The group therapy proposal will mainly focus on the victims of gender violence against women. The methodological tool will revolve around the broad and thorough utilization of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). The key reason is the fact that it is well-suited for group sessions, where structure and organization are vital to ensure the undisturbed and non-chaotic flow of the processes. Group therapy will create a safe and welcoming environment for the participants, where their self-esteem will be rebuilt. In addition, important movements and organizations will be presented to allow the victims to join them. Me Too will be the core of promoting further encouragement and action, where members will transition from victimhood towards proactive advocates. It is also necessary to note that the group will be mostly a psychoeducational one, which means that both recovery and improvement will be included as the critical aims.
The given group counseling proposal will primarily focus on integrating cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for gender violence victims to improve the recovery process. The central issue revolves around gender violence or gender-based violence (GBV). Violence against women in the family is one of the most widespread and hidden latent offenses. It is important to point out that the selected problem is more acute now when the whole country and the entire world are aimed at building a healthy, civilized, and democratic society. Women suffer the most from violence and from the fear of being subjected to it. Rape in the streets, beatings, and humiliation in the family, all types of physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, economic violence against women are a violation of human rights. However, women are often forced to remain silent, although they desperately need help and understanding. Some aspects of traditional culture maintain a persistent attitude towards a woman who has suffered from domestic violence as a perpetrator. The prevailing stereotypes in society justify violence against women and make them suffer alone.
It is important to note the fact that there is still no clear interpretation of this concept. This type of violence is a repetitive cycle of physical, verbal, economic, sexual abuse, power, and control of one person over another based on gender. Such violence often manifests itself as a combination of physical, sexual, and or emotional abuse. One should be aware that gender violence is a broad term, which describes a wide range of specific issues. These might include rape, sex trafficking and prostitution, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and intimate partner violence or domestic violence (Merry, 2016). In other words, all these crimes or violent acts are committed based on gender. Although traditionally, it is perceived as males oppressing females, it can occur between same-gender couples as well as against men.
In regards to the ethical issues, group therapy will focus on screening and orientation of group members to build a clearer picture of their backgrounds. The program will be in a position where the rights of group participants will be protected. No activity or information sharing will be conducted without informed consent, and thus, each person involved will be aware of the further proceedings. Lastly, it is vital to ensure confidentiality for the participants because it is a centerpiece of creating a supportive environment. Confidentiality, nondisclosure, or the duty of silence of the counselor about third parties is the most important principle of the counselor’s work. Failure to comply with this principle leads to a complete collapse of the patient’s confidence in the counselor and makes his work meaningless.
The first level refers to the limit of professional use of customer information. It is the responsibility of every counselor to only use client information for professional purposes. The professional has no right to disseminate information about the client with other intentions. A subsequent level of confidentiality refers to the conditions under which information obtained in the counseling process may be used. The client has the right to hope that this type of information will serve solely for his benefit. When it is necessary to share the information received from a client with his parents, teachers, spouse, an inevitable dilemma. The counselor is obliged to inform the client of his intentions. If the client does not object, the issue of confidentiality turns from an ethical one into a purely professional one.
The practice of a psychologist is governed by a code of ethics, which presupposes compliance with general professional standards. This also applies to ethical principles as requirements that must be observed in psychological counseling. Analysis of these codes shows that, in general, all communities of psychologists and psychotherapists consider the same principles of professional activity and professional relations as the basis for their work. Several semantic parts of the code of ethics can be conditionally distinguished. These are principles that describe the foundations of a psychologist’s attitude towards a client, such as respect, responsibility, and honesty.
Principles are governing the professional position of a psychologist in dealing with clients, such as competence, confidentiality, client welfare, and regulations of the counseling process. In addition, some elements regulate the activities of the psychologist as a representative of the community. For example, these are relationships with colleagues, manifestation in public space, methods used in work, research activities, and training and professional development. It is also important to take into account the provisions related to the legal framework of the professional activity of a psychologist. This includes conditions that directly reflect the ethical aspect of activities, such as resolving ethical dilemmas and violating the code.
Each community puts its emphasis on ethical principles, highlighting them as independent provisions of the code. For example, the psychological society reveals the content of ethics through the prism of regulations related to the personal position of the psychologist about the client. The Society of Practicing Psychologists emphasizes the principles governing the role of the psychologist as a representative of the professional community and his professional relationship with the client. Therefore, it is important to know the basic content of the principles governing the personal position of the psychologist, his professional status in relations with clients, and the regulations governing the activities of the psychologist as a representative of the community.
