Facilitating Challenging Groups: Leaderless, Open, and Single Session Groups (Paperback) book cover

Facilitating Challenging Groups

Leaderless, Open, and Single Session Groups

By Nina W. Brown

© 2014 – Routledge

200 pages

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pub: 2013-08-21
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About the Book

Groups— like the people in them—come in all forms, and often they don’t fit a standard mold. Single-session, leaderless, and open groups are three of the most common kinds of nonstandard groups, but participants and facilitators of these kinds of groups have few, if any, resources at their disposal when they try to confront the unique challenges that their group structures present. Facilitating Challenging Groups confronts these challenges head on and offers activities, tools, tips, and techniques vital to everyone from the smallest self-help group to the largest human-relations training session. Readers will come away from this book with a deep understanding of each group’s unique needs, the leader’s role where applicable, and concrete strategies for developing the two traits most important to any successful group: universality and hope.


"Nina Brown has targeted three challenging types of groups rarely discussed in professional writings—open, leaderless, single session—and has described the nuances of each. Seldom does a comprehensive and well-researched book also include so many ideas for practice. The guidelines, suggestions, and activities are innovative and can compel readers to (almost) want to face the obstacles these three kinds of groups can present. This volume indeed is a rare find."

—Kathleen Y. Ritter, professor of psychology, California State University-Bakersfield

"This unique book is beneficial for the new or emerging group leader, with an emphasis on potential pitfalls and the emotional presence of the leader. Specific practical suggestions, such as options for addressing tardiness or resistance, methods of building cohesion, and a wealth of structured activities, are invaluable for building group-facilitation skills and helping leaders learn to tune in to process dynamics."

—Rebecca MacNair-Semands, PhD, CGP, senior associate director, Counseling Center, University of North Carolina-Charlotte

"Nina Brown provides a useful resource for group leaders dealing with three types of groups that challenge leaders and group members. The book is filled with useful information and resources for those interested in meeting the challenge of working with these groups. The reader is given appropriate background material for each group as well as helpful information on how to facilitate maximum group development."

—Rex Stockton, Chancellor’s Professor, department of counseling and educational psychology, Indiana University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 1. Facilitating Challenging Groups: Leaderless, Open and Single Session Groups 2. General Group Factors 3. Developing a Therapeutic Alliance: Leader – Member Relationships 4. Open Groups: Challenges and Benefits 5. Open Groups: Issues, Concerns and Possible Strategies 6. Open Groups: Facilitative Skills and Techniques 7. Leaderless Groups: Challenges, Benefits and Self-help Groups 8. Leaderless Groups: Guidelines for Facilitation 9. Single Session Groups: Challenges and Benefits 10. Single Session Groups: Planned or Unplanned Groups, Managing Premature Termination 11. Activities: Guidelines, Introductions and Ice Breakers 12. Activities: Self-reflection and Expressing Emotions 13. Activities: Communications and Closure References Index

About the Author

Nina W. Brown, EdD, is professor and eminent scholar of counseling at Old Dominion University. She is a fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association and the author of 23 books, including Creative Activities for Group Therapy and Psychoeducational Groups, 3rd edition.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Counseling