Graduate School of Education

Department of Counselor Education
COUNS 571: GROUP COUNSELING FALL 2014
Instructor: Susan Sisko, PhD (Candidate)
Office: N/A
Office hours: by appointment
Telephone number: 541 386 2337

Course CRN: 10895
Credits: 3
ED 408
Time: Monday
6:40P-9:20P

E-mail: ssisko@pdx.edu
Course Catalog Description
This course is designed to provide students with opportunities to learn about group counseling
theories and skills. Particular emphasis will be placed on understanding group dynamics and
leadership skills as they may apply to different populations and settings. In addition to
traditional group counseling, the course will provide information about other approaches such as
psychoeducational groups, which are common in community and school settings. Class time will
include lecture/discussion and group-based experiential learning.
Disability Access Information
It is the University's goal that learning experiences be as accessible as possible. If you require
accommodations (e.g. special seating, interpreter, note-taker, etc.), please inform me
immediately. Students with disabilities should register with the PSU Disability Resource Center
(503-725-4150) to document their need for accommodations and obtain support services. I will
work with you to arrange the supports you need in this class.

Course number COUNS 571

Term Fall

1

Graduate School of Education Conceptual Framework

Content Areas
Theories and assumptions of groups
Skills Development
Working with tension & conflict in
groups
Advanced group leadership skills

Becoming a group leader
Facilitating groups
Professional standards and best practice

CACREP STANDARDS ADDRESSED
6. GROUP WORK—studies that provide both theoretical and experiential understandings of
group purpose, development, dynamics, theories, methods, skills, and other group approaches in
a multicultural society, including all of the following:
a. principles of group dynamics, including group process components, developmental stage
theories, group members’ roles and behaviors, and therapeutic factors of group work;
b. group leadership or facilitation styles and approaches, including characteristics of various
types of group leaders and leadership styles;
c. theories of group counseling, including commonalities, distinguishing characteristics, and
pertinent research and literature;
d. group counseling methods, including group counselor orientations and behaviors, appropriate
selection criteria and methods, and methods of evaluation of effectiveness; and
e. direct experiences in which students participate as group members in a small group activity,
approved by the program, for a minimum of 10 clock hours over the course of one academic
term. (This standard is met through participation in ETC/Group Practicum.)
CORE STANDARDS ADDRESSED
C.6.1 Group dynamics and counseling theory.
C.6.2 group leadership styles and techniques.

Course number COUNS 571

Term Fall

2

Professional Standards
Knowledge and Skill Outcomes, Standards, and Assessments
Knowledge and Skill
Outcomes
1. Students will learn
principles of group
dynamics, including group
process components,
developmental stage
theories, group members’
roles and behaviors, and
therapeutic factors of group
work
2. Students will learn about
group leadership or
facilitation styles
approaches, including
characteristics of various
types of group leaders and
leadership styles
3. Students will learn
theories of group counseling,
including commonalities,
distinguishing characteristics
and pertinent research an d
literature
4. Students will learn group
counseling methods,
including group counselor
orientations and behaviors,
appropriate selection criteria
and methods and methods of
evaluation of effectiveness
5. Student will engage in
direct experiences in which
they participate as group
members in a small group
activity, approved by the
program for a minimum of
10 clock hours over the
course of one academic term

Course number COUNS 571

GSE
Conceptual
Framework
1.1, 1.2, 4.1

Professional
Standard or
Program
Outcomes
6. A, C

2.1, 2.2, 3.1

6. B

Reading, lectures,
discussions, assignments

2.1, 2.2, 3.1

6. C

Reading, lectures,
assignments

2.1, 2.2

6. D

Reading, lectures,
discussions, assignments

4.1

6. E

Reading, lectures,
discussions, assignments,
role-play & class activity

Term Fall

Assessment

Reading, lectures,
discussions, assignments

3

6. Students will develop
awareness of legal and
ethical guidelines pertaining
to group work

1.1, 4.1

6. A

Reading, lectures,
discussions, assignments

7. Students will learn how to
plan and adjust group
treatment plans and structure
based on client age, gender,
cultural background,
developmental stage,
cognitive ability and life
cycle stage
8. Students will explore
different types of groups
appropriate strategies and
interventions

