Department of Rehabilitation Psychology & Special Education
University of Wisconsin-Madison

RP&SE; 840 Rehabilitation Counseling Psychology - Group Procedures

Spring 2005

Instructor: Professor Norm Berven
432 N. Murray Street, Room 131

TA: Jill Bezyak
432 N. Murray Street, Room 421

Support: Mike Duckwitz
432 N. Murray Street


The course is a part of the core curriculum in the master’s degree program in rehabilitation counseling/rehabilitation psychology. It provides basic instruction related to conducting group counseling and related types of group work in rehabilitation settings with people with disabilities. The family is considered a special type of group, and group dynamics and family work are also covered. More specifically, the course focuses on the development of knowledge and skill in the following areas:

1. The nature and potential roles of group and family work in rehabilitation settings

2. Ethical issues related to group and family work

3. Multicultural issues related to group and family work

4. Group dynamics and process, including family dynamics

5. Group leadership and counseling skills

6. Practical considerations in establishing groups

7. Facilitation of involvement of family and significant others in rehabilitation programs
Primary Texts

Corey, M.S., & Corey, G. (2002). Groups: Process and practice (6th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Worden, M. Family therapy basics (3rd ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Recommended Text

Haney, H., & Leibsohn, J. (2001). Basic counseling responses in groups: A multimedia learning system for the helping professions. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

For those who do not purchase this multimedia learning system, materials will be available for check out and use at the Center for Instructional Materials and Computing (CIMC) in Teacher Education.


Over the course of the entire semester, each student will develop a group work intervention that will be six sessions in length, addressing a particular problem or need, that would be appropriate for use in a rehabilitation setting. This will provide a group work intervention that could be implemented as a part of future practicum or internship placements or in future professional positions.

Development of the group work intervention will require a review of literature to provide background for the conceptualization and conduct of the group, including a rationale for the importance of the group; establishment of objectives to be accomplished; development of procedures to address practical considerations (e.g., recruitment and selection of group members); detailed descriptions of the objectives, content, and procedures to be followed in each session of the group; and guidelines for leaders of the group, demonstrating application of content covered throughout the course regarding group dynamics, process, and leadership. Each student will prepare a manual for the group developed that will provide sufficient detail and materials to allow counselors to conduct the group as developed by the student. In addition, each student and another volunteer co-leader from the class will demonstrate a part of one session of the group, using the other students in the class as group members. Following are the specific requirements.

1. Attend class regularly

2. Complete all assigned readings and exercises

3. Complete the manual for the group, including the following components

a. Preliminary draft of the literature review (due February 10)

b. Preliminary draft of procedures to address practical considerations (due March 3)

c. Preliminary brief summaries of each of the group sessions, including a detailed summary of one session (due March 17)

d. Final draft of the entire manual (one copy in hard-copy, printed form and one copy on computer disk) (due May 5)

4. Present an overview of the group to the class and demonstrate part of one session of the group developed

Course Grades

Grades for the course will be determined as follows:

10% exercise in identifying and formulating counseling responses in groups

10% the three preliminary drafts of content for the group manual (all three combined)

20% group demonstration

40% group manual

20% participation in class over the entire semester

Tentative Schedule and Reading Assignments

January 20 Introduction & Ethical Issues (C&C; – Chaps. 1 & 3)

January 27 Group Leadership (C&C; – Chap. 2)

February 3 Counseling Responses in Groups (H&L; – Parts 1 & 2)

February 10 Counseling Responses in Groups (H&L; – Part 3)
Family Dynamics (W: Chap. 1)
Due: Draft of Literature Review Part of Manual

February 17 Forming a Group (C&C; – Chap. 4)
Due: Counseling Responses in Groups Exercise

February 24 Initial Stage of Group Process (C&C; – Chap. 5)

March 3 Initial Stage of Group Process (C&C; – Chap. 5)
Due: Draft of Practical Considerations Part of Group Manual

March 10 Initiating Family Work (W – Chaps. 2, 3, 4, & 5)

March 17 Transition Stage of Group Process (C&C; – Chap. 6)
Change and Resistance in Family Work (W – Chap. 6)
Due: Draft of Content Summary of Group Sessions and Detail on First Session


March 31 Working Stage of Group Process (C&C; – Chap. 7)
Change Techniques in Family Work (W – Chap. 7)

April 7 Ending Stage of Group Process (C&C; – Chap. 8)
Termination of Family Work (W – Chap. 8)

April 14 Student Group Demonstrations

April 21 Student Group Demonstrations

April 28 Student Group Demonstrations

May 5 Wrap-Up
Due: Final Drafts of Group Manuals

Outline for Group Manual

I. Introduction

A. Problem to be addressed by the group

1. Overview of the problem

2. Review of literature regarding conceptualization of the problem and strategies for addressing the problem

B. Review of literature on similar groups

C. Objectives for the group

II. Practical considerations

A. Target population

1. Recruitment procedures

2. Screening procedures

3. Selection procedures

B. Size of the group

C. Location and set-up of the space where the group will be conducted

D. Equipment and resources

III. Plan for each of the six sessions of the group

A. Agenda or outline with suggested time line

B. Materials needed

C. Detailed instructions for the leaders

D. Copies of any hand-outs

IV. Guidelines for the group leaders

V. Evaluation

Last modified: Wednesday, 2 January 2008, 11:15 AM