Mutual Aid Support Group Practicum
"The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are." - C.S. Lewis
Groups are powerfully influenced by the members’ attitudes, values, and perceptions. Most people rely on social interaction to process life information and to face life's dilemmas. There is an extensive body of supportive evidence about groups and their efficacy, and yet we spend little time practicing group work. This internship will explore the richness of group work for many diverse concerns and will, hopefully, inspire workers to lead groups and be interested in learning about all that empathy and compassion might have to offer in the healing process.
We hope that this intensive practicum will be useful to a broad audience and hope to expand our work into more groups to build healthy communities. Our hope is to be helpful and to be a primary support for those who work in care giving professions, healthcare, corrections, substance use and misuse, and traditional psychotherapy. We have created this practicum in an effort to increase workers’ comfort and experience doing effective evidence-based focused therapy in a support group environment.
Define the meaning of and discriminate between the group tasks, group cohesion, and the maintenance dimensions and functions.
Define and clarify the meaning of mutual aid support.
Identify various reasons for clients to consider group work
Identify various kinds of groups including self-help support groups, psychotherapy, interpersonal, and expressive therapy groups. Our focus will be on mutual aid support groups.
Distinguish the various kinds of leadership and functions required for different types of groups, different developmental stages of the group, and in the role of boundaries.
Identify and elaborate the contribution in the process that the individuals make the pairs make in the group as a whole make in creating safety and atmosphere of acceptance and compassion
Review the major therapeutic factors discussed in the literature and identify them in group.
Identify factors to consider when selecting people for group work playing out contradictions and characteristics of people most suitable for support group work.
Identify the use of empathy and compassion for preparing people to make use of group and list the major factors of preparation and the advantages of a good pre-group preparation in screening.
Practice and achieve competency utilizing Motivational Interviewing in groups.
The individual practitioners involved in this program will be expected to attend a mutual support group as a participant, as an observer, and towards the end of the program, as a leader. This is a weekly one-and-a-half to two hour group meeting and an attendance rate of 85% is expected over the 33 week course of the program.
The individual practitioner will keep a journal and provide recordings of their work first in individual sessions and later on as the leader of a group. For this, the minimum investment would be half-an-hour per week.
The individual practitioner is expected to have one hour of individual and group supervision each week.
The total practicum is 99 hours over a 33 week period.