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In society, many counselors are facilitating psychoeducational support groups for various reasons. During this assignment, the writer is providing a university lecturer in a group proposal on how to facilitate a psychoeducational support group that teaches parenting skills. In this assignment, the writer will cover the rationale and purpose for parenting skills, the findings, the theory, and basic tenet of the theory. The writer is also providing the university lecturer with an outline of the group proposal for (4) – sessions, goals, group guidelines, an informed consent form, and out comes using a Likert scale for group member s to rate their experience in learning parenting skills. Keywords: groups, psychoeducational, parenting

The purpose for facilitating parenting skills support groupsIn society, many counselors have to counsel parents that have problems getting along with their children, or want to ameliorate their parenting skills. Thus, using community support programs will enable each parent to enhance his or her ability to channel through some communication barriers and become parents that are more productive. Rationale/Purpose

As part of psychoeducational group work, parenting skills are part of life skills training. When a parent learns new skills that can enhance his or her ability to be a better parent, the skills building aspect of the training focuses on assisting individuals to recognize and improve in areas of their lives in which they fall short. During the parenting skills process, parents learn coping responses, and learn new and appropriate behaviors. Although purposes for parenting skills training may differ, one of the primary reasons for forming a support group is that it teaches parents how to respond to their child’s behavioral problems, which can put children at risk of mental illness as an adult. Too often, situations like these can lead to underprivileged outcomes on a long-term basis. Thus, other reasons could include, increasing the risk of other mental health issues such as unemployment, criminality, and a shorter lifespan. Whenever situations like these occur, most children seek assistance from their teachers and others medical providers. In many instances, only a small portion of the population has access to well-structured community based programs that provide early interventions.

“A strong body of research demonstrates the effectiveness of these programs, but much less is known about the practicalities of identification and referral … is among the key ingredients of good implementation”. One of the primary reasons for a parenting skills support groups was to maximize the understanding of some the key constraints and barriers that seem to be affecting the execution of current early intervention programs. Currently, most early intervention programs promote a better quality of life for children with conduct problems. Thus, the best practices were to explore the best solutions in overcoming these barriers. In this assignment, the writer provides empirical evidence through national surveys, past, and more recent studies that facilitating parental skills are very effective. (p. 194) Findings

Researchers attribute the psychological process, as a complicated recommendation, requiring parents to acknowledge challenges in managing their child’s behaviors. In many instances, this will allow parents to overcome their feelings of failure, or baring the risks disclosing disgraceful information to professionals. To be dependent for support, professionals over the years have concluded that understanding the significance of what they see, hear, know, and teach will motivate parents to learn new skills. However, this will promote their willingness to participate in parenting skills support programs (Khan, Parsonage, & Brown, 2013). Most of the demographics targeted mostly inner city neighborhoods—for example, in a more recent study, a group of people from the community in North Minneapolis, Minnesota targeted a variety of races. Out of 47 participants, only 35 participants completed the 10 sessions out 12. Out of the psychoeducational-parenting groups, only [85%] were female [15%] were males that completed the program. Berge, Law, Johnson, & Wells (2010) found the following: The majority of parents were African American (79%), with 11% Caucasian, 6% Native American, 2% Hispanic, and 2% other.

Over half of the parents participating (68%) were single parents. Of the 32% of parents who were married, the mean years of marriage was 3 (SD = 5.16). Over 60% of the parents made less than $30,000 a year and 56% of parents were unemployed 31% were employed full-time, and 13% were part-time employed. (p. 226) Further studies revealed that some parents did not have as much education as some others and that only [43%] of the parents failed to complete high school. Thus, and only [34%] of those parents completed high school and received an alternative accommodation such as a GED instead of a high school diploma The other [23%] had completed or attended college. (P. 226) Berge, Law, Johnson, & Wells (2010) found the following: The age bracket for the children ranged from (5) – five through (10) – ten. M = 7.13; SD = 1.67) with 65% boys and 35% girls. Parents had an average of 2 children (M = 2.29; SD = 1.18; range = 1–6). The research over the years continues to eliminate some of the different perceptions that poor childhood behaviors can delay access to appropriate help to address children with severe problems.