1.1, 4.1

6. A

Reading assignments,
lectures, discussions,
assignments

1.1, 2.1, 2.2

6. A, D

Reading, lectures,

9. Students will explore how
the group facilitator’s
behavior can effect the group
process

4.1

6. A

Reading, lectures

Methods of Instruction
Methods of instruction may include, but limited to text and supplemental readings, written text
reviews, lectures, presentations by guest speakers, role playing, group activities and exercise,
class discussions, interviews with professionals in the field, audio and video tapes, and course
assignments.
Required Texts
Chen, M., & Rybak, C. J. (2004). Group leadership skills. Belmont, CA: Brooks/ColeThompson.
RECOMMENDED READING
Yalom, I. D. (1995). The theory and practice of group psychotherapy (4th ed.). New York: Basic
Books.
Gladding, S. T. (2003). Group work: A counseling specialty. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey:
Merrill Prentice Hall.
Corey, G, Corey, M.S., & Haynes, R. Groups in Action: Evolution and Challenges. (DVD and
workbook).

Course number COUNS 571

Term Fall

4

Course Schedule
Wk
.
1

Date

Topics

Readings and Assignments Due

9/29

2

10/6

3

10/13 Chapter 2-3

Becoming a leader; Ethics, Creating a group
Evolution DVD (segments 1-2; forming a group
and initial stages)

4

10/20 Chapter 4-5

Leading a first session; Stages of group
development; Skills Multiple groups: practice first
session

5

10/27 Chapter 6

Working on agendas; resistance & defenses
Evolution DVD (segment 3 transition stage)

6

11/3

7

11/10

Chapter 7-8

Small group preparation; norm small group
experience.
Needs Assessment / Group Design Due (e-mail to
instructor)
Tension/Conflict; Counter-transference;
Cohesiveness
Small group experience

8

11/17

Chapter 9

Yalom factors revisited; Interpersonal enactment
Small group experience

9

11/24

Chapter 10

10

12/1

Chapter 11-12

Stimulating group affect; ETC review
Evolution DVD (segment 4 working stage)
Integrative Paper Due (TK20 and e-mail to
instructor)
Termination
Evolution DVD (segment 5 ending stage)

Course overview, Preparation standards for group
leaders, types of groups
Chapter 1

Course number COUNS 571

Theories and Assumptions

Term Fall

5

11

12/8

Chapter 13-14

Termination
Course Evaluations

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & EVALUATION CRITERIA
Assignments:
All assignments must conform to APA Guidelines for Writing 6th ed. (2009)
All assignments will be submitted electronically to the instructor by 11:59P on the date due
Submit all assignments electronically using the following format in the subject line:
 Your lastname_firstname_assignmentname (eg Sisko_Susan_NeedsAssessment)

1. Attendance & Participation: Students are expected to attend all classes and to participate
actively and respectfully, including experiential activities. However, students are NOT required
to reveal any specific information during experiential activities; each student decides what to
discuss. The experiential activities are designed to enhance learning of group counseling
processes and skills. One activity is an in-class group experience (3 sessions). Students are NOT
required to participate in this group; participation or nonparticipation will NOT affect grade or
standing in the class or dept. Students can miss up to one class without penalty. After the 1st
missed class, the overall point total will be deducted 5 points for every missed class.
2. Needs Assessment, Literature Review, and Group Design (100 points): Students will
conduct an informal needs assessment related to a counseling group at an actual or potential
internship site or work setting. They will also conduct a literature search on their group topic and
approach. Then, students will type a 5-6 page paper focused on designing and implementing a
counseling group at the site. Use APA style for citations. Students must send electronically to
instructor. The paper will be graded on (a) adequateness of the needs assessment/lit review (45
points), (b) adequateness of the group proposal (45 points), and (c) writing clarity (10 points).
The assignment will assess and document student learning outcomes for CACREP standards.
The paper should include the following headings:





