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The Transition Stage


You have now become familiar with the group members in the Evolution of a Group video by viewing their journey through the initial stage of the group. In the transition stage, the group prepares to engage in a deeper level of work. This transition stage requires group members to engage in self-disclosure, to risk becoming vulnerable, and to display mutual respect as the process unfolds. As the work deepens during this stage, some problematic behaviors may emerge among group members.

To lead the group effectively, leaders must understand what types of challenges to expect and be prepared to address these challenges in order for the group to move into the working stage. Leaders must also be aware of their own reactions to the group process and to the members to effectively facilitate the transition stage of group. Leaders are not immune to strong reactions to group members or co-leaders. As a future group counselor, you must be aware of your own reactions and be able to remain objective in leading group members. Counselors sometimes minimize the importance of this information. This level of advanced self-awareness for the leader comes though intentional self-examination, training, and supervision.

For this Discussion, you explore the challenges of the transition stage and consider strategies you could use as a group leader to address these challenges. You will also imagine yourself to be a group member and examine your experience as you view the group during the transition stage.

To prepare:

  • Watch Segment 3, “The Transition Stage” of the Evolution of a Group video.
  • Note and reflect on your mental, emotional, and physical reactions to the video. Notice whether you felt defensive or numb, found yourself getting irritated, gasped, sighed, lost your concentration, or became overly sympathetic.
  • Review Part III, “The Transition Stage” in Groups in Action: Evolution and Challenges (pp. 30–39) to give context to the video.
  • Select one challenging group members’ behavior from the video segment to use for this Discussion. This should be a situation that would be a challenge for you if you were the counselor for this group.

Observation Post:
For the observation post, you will respond as if you were the group leader.

  • 1. Post an example of a defensive or avoidant behavior or a conflict that you observed that would be a challenge for you as the group leader. This should be a situation that exemplifies the transition stage of the group as demonstrated in the video.
  • 2. Briefly share your observation (include the time stamp and member’s name).
  • 3. Describe a leader skill or strategy you might use to facilitate the group through your chosen example.
  • 4. Provide a description or interpretation of the underlying dynamic that you sense is emerging in this transition stage of the group.

The Video is attached, you will restart it and go through the 11 second notices, then click on First Program: Evolution of a Group – you will then click on and watch/use Segment 3: The Transition Stage for the discussion question as outlined above. 

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