Researchers over the years have also discovered that some parents have made substantial improvements in their parental skills, but because some of the complex problems, researchers encountered over the years when trying to make referrals, this made the process more complicated to work with families or high-risk groups (Khan, Parsonage, & Brown, 2013). Due to some of the problems that parents have to cope with on a routine basis, parents participate in programs in which the primary focus is to promote healthy child development. Other purposes for parental programs are to promote healthy relationships between parents and their children. Today, parents are trying to improve parental skills in knowledge, behavior, coping, and family relationships through intrapersonal and interpersonal determinants, which can be very effective.

“The Triple P Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) is one of the most widely disseminated ‘brands’ of behavior-based parenting training” (McConnell, Breitkreuz, & Savage, 2012, p. 43). In order for group facilitators to be successful using the Triple P during parenting skills training, the facilitator must facilitate a matching intervention that accommodates that parent and child’s needs. To be effective, the Triple P consists of multilevel functioning, which practitioners designed to improve parenting training and support. The entire process of interventions in a multilevel system is to equip the parent with better parenting skills—by allowing them to have access to high quality psychoeducational material. One of the primary focuses of the Triple P session is to determine if levels (2)-two and (3)-three will enhance the parental outcomes with their children and other family members.

Theory Therapist should have an understanding of one or more counseling theories for individual counseling before attempting to facilitate in groups. Learning more about human behavior is important when teaching skills building techniques such as, decision-making, support, and personal growth. In most instances, people who lead psychoeducational groups and other counseling groups usually lack the experience and expertise to lead group therapy. Some of them also lack the insight and understanding of counseling theories, which is essential before attempting to lead a group. “These group leaders think all they need to know is information about group process and group dynamics, and then the members will be the agents of change”. Whenever a group leader thinks this way, there is no way of justifying the concept. For example, whenever this occurs, many substance abuse users, their children, sexual predators, and agoraphobic folk, need a therapist with a complex understanding of their deep emotional scars that can show empathy because in most instances, group members have no theoretical understanding of their problems.

In this day and time, researchers try to encourage those that hold leadership positions to educate group members about the basic tenets from out of one of the major counseling theories and not just theories alone during group therapy. In many instances, the majority of researchers teach Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), which Albert Ellis established during the 50’s of the 20th century and the Transactional Analysis (TA) in which Eric Berne established during the late 50’s. These theories are very instrumental in assisting group leaders to gain a better understanding of human behavior and group members seem to catch on fast to the concept. During this assignment, the writer will use the TA because it is much easier for the participants to learn and leaders to teach. The theory of TA is to accept non-judgmental focus on a person’s thoughts, emotions, and what is going on around them at the presently. In parenting support groups, the concept of a mindful based transactional analysis (MBTA), which is an 8-week psychoeducational therapy program that screen participants to participate in the here and now. Group therapist use this theory to deal with the unpleasant issues that parents and children my encounter with their ego, thoughts, and emotions. The theory also deals with the physical sensations or external stimuli.

When forming a group, not only is it important to have a purpose and theory, it is equally just as important to have goals. Goals set the tone and direction for the group. Each goal has specific objectives in which the leader wants to accomplish with the group. The screening process to psychoeducational groups may have a universal quality. When group leaders have goals, it is also important that they conduct some different exercises. Although this part of theory is informative, conducting exercises are just as equally important. Some therapists agree that there are at least (6) – six exercises that group leaders should consider or apply to the group process. To be effective in the process, group leaders should make out a list of instructions, limitations on group sharing, addressing, emotional responses, changing exercises when they are not effective, how much time each member will have to speak, and determining if group leaders can participate in group discussions. Some of the techniques that group leaders can conduct with groups to get group members involved in the process are asking group members a series of questions.

