reply June Brown

DB 5


In Group counseling: Strategies and skills, Jacobs et. al., (2016), emphasized the idea that there are thirteen (13) problem situations that may cause conflict in a group, resulting in it straying away from its primary goals. Group members have various interests, beliefs, and preferences – which may pose a threat as problems may arise, and negatively impact the group (Forsyth, 2019).

One particular problem highlighted would be a group member who chooses to remain silent, in fear of judgment if they open themselves up to the rest of the group. Silence can either be productive or counterproductive. Productive silence occurs in instances wherein the member is internally processing ideas or occurrences in the group setting. Counterproductive silence, on the other hand, is when members appear bored and lack interest (Corey, Corey & Haynes, 2014).

Productive silence was evident with group member SusAnne in the Group in Action DVD, featuring Corey, Corey, and Haynes (2014), who initially desired to explore relationships that existed in her life but chose to remain silent instead, as she was wary of the perception of the other members once she opened up. She explicitly stated, “I feel that people will judge me, once they know me” (Corey, Corey & Haynes, 2014 p. 30). The keen observation of both leaders Jerry and Marianne led to the intervention of using open-ended questions and dyad to help her further explore the personal beliefs she created as her protective mechanism. As a result, she was able to express a sense of relief once she tapped into her emotions (Corey, Corey & Haynes, 2014).

If a conflict is not addressed, a safe and comfortable environment is difficult to establish. This conflict then becomes a hidden agenda, hindering effective and efficient group interaction (Corey, Corey & Haynes, 2014).

Many conflicts are based on individuals ‘misperception.  In order for the group process to move forward group members must undo their perceptual misunderstandings by actively communicating information about their goals, as open lines of communication not only aids in establishing trust between members but creates a safe environment, increasing cohesion and unity amongst the members (Forsyth, 2019).  Jerry and Marianne provide SusAnne with a safe environment, which helped her verbalize her emotions, process them, and allowed her to move forward with her established goals.


Corey, G., Corey, M. S., & Haynes, R. (2014). Groups in action: Evolution and challenges (2nd   ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Forsyth, Donelson. (2013). Group Dynamics, 6th Edition. Cengage Learning, VitalBook file.

Jacobs, E. E., Schimmel, C. J., Masson, R. L., Harvill, R. L., (2016). Group counseling: Strategies and skills (8th ed). Cengage Learning: Boston MA

Joseph Lyons 

Group Conflict


Group conflict is truly unavoidable when you bring a slew of individuals together, especially in a group setting. In our textbook “Group counseling: Strategies and Skills” there are a number of problematic scenarios that can cause conflict if not addressed appropriately. Conflict occurs in a group, the actions of one or more members of the group are unacceptable to and resisted by one or more on the group members (Forsyth, 2019, p. 410). For example, in groups like education, discussion or task groups a dominator is present. A dominator is a member who is trying to run things and be in control of the group (Jacob, Schimmel, Masson & Harvill, 2016, p. 408). Having a dominator in a group is quite common because groups are made up of individuals that vary in personalities, gender and cultural background. Individuals instinctively purse their own interests and to some this will lead them to compete with other members instead of working together in order to fulfill their own preferences, goal and or how the group should be run. When a dominator tries to take over a group there are several things that ensue such as not giving others an opportunity to engage in group discussion, cause meetings to go over schedule time, and tends to discourage other members from sharing. This type of behavior goes against the intended purpose of the group and therefore the group leader must maintain full control of the group. Forsyth (2019, p. 438) states that just as long as the conflict is managed well, expands the ranges of options, generates new alternatives, and enhances the groups unity by making explicit and help members understand their role in the group. Essentially, conflict arise in in  groups because of their diverse interest and preferences can pull them in different directions. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV) says “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing”. God encourages us to come together the purpose helping one another pull through problematic situations in our lives such a educational and support groups.


Forsyth, D. R. (2019). Group Dynamics (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, Inc.

Jacobs, E., Schimmel, C., Masson, R., & Harvill, R., (2016). Group counseling: Strategies and skills. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. 

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