Psychoeducational Groups: Process and Practice

Psychoeducational Groups: Process and Practice

Psychoeducational Groups: Process and Practice

Psychoeducational Groups: Process and Practice


The second edition of Psychoeducational Groups provides an overview of instructional theories together with guidelines for conducting psychoeducational groups. Two new chapters cover group planning and themed sessions with special populations.


Psychoeducational group leadership has not received the attention it needs to effectively prepare group leaders. Indeed, many practicing leaders have not had any formal training in group work, nor specific instruction for leading these groups. This book is intended to present some of the basic information about groups, and their leaders to help educate and guide you in understanding the structure, needs, dynamics, and specific techniques for leading these groups.

However, no one book can offer all the needed background information you will need, and was written with the assumption that you would have some needed formal instruction in the selected area, and basic communication and relating skills. Suggested areas include human growth and development, tests and other appraisal procedures, diversity and cultural issues, and an understanding of how to critically review the literature. This information is central to a deep understanding of the group, its members, and how to facilitate progress for both.

Another important point is that a psychoeducational group is not a collection of activities. I've noticed group leaders focus on forms, exercises, and games, and who seem to have a goal that members complete these without highlighting and enhancing members' personal learning. In other words, the leader has decided what is best for group members, is intent on accomplishing the leader's goals, and not attending to the members' goals. Some activities can be helpful at times, and information is presented in this book to guide you in selecting and effectively using them to help members achieve their goals.

Your personal development is also necessary as your self is one of the most important pieces you bring to leading psychoeducational groups. This is why there are personal development exercises included in the first eight chapters. I encourage you to use these to become more aware of your self, and to seek out other avenues for personal growth and development. This will make you more aware and sensitive to group members, reduce the potential for negative countertranference, provide you with confidence, and guide you to understand what to do and say in the group.

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