For example, they ask questions like; guess what the problem is; and other opened and closed-ended questions. Other techniques group leaders can use to illicit a response from other members are role-playing the working member, use of therapeutic rounds, and other creative use of members. Not only should group leaders use techniques to get group members involved, they need to have a style that is effective as well. Some of the leadership styles that are effective is having an in-depth knowledge of the topics and subjects discussed, creating a conducive atmosphere, directing and redirecting the focus, acknowledging members and what they are sharing, keep on with the time, and allotting proportionately.Session Outlines Parenting support group

This group will be a psychoeducational group for parents between the ages of 25 and 35 that want to improve his or her parenting skills. The group’s primary focus is to enhance the relationship between parents and their children. The group will meet for (4) – four weeks for 90 minutes for (4) – four sessions starting

November 03, 2014 at 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
November 10, 2014 at 6: 30 PM – 8:00 PM
November 17, 2014 at 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
November 24, 2014 at 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Each session will meet at The Carte Center for Health and Wellness 612 East Landover Dr. Danville, VA 24541. The registration fee is $25.00 (non-refundable). Future participants should make out checks or money orders to the Gearcy Group Foundation. There will be a $25.00 service charge on return checks. Registration starts from October 10, 2014 and ends on October 24, 14. Informed consent form for confidentiality contracts will be reviewed and signed before Group sessions begins. For further assistance and questions, please contact Danny R. Totten at 336 342 9625 (Group facilitator) Rationale, goals, and objectives

The rationale for conducting a parenting group is as follows: Cover informed consent and contract between participants and sign to participate. To improve the relationship between parents and children – What are some of thing that you can do as parent to improve your relationship with your child/children. To deal with the unpleasant issues that parents go through with their children – What are some things that children do not like to talk to parents about? To deal with how parents can respond to their children effectively through role-playing- Your child talks back to you. How can you deescalate that situation and respond to negative behaviors? Goals and objectives for the parental group are as follows: The group leader will pass out information on Transactional Analysis (TA) and Using Trip P (TP). To improve parenting skills – What are some things that you can do with your child to improve parenting skills? To improve interpersonal communications skills with parent and child- TA- How can TA help you understand interpersonal relationships with your child/children? Using TP during parenting skills- How can TP teach you as parent to be proactive instead of reactive to rambunctious behaviors from your child/children? Exercises

Groups will split up in to dyads (6) – members to each group- Group members will take (2) – two minutes to introduce themselves Groups will respond to group activities in rounds-groups will take 15 minutes Groups will provide feedback on written exercises – There is (6) – six exercises that will last for 15 minutes and group sessions should end in 90 minutes or less Supplies needed for each session are chairs, pencils, and paper. The setting will be in a private environment (soundproof room). for parent to learn new parenting skills Group guidelines and rules

No name-calling or insults/grounds for dismissal
Confidentially – Whatever participants discuss stays in the group. Refer to informed consent for more clarity on limitations. No advice giving
Cohesiveness – Allow others to share their thoughts and feelings. Be courteous to others and not interrupt them when they are speaking No profanity
Tolerance – No arguing or debating over other’s opinions No verbal threats or aggressive behaviors (verbal or non-verbal) towards group members Crying – Show empathy, sympathy, and understanding. Use listening skills. Let them let it out without worrying about time. Le t the group leader worries about that Punctuality – Be on time/if you are late you may not be permitted to enter the session. Therefore, try to arrive a few minutes Monopolizing – No one should attempt to dominate the group and not allow others a chance to share. For the sake of time, the group leader may interrupt to let other group members participate Any one that does not turn in a signed contract and informed consent will not be allowed to participate due to liability reasons. No new members admitted after the registration closes

The second session group goals are as follow: Exploring ways to respond to negative behaviors and improving parenting skills. Written exercises in all (6) – six 15 minute rounds. What are some of the things that you feel that you can do as a parent to improve your relationship with you child/children. Only 2 minutes will be allowed to write a written response to each question and the reminder of the time for each round for group discuss. *Note: at the group leader’s discretion, the time limits can be changed without notice. To allow everyone time to participate in group dialogue. What are your negative/positive thoughts on corporal punishment? List 10 things that you think that you could do to make you a better parent. The third session goals are as follows: Breaking down communication barriers and learning different parenting styles. Handouts on the (4) – four different parenting styles by the group leader.