A detailed study of the content of each principle shows that with the same name and content, they can have different content. The principles of respect, responsibility, and honesty have the greatest variety of meanings in the range. In general, the guide of concern includes requirements for how it is customary in a professional society to treat a client, colleagues in related professions, institutions, and organizations that they represent. It is critically important to understand that it is within the human rights law and to recognize the importance of individual autonomy and self-regulation in the context of interpersonal relationships. It may be appropriate to be impartial and accept him or her as a unique person, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or cultural affiliation.
Leadership Skills and Functions
In the case of leadership skills and functions, building a safe place is the key objective, which can be achieved by protecting group members from any form of hostility. The accentuation and emphasis will be put on both interaction processes with members as well as among participants. In order words, there will not be any form of communication-based restriction due to the group being an open and welcoming space for the exchange of thoughts and ideas. In addition, there will be strict rules against maleficence and judgment, which need to be eliminated to ensure effective communicative procedures. The group will harness trust and empathy through active listening, encouragement, restatement, confronting, and reflecting on feelings. As a therapist, it is essential to conduct a summary, give honest feedback, and provide high-quality psychoeducation with a description of logical consequences. It is also critical to be initiating, evaluate, and facilitate by applying to block, linking, and modeling techniques.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
The given group proposal focuses on the extensive utilization of cognitive-behavioral therapy for gender violence victims to ensure their proper recovery from the traumatic experience. The provided approach was chosen due to the evidence suggesting that women achieved a substantial reduction in the levels of distress after the completion of the therapy program. It is stated that it can be effective in the case of Gender-based Violence (GBV) (Bryant et al., 2017). Female victims of GBV were able to recover after the integration of CBT as a healing promoter (Bryant et al., 2017). There was a major reduction in the levels of psychological distress after the completion (Bryant et al., 2017). In addition, its structured nature can be highly useful for group settings to eliminate the factor of disorder and chaos.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the leading areas of modern psychotherapy. Behavioral psychotherapy is guided by the principles, such as seeking to help people respond to life situations in the way they would like it themselves. It is important to note that the task is not set to change the emotional essence of relationships and feelings of the individual, and a positive therapeutic attitude is a necessary but insufficient condition for effective psychotherapy. The patient’s complaints need to be accepted as meaningful material on which the therapy focuses and not as symptoms of the underlying problem. In addition, the patient and the psychotherapist should agree on specific therapy goals, understood in such a way that both the patient and the psychotherapist know when and how these goals can be achieved (Corey, 2015). Cognitive-behavioral therapy should include not only what is associated with discoveries in conditioning and theories of learning, but also all the information obtained in experimental psychology. CBT involves restructuring the environment and social interactions and, to a lesser extent, modifying somatic processes through biological interventions (Corey et al., 2010). Cognitive-behavioral therapy should reduce human suffering and limitations in the ability to act.
The group type is psychoeducational with a relatively small size, where the accentuation is put on females, who suffered from gender-based violence. The session will be built based on a structured approach with a gradual integration of a wide range of themes. The first task of a behavioral therapist is to identify and understand the problems presented by the client. The behavioral therapist does this by gathering detailed information about specific aspects of the problem. The therapist then moves on to a functional analysis of the client’s situation, seeking to identify specific environmental and personality variables that may contribute to the presence of maladaptive thoughts, feelings, or behavior (Corey, 2015). Therefore, the central aspect of group therapy will be manifested in an in-depth focus on the GBV problems.
The group goals revolve around maximizing the use of CBT, and they will be oriented toward personal growth and encouragement of positive action. They will also create a support network for combatting the abusers, and thus, there will be a specific focus on the gender violence issue with little deviation allowed. In addition, subjects will be equipped with essential skills and knowledge to cope with their traumatic experiences. Focusing heavily on current factors contributing to the persistence of the problem does not mean ignoring the client’s history. However, the amount of attention that is paid to events from the client’s life experience in the past directly depends on their contribution to the distress that the client is experiencing in the present.
Membership Criteria & Recruitment
Membership criteria will be based on the position of victimhood, where women, who suffered from gender violence, will be accepted. Another criterion revolves around ensuring that the experience indeed hinders a person’s life. The incident needs to be explicit and settled without any controversy and uncertainty. The recruitment will be relatively strict and thorough due to the limited capacity. It is important to note that not all willing participants will be accepted to the specified group. Due to the highly limited group size, which is focused on efficiency and thoroughness, stricter criteria for selection will be applied. It is critical to understand that a person with a more severe case will be prioritized over individuals with milder ones.
The specific objectives will revolve around the goals, and the most vital purpose is to create a welcoming and supportive environment. In addition, the aim will be put on developing effective coping mechanisms for distress and encouraging personal growth and positive action. It is also necessary to advocate and promote Me Too movement initiatives through education as well as teaching the symbolic anthem “A Rapist in Your Path” to encourage strength.