o
o

o
o
o
o

(a) Needs Assessment/Lit Review
Summarize what you learned through your interviews/needs assessment
Summarize your literature review
(b) Group Proposal (see page 383 in Chen & Rybak textbook for an example)
Rationale: need for the group
Purpose of group: Goals and objectives
Type of Group
Psycho-education, support, therapy, etc.
Target clientele (including homogeneous vs. heterogeneous)
Basic Information
Voluntary or non-voluntary membership
Closed or open group
Group size
Length of session, frequency of meeting, and duration

Course number COUNS 571

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Location
Ethics: Informed consent, confidentiality, scope of practice/supervision,

o
o
etc.

 Attach your informed consent document
Recruitment procedures
Screening and preparation procedures and criteria
De-selection criteria
Norms/Ground rules
Topics for Group
Evaluation Methods






3. Group Practicum Integrative Paper (100 points): Students will type a 5-6 page paper based
on their experiences in the Experiential Training Clinic (ETC) Professional standards and best
practice / Group Practicum as informed by material learned in this class. The paper needs to be
APA format. DO NOT use actual names of group members. Students must cut & paste a copy of
the paper into TK20 AND send electronically to the instructor. Technical questions should be
directed to tkhelp@pdx.edu.
The paper should include the following headings:
(a) Self-Learning: Discuss what you learned about yourself by being in group (e.g.,
interpersonal strategies, parataxic distortions, roles you play, your effect on others,
testing, corrective
experiences, etc)
(b) Group Dynamics: Discuss what you learned about group processes and dynamics
(e.g., roles, stages, silence, hierarchy, etc.)
(c) Leadership: Discuss what you learned about group leadership skills and processes.
Discuss reflections on your leadership strengths and areas for development.
GRADES
A = 94% - 100%, A- = 90 – 93%, B+ = 87% - 89%, B = 84% - 86%, B- = 80% - 83%, etc.
Assignments
Course and University Policies
Late Assignments
Attendance and
Tardiness

Late assignments will be penalized 5 points per day unless arrangements
for late assignment(s) have been previously arrange with instructor
Students are expected to attend all classes unless extenuating
circumstances exist. All absences will be explained to the instructor of the
course and unexcused absences (as determined by the instructor) may
result in full final grade level reductions at the discretion of the instructor
of the course. Students may be required to do additional assignments in
case of absences.

Course number COUNS 571

Term Fall

7

Classroom
Demeanor and
Courtesy

Incompletes

Academic
Integrity

This course is taught in a manner that provides a safe, welcoming, and
inclusive classroom environment for students of all races, ethnicities,
sexual identities, genders, ages, religions, economic classes, and ability
statuses. As such, students will be encouraged and challenged to use
language, communication, and presentation strategies that are respectful,
and culturally appropriate.
Because students may not share the same opinions on different topics on
this class, it is important that we remember to respect the opinions and
ideas of others. We expect all students to show respect and courtesy for all
members of this class at all times. Refer to the Student Conduct Code:
http://www.pdx.edu/sites/www.pdx.edu.education/files/gse_handbook_stud
ent_conduct.pdf
A student may be assigned an Incomplete (I) grade by an instructor when
all of the following four criteria apply:
1. Quality of work in the course up to that point is C level or above.
2. Essential work remains to be done. “Essential” means that a grade for
the course could not be assigned without dropping one or more grade
points below the level achievable upon completion of the work.
3. Reasons for assigning an Incomplete must be acceptable to the
instructor. The student does not have the right to demand an
Incomplete. The circumstances must be unforeseen or be beyond the
control of the student. An instructor is entitled to insist on appropriate
medical or other documentation. In no case is an "Incomplete" grade
given to enable a student to do additional work in order to raise a
deficient grade.
4. A written agreement, signed by both the student and the instructor,
should include a statement of the remaining work to be done to remove
the Incomplete grade, and the date, not to exceed one year from the end
of the term of enrollment for the course, by which work must be
completed in order to earn credit toward the degree. The instructor may
specify the highest grade which may be awarded upon completion; the
grade awarded should not exceed the level of achievement attained
during the regular course period.
http://www.pdx.edu/ogs/incomplete-grades
The following constitutes conduct as proscribed by Portland State
University for which a student or student organization or group is subject
to disciplinary action:
(1) Obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration,
disciplinary procedures or other University activities, including the
University's public service functions or other authorized activities on
University-owned or -controlled property, or any other location where
teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures or other
University activities take place.
(2) All forms of academic dishonesty, cheating, and fraud, including but
not limited to: (a) plagiarism, (b) the buying and selling of course
assignments and research papers, (c) performing academic assignments

