Group or facilitate change in people, but

Group therapy is a popular treatment used by many counselors
and clinicians. This is one type of treatment that I, myself am excited to
learn more about. I am excited to learn how to facilitate groups because there
are so many different factors that go into very specific groups. Whenever you
bring people together from all different types of backgrounds and bring them in
for a discussion, you need to be aware that people may talk about things from a
different cultural perspective than yours.

Currently in my counseling career, I feel somewhat prepared
to work with group members who differ from me with respect to age, gender,
culture, ethnicity, religious/spiritual background, sexual orientation, and
socioeconomic status. I know I am not prepared to lead group therapy or facilitate
change in people, but I have always felt comfortable talking with other people
from different backgrounds. In time, I hope that I will be able to do both.
When it comes to talking to different people of ages, I feel as though that
would be a lot harder for me. I feel like I connect easier with children and
adolescents because I myself am a big kid at heart and I know how to relate to
them. But, when it comes to people who are older than me, it is harder for me
to relate to them and talk to them because sometimes it feels as though they
look down on my intelligence and I sometimes feel as though they act like they
know more than me. Dealing with people with that mentality can be challenging
because they can sometimes not take you seriously. You must be able to find a
way as a counselor to work out the differences and challenges you may have
because of an age difference.

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Gender can also be a hard for me to work with because we may
both go into the therapy sessions with different biases for men and women. I
feel like if I was put in a situation where certain gender norms were being
discussed and my biases conflicted with the groups, I probably would not know
the best way of how to handle that discussion. I can only hope that with
practice and knowledge, I would get better at putting my biases to the side.

I love hearing and talking about diversity issues in groups
because I like to hear different people’s experiences based on their culture
and ethnicity. Being African American, I always find it easier to talk to
people about African American experiences who are in fact African American, but
that does not mean that I cannot talk about it with other races as well. When
diversity issues are opened to a diverse group, it can sometimes bring
awareness to things people may not have known about. The same things apply to
people with different sexual orientations. We can have a conversation about
problems in the LGBTQ community and I may not know a lot about their
perspectives because I am not apart of that community, but it does not mean
that I am still not interested in learning. As a counselor, if you are not
apart of the specific community that is being discussed, you can still talk
about it in a way for the clients to get out what they need to get out and problem-solving
happing in therapy. 

People have individual and unique personalities and cultural
backgrounds, which at times can collide with people that are different from
them, leaving a more detrimental outcome than a encouraging one. As a
facilitator of a group, if more than one member of the group is affected by
diversity issues, the session can take a turn for the worst. As a counselor we
should be able to handle these types of situations so that people with these
different multicultural perspectives can possibly educate people or enhance
their knowledge on certain subjects. With enough skill and more education on
group therapy, I plan to feel prepared to work with group members who differ
from me in all areas at life and I hope we can come together to help them with
the problem that they are facing.