Practicing Group Counseling
Skills and Techniques
Josephine Kim, Ph.D.
Clarifying the Purpose
During a go-around exercise in a
“friendship-skills” group, Susie shares that
she was molested as an infant. How do
you properly clarify the purpose of the
group, without penalizing Susie for her
With only five minutes left in the session,
Joe states that he is gay. How do you
appropriately cut Joe off, without leaving
him feeling invalidated?
A person is given the opportunity to role-play
and speak to a missing person with whom he or
she has unfinished business.
Jake discloses that he resents his best friend
Tom for always bossing him around, but he is
afraid that if he brings the issue up, Tom will no
longer be his friend.
How would you use the empty chair with Jake?
Processing at Terminiation
The group has spent 40 minutes on how
negative self talk sabotages members from
taking risks (in relationships, running for SGA,
speaking up in class, asking someone out on a
How do you facilitate processing of the session?
– What key facilitative questions do you ask?
– How would you use self-disclosure here?
Bringing It to the Hear and Now
Jane begins to disclose an incident from
last year where she felt physically violated.
How do you bring Jane’s past experience
to the here and now?
How would you employ the empty chair
technique with Jane?
You are facilitating a group where students are
all afraid of being bullied.
Their self-talk includes:
– Everyone hates me.
– I’m not powerful enough to stop this.
– There is no one I can go to for help.
How do you facilitate imaginal disputation?
How would you employ role-reversal with them?
You have just begun group counseling with
three second graders in a social-skills group.
Today is the very first session, in which you will
be discussing limits, boundaries, and rules of
this group, as well as issues regarding
Role-play how you and your co-counselor will
accomplish today’s tasks in a group session.
In a multi-ethnic group, John discloses that he is afraid to
speak up in class, because he is the only African
How can you find out if others in the group feels the way
Kate and Phil state that they, too, feel this way in class.
How do you link them together?
How do you use role-play to help them overcome their
Tim is a shy adolescent who hardly speaks up in
group. The group has focused on disputing
irrational beliefs, and you know from previous
contact with Tim that his shyness stems from an
irrational belief that people will reject him if he
speaks to them. How do you draw him out?
How do you use other members to draw Tim