Course number COUNS 571

Term Fall

8

(including tests and examinations) for other persons, (d) unauthorized
disclosure and receipt of academic information and (e) falsification of
research data.
PSU Student Conduct Code # 577-031-0136
Returning
student work

Due to FERPA guidelines, student work must be directly returned to each
student (either face to face or via electronic or “snail” mail). If students
want a hard copy of their work returned, they should provide a stamped,
self-addressed envelope large enough to hold the assignments to be
returned.

Student Health
Insurance

PSU provides students taking 5 or more inload, non self-support credits per
term (1 credit for international students) with the mandatory PSU/Aetna
Student Health Insurance Plan.
See http://www.pdx.edu/shac/insuranceplan for more information.
Students may waive the insurance but must provide proof of enrollment in
a comparable insurance policy offered through another company. Students
only need to waive out once per academic year.
All eligible students will be charged for insurance unless they waive
out by the waiver application deadline, the second Sunday of each
term.
See http://www.pdx.edu/shac/insurancewaiver for specific information and
directions about waiving the health insurance, and a link to the online
waiver application.

22. Safe Campus
Module

LGBTQ
Resolution
Statement
Counselor Ed
Policy Statement

Contact insurancehelp@pdx.edu for more information.
Portland State University desires to create a safe campus for our students.
As part of that mission, PSU requires all students to take the learning
module entitled Creating a Safe Campus: Preventing Gender
Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Sexual
Assault. See http://www.pdx.edu/sexual-assault/safe-campus-module
As part of its commitment to social justice and human dignity, the
Curriculum and Instruction Department demonstrates LGBTQ advocacy
through inclusive policies and practices that are both intentionally
proactive and strategically responsive.
Department Policy Statement: The counseling profession requires a
high level of personal integrity, self-awareness, and personal maturity.
Demonstrating professionalism in classroom behavior, as well as being
present and engaged in classroom activities, is expected at all times as

Course number COUNS 571

Term Fall

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a graduate student in Counselor Education.
Students are expected to attend all class meetings; however, one
absence is not considered excessive. Students whose beliefs, religious
practices, or lifestyles may conflict with class attendance from time to
time should discuss such issues with the course instructor at the
beginning of the term. If possible, arrangements should be made to
make up missed attendance-related assignments and experiences. It is
up to the student and instructor to negotiate a satisfactory solution with
respect to absences.
Students and faculty are expected to maintain an atmosphere in which
controversial issues, germane to the subject matter, can be examined
and discussed. In exercising this freedom of expression, faculty and
students are expected to exercise appropriate restraint and show respect
for the opinion of others.
The Counselor Education program seeks to balance providing care and
support, high expectations, and opportunities for participation in
meaningful activities. All students are expected to participate in
constructing a respectful learning environment in the classroom. Arrive
to class on time, stay for the entire class, come back from breaks on
time, turn off cell phones, etc. Be mindful of what might detract from
the learning experience of students and faculty alike (e.g., talking to
fellow students during lecture).
All students in the program must demonstrate behavior that is
consistent with the Ethical Standards put forth in 2005 by the American
Counseling Association:
http://www.counseling.org/Resources/CodeOfEthics/TP/Home/CT2.as
px
Failure to do so can result in termination from the program.

Course number COUNS 571

Term Fall

10