Group Development Theory

This essay first explores how America’s individualistic culture overlooks the influential force of groups. Groups are the building blocks of society and exert strong influence over individual thoughts and behaviors. For centuries many scholars and philosophers have discussed the power of the group. However, only over the last 100 years has the group become a scientific inquiry. The primary focus of this essay explores the stages of development in a group therapy setting. Group development is examined through comparing the separate theory’s of Tuckman and Wheelan, in conjunction with Yalom’s therapeutic factors. Utilizing these theories and models provides group leaders with a foundation, and the tools to conduct and guide efficient, effective groups. …show more content…
119). Even if someone has not studied group development stage theory, their experience tells them that groups have a fairly predictable trajectory. “It is generally understood that every group follows a similar path…” (Kottler & Carlson, 2015, p. 87). For self-exploration and therapy groups, “the overall consensus is that groups have a pregroup period, and a beginning, middle, and ending” (Alle-Corliss & Alle-Corliss, 2009, p. 63). “One of the most influential models has been Bruce W. Tuckman’s description of the stages of development in small groups. First published in 1965, the model identified the now-classical four stages of forming, storming, norming, and performing” (Bonebright, 2010, p. 111). Within these stages Tuckman identified two realms, an interpersonal (social) realm, and a task realm. Tuckman (1965) wrote, “in the social realm, these stages in the developmental sequence are testing-dependence, conflict, cohesion, and functional roles. In the task realm, they are orientation, emotionality, relevant opinion exchange, and the emergence of solutions”

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