest of the group members. Additionally, there must be an aura of personal power being displayed by the leader. Courage and self-confidence are equally important. Furthermore, the leader must encourage the team to respect the established rules. He or she must pay attention to every member of the group. Lastly, the leader should have problem-solving skills to help cope with issues that may arise.
Session Format and Flow
The standards of practice require the practitioner to provide adequate information regarding the counseling process to all the group members. The clients will exercise their right to consent and they may choose to either remain or leave the program. In this case, the professional will explain the nature of the services and break down the purposes, goals, procedures, stages, rules, potential risks, benefits, and the counselor’s working experience. The counselor will assure the members of protection and confidentiality during counseling.
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The counseling process will be conducted in five stages (Shulman, 2010). The first stage is known as forming. During this level, the members are unsure about everything and they will most likely look up to their leader to make decisions for them. In the second stage, many conflicts are expected, depending on how unstable the group is and how much the members fight for positions. The third stage is inclined towards the development of cohesions within the group. There will be a sense of unity. As the members get used to each other, they enter the fourth stage of interdependence. Lastly, the group will go through mixed reactions of joy and sorrow as the counseling ends. There will be challenges of separating from the group as well as happiness from the accomplishment of the primary goals.
The group leader will be subject to the code of ethics as well as the legal standards of practice. It implies that they may be penalized for the failure to render proper service. Therefore, preventive steps must be taken to ensure that the practitioner does not engage in malpractices. These measures are highlighted in the code of ethics. The leader must make sure that adequate time is spent on the screening, selection, and preparation of the members. The group process must not be mystified; the members must be well informed about the group. Additionally, the environment of confidentiality and respect must be secured for the members. The children should also have written permissions from the parents. Moreover, the practitioner must ensure the client population is within his or her area of expertise. A clear set of interventions must be predetermined. Lastly, the professional relationship with the clients must never be jeopardized by blending it with social life.
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Along with the ethics, the group must establish some ground rules. Like the group leader, the members are bound to remain confidential. In case a member misses a session, the group should be notified prior to the meeting. All the members must respect each other’s contributions. They must make constructive critics and not put down anybody. They must practice turn-taking skills to ensure that everyone contributes in the discussions.
The practitioner will employ the existential approach. This theoretical approach will be the most effective one when dealing with the elementary level clients. It is different in the sense that it does not apply the traditional deterministic views of psychoanalysis. Rather, it is dynamic and it focuses on the four ultimate concerns that are rooted in human consciences, namely: freedom, existential isolation, meaninglessness, and death. This method is founded on the assumptive thought that everyone is free and responsible for their own lives. As such, we need to find purpose and meaning in our lives and identify the models of the same. The goals of this approach should be to ensure that children are more aware of themselves, to enable them to block hindrances to their fuller presence, to make them fully responsible for the direction their lives take, and to encourage them to bear outward perceptions in life.
In contrast to other systems, the existential approach emphasizes the comprehension of the present state of the client. Therefore, the success of this method lies in the creation of a therapeutics encounter and building a dialogue between the practitioner and the child. The professional must understand the members’ subjective reality. In essence, the therapist will build a collaborative relationship with the students and make a dual venture through the process of their transformation. This therapeutic alliance demands that the practitioners must indulge themselves in the process as well as bring their subjectivity.
The follow-up is an easy process once a working relationship has been established. The leader will engage the student’s in dialogue to help them understand the latter’s perception on various subjects. Subsequent interpretations will be made on the same. The leader may also help the client to gauge their progress by giving them questions to ponder on. The practitioner will allow private sessions to enable the clients to build the working relationships and solidify them. In this regard, the professional may meet the members individually in some cases to engage in dialogues.
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Groups are important in school counseling. They have proven to be more efficient than the individual approach of counseling because of their efficacy in delivering information. They have many advantages, especially because they deal with the children’s vocational, educational, personal, and social challenges. Additionally, they offer an interactive platform that allows the members to learn how to cope with their problems collaboratively. They may be formed based on a wide spectrum of purposes regarding the diversity of the needs of the client population. The counselor may consider the use of the existential approach that allows the client and the practitioner to enter a collaborative alliance. This method is useful in an elementary school setting. However, the students retain the right to consent in these affairs. The group must establish rules, a code of ethics, and goals to guide them through the process and ensure the protection of all members.