NAME:NYASHA MAKIWA B
QUESTION:UTILISING EXTENSIVE REFERENCE TO APPROPRIATE THEORATICAL LITERATURE AND SUPPORTED BY EXPERIENCE OR EXAMPLE OF YOUR CHOICE, DESCRIBE IN DETAIL THE UTILITY OF A GROUP FACILITATOR’S EXPERTISE FROM A GROUP INCEPTION
Group stage model of Tuckman is the theory of group development which is of great advantage on projecting the role that a facilitator use to facilitate during the group’s stage of development .These group stage of development includes forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. The roles that a facilitator may play include assessing member’s background ,taking note of the number of members in the group ,arranging meetings, being an educator ,clarifying of the goals ,identifying member’s problems, developing possible intervention, resolving conflict and giving undivided attention to all group members .Therefore giving reference to the alcoholics as a group of notice and other suitable examples the assignment will also project characteristics of a group, goals or aims ,expected group structure ,for instance group size ,group roles , group norms ,group benefits as well as group cohesiveness.
According to Schwarz, (1971) a group facilitator is, “a person who is acceptable to all group members substantively neutral and has no decision making authority, he helps the group improve the way it identifies, solve problems and make decision”. It is of paramount importance to note that the exact origin of group work is embodied in the use of facilitators which is an operative approach for groups to improve the core functioning and performance outcome (Schwarz, 1994) in (Baninajarian and Abdulla, 2009). This also entails a group facilitator as a professional social worker who should uphold social work values so as to work with the group effectively .Konopku, (1983) defines group work as a technique in the profession of social work that assist people in enhancing their social functioning through purposeful group experience and to cope well with their personal, group and community difficulties. One can note that development of group work was fundamentally protracted by prevailing situational circumstances, which appeared to give a drive force for its genesis and subsequent expansion up to today.
To begin with, the first stage of group development is forming according to (Tuckman, 1965).This stage puts the professional facilitator on the position to identify the affected individuals and bring them together to form a group. For instance forming a group of alcoholics , alcoholics tend to be not aware of the aftermaths of alcohol and it is also difficult for one to cope with addiction hence there is need to join a group as it serve double barrelled purpose that is solving problems and coping capacities as( Konopka ,1983 )notes .The facilitator’s role is primarily educative ,he or she is supposed to offer guiding principle for the task of the group and its purpose hence one can note that the role of a group facilitator is that of clarifying .Also the facilitator permits for regulation of social distance but summonses trust since it is at this stage members avoid close interactions and may be uncertainty about the group. Due to anxiety the reliance on the facilitator would be high. This juncture review that there is an objective on the inception of a group and on the case of alcoholics, the aim is to educate them on the effect of alcohol and for them to discover themselves .A facilitator is thus portrayed as a professional who can also take the role of an educator. Therefore through Tuckman’s model of group development, facilitator’s skills and knowledge are being portrayed as of great importance.
Also in the second stage of group development which is storming, which is a phase of great energy involvement the facilitator is supposed to play the role of listening and also the role of an enabler .It is at this stage that group fellows interact with each other and share experience . The facilitator plays a role of listening and this will encourage members to be open and feel free. This can be supported by (Toseland and Rivas) who implies that as group members share their ordeals the facilitator should be empathetic. The storming stage provide the facilitator with the root cause of members being involved with alcohol and he will be able to identify possible intervention. For instance when dealing with alcoholics, there are many types of social work group that can be utilised some of them being therapy and action group as (Douglas, 1976) implies .Therapy groups can be used to improve personal growth and an example of a therapy group is psycho-educational group. These are intended to inform people about excessive consumption of alcohol and related consequences. Hence a facilitator can make use of this model to extend awareness about behavioural, medical and psychological consequences of alcohol. This might help the group members to copy up with their hardships and have hope hence portraying the facilitator as an enabler. It is at this stage that members engage emotionally and have the need to belong, to review aims, some may even challenge to agreed aims and even the facilitator can be challenged. In this case a professional facilitator’s role is of promoting harmony within the group. Therefore, storming is a theoretical stage that is useful as it helps the facilitator to facilitate the group development.