Topics & Activities
There will be a total of seven sessions, with the first one being focused on the introduction and meet-up. The following sessions will address personal story reveals, psychoeducation, Me Too postulates, the anthem, positive action encouragement, and development of personal philosophy. The victims will also deliberately work on rebuilding self-esteem and a sense of self-worth through group support and therapist guidance. A more detailed overview of each session can be observed in Table 1.
|Session no. 1||Introduction and meet up|
|Session no. 2||Personal story reveal|
|Session no. 3||Psychoeducation of coping mechanisms, stress management|
|Session no. 4||Me Too postulates|
|Session no. 5||Techniques for rebuilding self-esteem and self-worth|
|Session no. 6||Encouragement of positive action|
|Session no. 7||Development of personal philosophy, provide homework to do, termination and follow-up|
In a behavior-based interview, the therapist rarely asks the client questions such as “Why?” Questions such as how, when, where, and what are more useful in identifying relevant personality and situational variables that contribute to the persistence of client problems. The therapist relies heavily on the client’s self-reports, especially when studying the client’s thoughts, fantasies, and feelings. One can argue that customer self-reports might be better predictors of behavior than clinical judgment or personality test scores. The procedures, as well as the criteria for evaluating the results of psychological counseling, may be different. The assessment can be carried out, for example, during the counseling itself, after the beginning, after the end of the counseling (Nadkarni et al., 2015). Multiple evaluations of the results of psychological counseling allow the client to make sure that it is going well.
The effects of psychological counseling can be assessed sometime after the completion of counseling if it is assumed that its positive results will not appear immediately and so that they can be fully appreciated. The last version of the procedure for evaluating the outcomes of psychological counseling is most often used when the properties and forms of the client’s behavior changed in the course of psychological counseling are sufficiently inert, stable, and transform slowly, hardly noticeably. For example, these can be abilities, character traits, habits of the client.
The homework will primarily be based on reading and getting familiar with official documentation and information on gender violence prevention. For example, one of the mandatory readings will be World Health Organization’s and UN Women’s approaches for the given problem. In the case of the former, promoting gender equality is the most critical element of violence prevention. In addition, the school initiatives need to be well-established to properly address the gender attitudes and norms from a young age. Community interventions are vital to engaging men and empowering females (WHO, n.d.). UN Women is also an outstanding source for gaining insight into gender violence prevention measures (UN Women, 2020). One should note the fact that women’s rights are human rights, which is why it is also protected by the relevant laws.
Bryant, R. A., Schafer, A., Dawson, K. S., Anjuri, D., Mulili, C., Ndogoni, L., Koyiet, P., Sijbrandij, M., Ulate, J., Shehadeh, M. H., Hadzi-Pavlovic, D., & van Ommeren, M. (2017). Effectiveness of a brief behavioural intervention on psychological distress among women with a history of gender-based violence in urban Kenya: A randomised clinical trial. PLOS Medicine, 14(8), e1002371. Web.
Corey, G. (2015). Theory and practice of group counseling (9th ed.). Cengage Learning.
Corey, M. S., Corey, G., & Corey, C. (2010). Groups process and practice (8th ed.). Brooks/Cole.
Merry, S. E. (2016). The seductions of quantification: Measuring human rights, gender violence, and sex trafficking. University of Chicago Press.
Nadkarni, A., Velleman, R., Dabholkar, H., Shinde, S., Bhat, B., McCambridge, J., Murthy, P., Wilson, T., Weobong, B., & Patel, V. (2015). The systematic development and pilot randomized evaluation of counselling for alcohol problems, a lay counselor-delivered psychological treatment for harmful drinking in primary care in India: The PREMIUM study. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 39(3), 522-531.
UN Women. (2020). Focusing on prevention: Ending violence against women. Web.
WHO. (n.d.). Promoting gender equality to prevent violence against women [PDF document]. Web.
Group Consent Form
If you agree to participate in the group counseling session, you agree as follows:
The client (“Client”) hereby provides his or her authorization and consent to partake in the Group Counseling Session (GCS) conducted by Name Surname. It is important to note that the procedure utilizes tools, such as Zoom, but GCS might not have direct and formal agreements with these third party services. Therefore, Client consents to use the given platforms with knowledge of the corresponding technical issues associated with personal data sharing. Furthermore, Client is in a full agreement with waiving all applicable state and federal privacy protection laws and regulations. In addition, Client consents to the following in order to protect the confidentiality factor of other group members, who are partaking in the Group Counseling Session:
- Client consents that technical issues might lead to session ending, or that group session time will not allocated for resolution of these problems.
- Client agrees that the session might be stopped or terminated at any given moment, if he or she revokes the agreement.
- Client consents not to use last names of the group members in order to preserve the overall confidentiality of the sessions.
- Client also consents not to record the group discussions.
Name Surname _____________ Signature _____________