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Screening Members

Paper details:

See Attachment “SWK 4471 Assignment Instructions Discussion 2” For Assignment Instructions


In the following assignment, you’ll find an area that highlights the process of screening of members. There are discussions listed below for reflection. Then you will read the case vignette and the discussion of the case to follow. Discussion questions will be posted below for you to elaborate on in your discussion post. Please label each discussion answer with the number that coincides with the question. You will need to utilize your text to add an in text citation and list your reference at the end in APA format. A substantive post addresses ALL the guiding questions thoroughly incorporating any assigned readings and posing though-provoking questions to your peers, using critical thinking skills to elaborate on assigned readings.


Screening of Members. The group counselor screens prospective group members (when appropriate to their theoretical orientation). Insofar as possible, the counselor selects group members whose needs and goals are compatible with the goals of the group, who will not impede the group process, and whose well-being will not be jeopardized by the group experience. An orientation to the group is included during the screening process. The following questions are for reflection. Please answer the questions posted under questions for discussion at the end of this assignment.


(1) If you could not screen potential members on an individ­ual basis, what are some alternative procedures you might use?


(2) Do you think it is essential to screen members for all groups and in all situations? What about those theoretical orientations that do not place much value on the screening process?


(3) What would you be most inclined to look for in candidates whom you screen for one of your groups?


(4) How might you tell a person that you think he or she would not be appropriate for your group?


Case Vignette


The case involves a busy mental health clinic that is understaffed. Counselors are under some pressure to do group work as a way of dealing with more clients in a given time. A counselor decides to organize a group by putting a notice on the clinic bulletin board and sending a memo to her colleagues asking for candidates. There are no provisions for individual screening of potential members, no written announcement informing members of the goals and purposes of the group, and no preparation for the incoming members. No information is given to members about the leader’s background, possible techniques to be used, expectations, and so forth. No consideration is given to the leader’s qualifications to work with special populations. The receptionist is asked to admit the first 12 people who come to sign up. The receptionist puts people into the group as they inquire, irrespective of the nature of their problems, and they are simply told to show up at the first meeting.


At the first meeting, the entire time is taken up by a depressed and suicidal client. Thus, no time is devoted to even minimal orien­tation to group goals and procedures; there is no getting-ac­quainted process, no discussion of norms and policies, and no at­tempt to inform members of the specific nature of the group. Many of the members are frightened by the intensity of this client’s crisis, and several people do not return to the next session.


Discussion of Case


Fragmentation of the group is invited by the lack of screening. Because of the procedures that were used to gather this group together, members are unclear about the goals and the purpose of the group and about what is likely to occur. No time was devoted, even at the initial session, to introductions or to explaining how groups function.


As an alternative, the memo could have been more explicit, containing basic information about the group. In this way, mem­bers would have had more information from which to decide whether or not they wanted to apply for the group. The leader might have arranged for at least minimal contact with the members on an individual basis. If it would have been impractical to meet with candidates either individually or as a group before admitting them to the group, the first session at the least could have served as an orientation meeting, so that in some ways the members might have been screened by the therapist or self-selected for continuing in the group. In this case, members would have had a chance to discuss the basic purpose and structure of the group, and time would have been allowed for members to get acquainted. Rather than focusing the entire first session on the depressed person, this leader might have arranged for an individual crisis intervention session, even if brief.


Questions for Discussion


(1) What are your views on screening? Is it unethical to form a group without screening members on an individual basis? What are some alternatives that might accomplish the same purpose?


(2) Given the limitations of the situation described above, how might you screen more effectively? If you worked in a busy clinic, could you think of alternatives to individual screening sessions?


(3) If you found yourself with a suicidal client at your initial group meeting, how might you handle the situation? What strategies might you devise?