ERIC Number: ED269676
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr-22
Reference Count: 0
Teaching Leadership Skills for Support Group Facilitators.
Dickel, C. Timothy; Boytim, James A.
Evidence in the professional literature that social support in a person's life can lessen the effects of stressful life events makes knowledge of the dynamics of social support and of the workings of the support groups vital for counselors. Social support has been defined by various authors in various ways. Especially helpful to counselors is Gottlieb's (1978) classification of teachable supportive behaviors into the four categories of emotionally sustaining behaviors, problem-solving behaviors, indirect personal influence behaviors, and environmental action behaviors. While most counselors have been trained to work in traditional counseling groups, the support group differs from the counseling group on several dimensions and requires a reorganization of traditional thinking about group leadership and about the clients' ability to help one another. Counselors can become effective facilitators of support groups by understanding the nature of social support, the dynamics of support groups, and the role of the group facilitator at each stage of group development. The training of a support group facilitator involves three steps: (1) acquiring an academic knowledge base about the operation of support systems and groups; (2) being involved in a support group as an observer and as a group member; and (3) developing a small scale support group. It is hoped that counseling professionals will realize the value of social support inteventions and will both incorporate support groups into their practices and train students to use support groups effectively. (NB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Association for Counseling and Development (Los Angeles, CA, April 20-23, 1986).