How much do you know about developing a behavioral point system for a child that constantly gets into trouble in school to promote better behavior? How much quality time do you as a parent spend with your child a week? What are some ways that you can improve this? In response to the handout, which parenting style do you see yourself a parent, practicing and why? The final session is a review of all the goals and objectives. Group members will be allowed the opportunity to share with the group what they have learned. Demonstrate group ability to feedback and review on the parenting skills training has been beneficial to them Each group member will demonstrate his or her ability to verbalize your understanding of parenting skills TP and TA How will each of you apply the things that you have learned about parenting skills when you get home? Termination remarks – Share with the group what you have learned. The group leader will draw names for complementary gifts and a grand prize Marketing & Screening

The group leader contacted community agencies like the department of social services, division of child support enforcement, community action centers, and mental health agencies by phone to request permission to promote the parenting skills class. Local radio stations provided advertisement. The group leader placed flyers on community boards No intoxicated parents under influence of drugs and alcohol present will be allowed to participate Screening questions asked questions like: are you between the ages of 25 to 35. Would you be willing to give up to 90 minutes of your time once a week for 4 weeks to improve your parenting skills? Do you have children from the ages of 5 to 10? Is your income $30,000 or less? If you can answer yes to these questions, then you meet the criteria to participate in this parenting skills group. The $25 dollar registration will cover cost for use of the facility, to give each parent complementary gift for participating, and for a grand prize drawing Informed consent

In the quality standards of Section 6 of the ACA Code of Ethics, that addresses the roles and relationships of individuals that participate in group therapy (Counsel, 2014). The privacy and all communication of each participant in group therapy remains confidential by state laws at all times. The Gearcy Group Foundation takes confidentially serious and will not release or disclose any information without written permission and consent. However, there are a few exceptions if during group sessions, if group participants disclose any information that violates any laws with criminal activity, abuse of child/elderly or any report of neglect, or threatens to do anyone bodily harm; it is the group therapist legal responsibility to contact the proper authorities to report it. In some court proceedings, records can be subpoenaed but with few exceptions to client and therapist confidentiality. As your group therapist, I will do everything to enforce this agreement, but cannot promise you that other group members will not release confidential information. If any members report that information outside of group was disclosed to others outside of the group that participant, will be dismissed immediately from the group and could face criminal prosecution under state laws if the accusation proves to be true.

The Gearcy Group specializes in psychoeducational group therapy and skills building activities to assist in improving the lives of others with goals and objectives to assist each group member to obtain an optimal level of living in society with core skills. The mission of the Gearcy Group is to reach the masses of people from all lifestyles that meet certain standards and criteria. Group members are asked to be on time and to attend all group sessions as much as possible. Each group leader is responsible making sure that each group operates efficiently and with the rules and guidelines. Each group leader is a licensed therapist at the Gearcy Group and is certified by the National Board of Certified Counselors. If you have any complaints, the Gearcy Group would rather that you contact us so that we can work out a reasonable solution to any problems. However, if you would prefer to file a complaint you should contact The Virginia Board of Counseling at Phone: (800) 533-1560 or visit their website at and submit a complaint on line Outcomes On a scale of (1) – one to (5) – five with (5) – five stating that you strongly agree, (1) – one, you strongly disagree, (4) – four, you somewhat agree, (3) – three, remain neutral, and (2) – two, you somewhat disagree. How would you rate your experience being a part of a parenting support group? Strongly disagree

Somewhat disagree Remain neutral Somewhat agree Strongly agree To improve parenting skills – Do you agree or disagree with some things that you can do with your child to improve parenting skills? Would you agree or disagree that TA can help you understand interpersonal relationships with your child/children? Would you agree or disagree that spending quality with your child for several hours a week, can improve your relationship with your child? Problem Solving

