The Importance Of Group Leaders In Existentialism

2220 Words 9 Pages
Group members in existential therapy are responsible for the issues they want to explore within the group. As such, they determine the direction of the group. Further, group members are tasked with taking responsibility over their life in terms of any guilt, anxiety, or loneliness they feel. They work towards a collaborative relationship with the group leader, and are expected to take charge within and outside of the group to make changes in their life. With regard to REBT, members play a similar role. As responsibility is a prominent theme in both frameworks, members within an REBT group are responsible for exploring their own self-defeating and absolutist thinking the same way in which those within an existential group are responsible for …show more content…
In this framework, group leaders play the role of teacher in the group process. Due to the power dynamic, it is easy for leaders to become coercive and abuse their authority within the group. Furthermore, REBT group leaders can be quick to pin members down by overly labeling their beliefs as irrational and maladaptive. In rationalizing and considering the limitations of existential therapy and REBT, it seems as though a hybrid of the two would provide a well-balanced equilibrium with regard to a counselor’s authority within the process. REBT brings structure and stability to the group; however, group leaders may have a better grasp over their sense of authority while simultaneously adhering to a collaborative role with …show more content…
With existential therapy, the phenomenological approach of this theory pushes group leaders within this framework to be aware of the subjective world of each participant, regardless of culture. In REBT, the cognitive-behavioral approach makes the theory more culturally friendly as this approach mainly deals with thoughts and behaviors instead of feelings. This, in turn, makes it friendlier to certain cultures in which showing emotion in such a context is inappropriate. When considering the strengths and weaknesses of both existential therapy and REBT, it seems that the multicultural aspects of these approaches would fit well with a geriatric population, depending on the location. For a group of individuals that often face physical ailments and limitations, the empowerment that existential theory promotes could be considerably therapeutic, even in collectivist cultures. Furthermore, the cognitive-behavioral aspects of REBT may be more affective for the elderly, especially older men, who are not comfortable with talking about their

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