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1/ In a group conducted in a prison setting, an experienced group leader senses how counterproductive enforced group therapy is. In an attempt to lessen the members’ resistance, she tells them that she does not want anybody in the group who is not willing to participate freely in the sessions. She neglects to inform them that their refusal to attend group sessions will be documented and will be considered in the decision about their release. Thus, members are operating under the false assumptions that they are free to attend or not to attend and that they are really operating under freedom of choice.
a) What do you think of the ethics of this group leader?
b) Did this leader’s desire for an effective group justify her practice? Explain.
c) How might you achieve the goals of a working group without infringing on the rights of those who are required to attend group sessions?
d) Do you think members can benefit from a group experience even if they are mandated to attend? Why or Why not?
2/. The situation involves a group leader who does discuss the legal aspects of confidentiality, the reasons for it and the impact on the group of lack of confidentiality; she summarizes member responsibility in keeping confidentiality by saying “Anything that happens here, stays here”. In her presentation of the importance of confidentiality in the group, the leader fails to point out confidentiality can be violated in subtle ways, and how confidences are divulged without malice.
a) Describe at least one hypothetical situation in which confidentiality could be violated indirectly?
b) Under what circumstances would you break confidentiality as a leader?
c) What might you do if you thought a member was deeply depressed, almost to the point of being suicidal?