The chronic talker – The chronic talker is the one that dominates the group with excessive talking. When addressing a chronic talker, a group leader has several different strategies that he or she can use to address the chronic talker. The group leader can assign group members an exercise, which allows each group member to provide feedback. In many instances, the group leader can assign group members the responsibility of pairing off into dyads to make sure that the chronic talker pairs off with the leader. The advantage to taking this step is to address the chronic talker one on one. Another strategy that a group leader can use to address the chronic talker is verbally prompt the group with a question that elicits a response from other group members (Jacobs, Masson, Harvill, & Schimmel, 2012). The silent member – To be productive when there is silence within the group, a group member that is productive when silence occurs is internally processing the concept that something occurred in the group by being said, or done. When a group member is nonproductive, they sit quietly and may not talk because they may be confused about what to share with the group, scared to speak, or may be bored.

To be productive and elicit a response from a silent member, the group leader can ask an opened ended question and break the silence. The member who attacks another in the group – In some groups, there are situations when group members do not get along. Sometimes there are situations where group members do not like each other. This can erode in arguments and disagreements. In many instances, something usually happened prior to the group session began. Sometimes when group members have a verbal altercation or disagreement, it can lead to silence in the group. When another group member viciously attacks another group member, it can set the tone of group for failure. The best way to avoid situations like this from occurring within the group is for the group leader to screen the applicants prior to assigning group members in dyads. Although this may be a good method to avoid conflict, it does not necessarily work all the time, because during the process, they may begin to dislike each other.

A good way to bring cohesion to the group process disagreements, arguments, and dislikes occur among group members; the leader can ask the group members how they grew to dislike each other so much. If this does not work, the group leader should meet with the group members and address the issue of them not getting along with each other in private. The group leader should inform them why he or she would like to deal with the issue in a group setting. The group leader should get group members that are not getting along to make a commitment to each other to focus on the group instead of themselves. If all fails, it may be good idea to separate the two group members or dismiss them from the group to save the group. The member that stops coming – The group leader should find out the reason why the group member could not attend. Although the group member made a commitment to be a part of the group, sometimes things happen beyond a person’s control and for this reason, a follow-up should take place. If it is possible, it will be a good idea to put emphasizes on why attendance is important to the group. If the member stops coming, the group lead should dismiss the member from the group and send them a letter stating the reasons for dismissal.


Berge, J. M., Law, D. D., Johnson, J., & Wells, G. M. (2010). Effectiveness of a psychoeducational parenting group on child, parent, and family behavior:A pilot study in a family practice clinic with an underserved population. Families, Systems, & Health, 28(3), 224-235. doi:10.1037/a0020907 Counsel, A. G. (2014). ACA code of ethics. Alexandria: The American Counseling Association. Gadding, S. T. (2012). Groups a counseling specialty. Upper Saddle River: Peason Education, Inc. Jacobs, E. E., Masson, R. L., Harvill, R. L., & Schimmel, C. J. (2012). Group counseling strategies and skills. Belmont: Brooks/Cole. Khan, L., Parsonage, M., & Brown, E. R. (2013). Parenting programmes: identification and referrals. Journal of children’s services, 8(3), 352 – 363. doi:ttp://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JCS-03-2013-0011 McConnell, D., Breitkreuz, R., & Savage, A. (2012). Independent evaluation of the Triple P Positive Parenting Program in family support service settings. Child & Family Social Work, 43-54. doi:doi:10.1111/j.1365-2206.2011.00771.x n.d. (2014, October 19). Virginia department of health professions. Retrieved from Virginia board of counseling: www.dhp.virginia.gov/counseling/ Zvelc, G., Cernetic, M., & Kosak, M. (2011). Mindfulness-based transactional analysis. Transactional Analysis Journal, 41(3), 241-254. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/925800934?accountid=12085

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