Developmental Aspects of Group Counseling: Process, Leadership, and Supervision
by Rex Stockton
Gain new skills for leading psychotherapy groups in this video featuring seasoned group expert, Rex Stockton, supervising two students as they lead a 16-week group to deeper insight, connection, and personal engagement.
Like individual therapy, group therapy is a process characterized by distinct phases and corresponding therapeutic tasks. Therapists who understand these phases and their underlying dynamics have an advantage in supporting their groups through the challenging and sometimes perplexing nature of group work.
Clinicians interested in leading groups will learn a great deal from watching these two students develop their skills and confidence over the course of this intensive therapy process. Dr. Rex Stockton of Indiana University demystifies the nuances of the beginning, working, and ending stages of short-term group therapy.

As part of a 16-week process group, six adults have come to gain insight into a variety of pressing life issues. Under supervision from Stockton, who provides useful commentary throughout the video, co-leaders Eddie and Kent help members set clear goals for the group, agree on expectations, give and receive feedback, and deepen self-disclosure. As the group gains momentum, the leaders must recognize clinical signposts, strike a supportive balance of maintaining safety and encouraging risk, manage collective transitions and conflicts, and take their own professional risks to intervene appropriately and build self-confidence. As the group winds down, Stockton outlines the termination stage, while Eddie and Kent demonstrate effective ways to facilitate a thorough closure.

Group work can be challenging for both members and facilitators, and this video offers real tools and an accessible framework for developing group therapists. You’ll find yourself drawn in by the reflective natures of both members and facilitators, and Stockton’s supervision provides insight into not just group leadership, but therapist training itself.

Beginning therapists and those interested in learning more about this modality will easily identify with Eddie and Kent as they find their respective seats, while more experienced clinicians will appreciate Stockton’s step-by-step breakdown of the trajectory. This video is a must-have for therapists who run groups or those who would like to.
In Depth
Whether you’ve led, observed or participated in therapeutic process groups, you’ve likely sensed that they have concrete, discernible phases. In this educational video, Dr. Rex Stockton explicitly demystifies these phases in a straightforward way, offering clear outlines interspersed with corresponding demonstrations of the developmental stages of short-term group therapy, co-facilitated by two of Stockton’s supervisees.

This group takes a journey, indeed! The video is both ambitious and adventurous, and you’ll feel gratified watching leaders Eddie and Kent take their insights from Stockton’s supervision back to the group at each stage. The six group members (seamlessly role-played by Stockton’s other counseling students) learn as they go, staying engaged amid emotional uncertainty and interpersonal rifts that threaten group cohesion.

You’ll see the two leaders gain confidence over the course of the group, offering process statements that encourage thoughtful cross-communication, titrating the pace of individual contributions, and helping members translate insight into action. Nearing the group’s end, each member is invited to resolve unfinished business while processing both the closure of the group and plans for integrating the work into their lives. At the group’s close, all involved are genuinely moved by the experience.

By watching this video, you will:
  • Understand the developmental stages and trajectory of short-term group counseling.
  • Identify clinical signposts for making effective group interventions.
  • Learn tools for supporting group members in self-disclosure, processing group milestones, and integrating the work.

Length of video: 2:11:04

English subtitles available

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-426-6

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-426-0

Rex Stockton is the Class of 1969 Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology at Indiana University, where he has held a wide variety of academic, administrative and professional responsibilities. For 20 years, he directed the annual Paul Munger Summer Conference for counselors at Indiana University, a well-known in-service training program for counselors in Indiana and neighboring states.

Dr. Stockton is a recipient of the American Counseling Association’s Extended Research Award and the Association for Specialists in Group Work Eminent Career Award. Most recently, he received APA’s Division 49, the Arthur Teicher Award. He is also a recipient of the Burton W. Gorman Teaching Award at Indiana University and the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision’s Distinguished Mentor Award. In addition to his research efforts, Dr. Stockton has conducted many workshops, nationally and internationally.

As well as his consulting, instructional and research activities, Dr. Stockton has held numerous offices and committee assignments in professional societies. Among other roles, he is a Fellow of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and of the American Psychological Association (APA).

Currently, Dr. Stockton leads a project focusing on counselor training and research related to HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. More information about the International Counseling, Advocacy, Research and Education (I-CARE) project may be found here.

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