COUN 6250/COUN 8250/COUN 6250A/COUN 6250F: Week 7: The Working Stage Essay Assignment Paper

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COUN 6250/COUN 8250/COUN 6250A/COUN 6250F: Week 7: The Working Stage Essay Assignment Paper

COUN 6250/COUN 8250/COUN 6250A/COUN 6250F: Group Process and Dynamics | Week 7

During the working stage of the group process, group members explore in greater depth the problems or situations that have brought them to the group. However, not all groups reach a working stage, but instead vacillate from transition to work and back again. The working group will experience an increasing capacity for authenticity, self-disclosure, and the ability to give and receive feedback.

Most of the significant change in group members’ attitudes and behaviors occurs in the working stage of group. By the time members enter the working stage, they are familiar with the group process and are more willing to initiate group interactions. The leader’s relationship with the individual members finds new depth. More interaction among members and a greater commitment to accomplish meaningful work, however, may lead to additional conflicts. Effective group leaders apply strategies to address conflicts as they arise to ensure that significant group work continues.

For this week, you will examine the working stage of a group and further explore group leader skills to determine effective interactions.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze characteristics of a working group
  • Evaluate group leader skills in the working stage of a group
  • Draft Part II of a group proposal*

* Assessed in Week 10

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Corey, M. S., Corey, G., & Corey, C. (2018). Groups: Process and practice (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

  • Chapter 8, “Working Stage of a Group”

Corey, G., Corey, M. S., & Haynes, R. (2014). Groups in action: Evolution and challenges (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage.

  • Part IV: “The Working Stage”

Required Media

Haynes, R. (2014). Groups in action: Evolution and challenges [Video file]. Borderline Productions.

  • First program, Evolution of a Group, Segment 4, “The Working Stage”


COUN 6250/COUN 8250/COUN 6250A/COUN 6250F: Week 7: The Working Stage Essay Assignment Paper

Catharsis is necessary, but in itself is not sufficient.

Irvin D. Yalom, Author
The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy

During the working stage, group members’ behavior changes in significant ways. It is more likely to include direct communication, a sense of inclusion and cohesion, and meaningful conflict resolution among members. Sharing, risk taking, and disclosure also deepen, and members often become emotional as they recall painful experiences or respond to feedback during vulnerable moments. The work of one group member may spark the emotional reaction of another. While not all groups require this level of intensity to accomplish the work of the group, many groups do experience high levels of emotion during the working stage of group.

The group leader must be prepared to respond to the intensity of the emotional moments in group with acceptance and composure. The skilled group leader is cognizant of the need to further facilitate cognitive learning (e.g., insights gained) to give meaning to the members’ emotional experiences for a positive outcome. Catharsis without meaning may leave the group and its members without closure to their experience.

For this Discussion, you will observe interactions during a group session and examine group leader skills that facilitated the interactions. You will also determine skills needed to facilitate interactions in the group session.

To prepare:

  • Watch Segment 4, “The Working Stage” of the Evolution of a Group video.
  • Review Part IV, “The Working Stage” in Groups in Action: Evolution and Challenges to give context to the video.
  • Identify an interaction that demonstrates a working group. This may be how a member was able to deepen his or her awareness through self-disclosure or demonstrate receptivity to the group feedback, for instance. For further examples that characterize a working group, refer to pp. 283–285 in Groups: Process and Practice.

Observation Post:

By Day 3


  • A description of the interaction you selected that characterizes a working group. Include the time stamp of the interaction.
  • Identify any group leader skills that were used to facilitate this interaction.
  • If the leader did not address the interaction in the video, then explain what group leader skill you would use to facilitate the interaction.

Note: You are required to post your response to the Discussion thread before you are able to view others’ responses.

Response Post:
Then, review
 the examples your colleagues chose for their observation post. Choose an example that is different from your initial observation post, but one that has meaning to or may have resonated with you. Reflect on your response or reaction to this interaction. (You may want to review the video at the time stamp of the example.)

For the response post, you will respond as if you were a group member.

By Day 6

  • Share your response or reaction to this colleague’s enhanced self-disclosure, receptivity to feedback, or insights gained.
  • Identify how you might have experienced that interaction if you were a member of the group.
  • Explain, as a group member, what you might have said or done at this point in the group. All impressions are valid. This self-reflection may be used to deepen your understanding of the dynamics that emerge during the working stage of a group

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