In the discussion of therapeutic factors, issues of group handling emerged. The main issue in this discussion of therapeutic factors is the idea to maintain the perspective of a group in achieving its goals. This practice is emphasized through the use symbolic tiers; “here-and-now” symbolic tier activation and the illumination of the interpersonal process. As an application, these two symbolic tiers are used with the same objective of goal achievement in members (Billow, 2005). Here-and-now act as information steer giving direction to the group about the awareness of what constitutes the “here-in-now”. Also, through this tier, we would be able to assess the impacts of the different undertakings of the group (Hogg & Turner, 1985).
In the activation phase, tier has a provision for reviewing the past and how it has affected the individual members’ present and even giving an eye to the future. The leader has a projection of the future from past, and present, known as the “power source”, becomes easier to handle (Campling & Haigh 1988).
In illumination, a comparison is drawn with other people and a decision reached on whether to change some behaviors (Billig & Tajfel,1973).
Judging how the group carries itself, third stage (norming) would be more appropriate for the status stage (Cialdini, 2007). This is because of the many interactions the group members developed. They have shown an interest. There is an inner urge in the members to see everyone among them to be more effective. Due to the increased cohesion between the members, there is a consequent increase in trust and the individual differences are appreciated. Now the group has shifted its focus to a higher level; focusing on achieving cooperation among them. On this stage the therapist has put less energy which is rather a mere support to the members. On the other side, the group is giving a communication of the undertakings, thus, there exists a constructive feedback system. This feedback system forms the backbone of a smoother running of the group, hence it furthers prospects of progression of the group.
Group norms are the basis which determines whether a certain group of members is conforming or reacting against management. It was easier for them to link and have a togetherness mentality since members knew each other. This togetherness can also be expressed as the sense of cohesion. One unique thing about this habit is that just some members have undertaken this habit and later it spread almost unconsciously throughout the group. The advantage of attachment of members to one another brings a satisfaction and a sense of security to members.
Among the many roles of this group, interpersonal learning is a responsibility fulfilled by the group. In this, a member is required to take time to understand others in the group. This becomes a gateway through which individual weaknesses in the group are appreciated. Another one is social support; this is when a member is free with another member when it comes to helping each other. This comes as a result of the social network built among the group members (Elster, 1989).
As we were meeting in the group, we came up with a formal leader. This leadership is of the transformational style. The choice of the leadership style here was dictated by the objectives the group had. Through this leadership, people would be inspired and motivated in order to achieve a higher goal. The main tasks in the leadership style were to build relationships and trust among members, leading and sustaining the change that is experience, striking a balance between the competing values and priorities, empowering individuals and finally supporting a knowledge culture that is free to participate in decision making (Yalom, & Leszcz, 2005).
In handling power issues, I mostly used the reflexive and relational way where I got to learn new tricks and ideas in the real time as I observe how other people handled problems. Another thing was to employ the four “C” leadership programs where I embraced competency, developed connections with other people who could help me, created a shared understanding and finally, built up a capacity for change.