Both group leaders and members trust each other with their disclosures during therapy. Also, the principles that guide group therapies, particularly concerning group leader self-disclosure, are similar to those used for individual therapy. That is, the disclosure should be related to the therapy, and should be focused to primarily help the client(s) (Self-Disclosure – Concepts and Applications, n.d.). Disclosures may be sophisticated, especially when a group has a co-leader since both must approach the disclosure with its principles together.
In the case scenario, the disclosure if the co-leader is appropriate for several reasons. First, at some point, group members expect self-disclosure of their leaders (Gültekin, Erkan and Tüzüntürk, 2011). After five sessions, which is half the therapy, the co-leaders disclosure happens at an ideal time, when most group members have probably had had disclosures. Secondly, it is crucial since leaders serve as role models for honest disclosure, and it enhances trust within the group (DeLucia-Waack, Kalodner, and Riva, 2004). However, the disclosure should not be too shallow to appear unrealistic or too much to question the leader’s expertise. In the scenario, the co-leader discloses enough information to depict her sincerity, and honesty of emotional trouble, which increases trust between her and group members at an ideal time of the sessions.
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At the moment of co-leaders’ disclosure, I would take charge to moderate the situation. The intervention would ensure that the co-leader does not get too emotional for the members to question her expertise. Secondly, I would assure the members of my scheduled self-disclosure to maintain the group’s trust. Thirdly, I would assure the co-leader in our private meeting that their disclosure would not affect our relationship. Lastly, we would set up guidelines for future leader disclosure to avoid running off disclosure principles.
DeLucia-Waack, J., Kalodner, C. and Riva, M., 2004. Handbook Of Group Counseling And Psychotherapy. 1st ed. London: Sage Publishers, p.99.
Gültekin, F., Erkan, Z. and Tüzüntürk, S., 2011. The effect of group counseling practices on trust building among counseling trainees: From the perspective of social network analysis. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 15, pp.2415-2420.
AIPC Article Library. n.d. Self-Disclosure – Concepts And Applications – AIPC Article Library. [online] Available at: <https://www.aipc.net.au/articles/self-disclosure-concepts-and-applications/> [Accessed 27 April 2020].