Furthermore, Tuckman’s third stage of group inception is norming and it reviews the role of a facilitator as that of being a leader .It is characterised by interactive relations which encourage unity .It is also at this stage that group members work on the rules which will guide them stay in contact with the law so as for them to reach their aim .The professional facilitator can play the role of leading the discussion whilst in a meeting .The facilitator is thus supposed to possess good communication and observational skill and good command of language since all group followers might have wide-ranging perception .When creating rules a facilitator is thus supposed to uphold Ubuntu and worth of an individual which are the core values of social work. For example, when dealing with alcoholics, despite the fact that they behave in an unacceptable manner the facilitator is supposed to be non-judgemental and give ear to each member’s suggestions on the rules. Therefore norming as a theoretical stage it is of efficacy as it helps a facilitator to install the feeling of belonging to the group member and that empowers them to strive for their goal.
Moreover in the theoretical stage of performing which is the fourth stage of group development ,the facilitator plays the role of identifying each members problem and weakness .For instance ,when dealing with the alcoholics ,the facilitator is supposed to seek for the reason of engaging in alcoholism. Some of the cause of excessive consumption of alcohol is unemployment and laziness hence individuals will end up resorting to alcohol so as to occupy themselves .To address such a matter ,the facilitator should have certain skills such as of diverting the energy so as to side-step the group member’s pleasure in alcohol. He is supposed to develop program or projects that will occupy them, for example farming and selling their goods. In this case the facilitator also takes the role of a broker and link members with certain organisations that may help them improve their projects through providing farming lands ,fertilizers and seeds .One can note that by doing so group members will be able to discover themselves, their potentials and strengths hence achieving the goal of neglecting alcoholism. Also the problem of unemployment will be easily solved. Therefore one can note that referral is a basic knowledge and skill of the facilitator that is important in a group.
Lastly, Tuckman’s last stage of group development is called adjourning and in this stage a facilitator plays the role of harmonising. This stage is marked by completion of the group’s aim .Participants starts to have the sense of loss as the verdict to disintegrate is taken .A solid need to acknowledge what has been attained is felt and members will be looking onward to a different beginning. Also signs of the sense of loss is reviewed by the rejection to let go and resentment with other group members and this is when the facilitator is supposed harmonise the group. The group facilitator can reassure closure by honouring the feelings about relationships that would have developed and allowing departure rituals. One can note that disbanding is the decision that all group members partook at this stage as there would be need for them to start a new life with decent behaviour and planned use of their hard earned money. Such a good achievement tallies well with (Pipe and Ogrodniczuk, 2004) observation that groups are, “an excellent treatment choice for numerous intrapersonal and interpersonal issues and for helping people…”
To sum up, the facilitator’s skills and knowledge are of paramount importance as they contribute during the stages of group development, they enhance internal functioning and performance and somehow the achievement of the goals. These stages of the group development are forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning as Tuckman implies. The roles that a facilitator plays includes assessing the member’s background, maintaining the size of the group, arranging meetings ,acting as an educator ,clarifying the goals and rules, identifying member’s problems ,resolving conflicts ,giving undivided attention and taking the face of an enabler and that of a broker.
Baninajarian, N and Abdullah, Z.B. (2009). Groups in Context: A Model of Group Effectiveness; European Journal of Social Sciences. Volume 8, Number 2.
Douglas T (1976) Group work Practice. Tavistock Publication
Konopka G (1983) Social Group work: A Helping Process. New Jersey: Practice-Hall
Piper W. E and Ogrodniczuk, J. S (2004) Brief Group Therapy, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Toseland, R.W and Rivas, R.F. (2005). An Introduction to Group Work Practice: Allyn and Bacon. Boston.