Psychology Essay Sample: Group Therapy in the Example of Native Canadians

Published: 2022-04-14
Psychology Essay Sample: Group Therapy in the Example of Native Canadians
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Leadership analysis Psychology
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1694 words
15 min read

Determining the Intervention Group

The proposed group is an adult indigenous literacy group living in Saskatchewan and urban Manitoba, Canada. (Bougie, 2008) acknowledges that based on the results of the 2001 census, Manitoba and Saskatchewan provinces have the highest percentage of native Canadians, who make up 14% of the total population in the two provinces. Additionally, this aboriginals' populations is exhibiting a rapid growth rate with the aboriginal young adult population in Saskatchewan projected to hit the 30% mark in 2017 while that in Manitoba could reach 23% (Bougie, 2008).

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Canada's aboriginal population is heterogeneous. (Bougie, 2008) states that 64% and 65% of aboriginals in Saskatchewan and Manitoba respectively, live off-reserve, again based on the 2001 census data. The Metis make up the majority of off-reserve populaces in Manitoba, with 57%, while the First Africans represent 40% of the aboriginal population. In Saskatchewan, however, 48% and 49% of the indigenous population are the First Nations and aboriginals respectively (Bougie, 2008).

With regards to literacy in context, George (2008) stipulates that 60% of on-reserve First Nations locals aged between 20 and 24years are high school drop-outs. George (2008) bases this statement on the findings of the 2006 census. Conversely, Metis and First Nations off-reserve residents have achieved a higher academic level with about 75% and 60% of them completing their high school studies. Nevertheless, in the Northern region, First Nations on-reserve, Inuit learners, Metis and First Nations off-reserve have similar educational achievements (George, 2008). High school attainment gap is more pronounced among the Inuit learners by a factor of 3.6 relative to that of the non-Aboriginals albeit both having formal schools at their disposal.

Census data between 1986 and 2001 indicated a drastic decrease in the number of adults who could fluently communicate in their indigenous language. (George, 2008) underwrites the above statement by asserting that 24% of the aboriginals in 2001 were adept native language speakers, which was a decline from the 29% reported in 1996. Moreover, a mere 18% of these aboriginals frequently communicated in their indigenous languages. Between 1996 and 2001, some First Nations' ability to talk in their native languages grew by 21%.

For the proposed group, as stipulated by Zastrow (2017), membership eligibility will depend on descriptive and behavioural attributes. For the purpose of diversity, both genders will be represented in the group. However, homogeneity will not be overlooked and thus the members will have to be aged between 20 and 24years and must have at least completed their high school education. Also, since the principal goal for probable members is to achieve a cultural dimension that incorporates sharing circles, smudging and using the medicine wheel among other tools, the members' behavioural features are crucial in determining who qualifies to join the group. Essentially, members ought to exhibit an extroverted personality, willingness to learn, socialize and cognizant of their cultural values.

This group will be referred to as moccasins in motion (MIM). During recruitment, individuals who meet the above-mentioned criteria will be made informed about the group's objectives. (Zastrow, 2017) recommends that tentative group goals should be specified during this stage, which may be modified or advanced later as the group develops. For that reason, MIM's objectives tentatively focus on bringing out a culture that is epitomized by smudging and sharing circles. More cultural components may be incorporated in the course of development.

With regards to the location, MIM will be based at one of the adult learning centres in Manitoba, which is the Portage Learning Centre (PLC). This institution has over the years been characterized by its high aboriginals' population, which stands at 55% (Silver, Klyne & Simard, 2003). This lowers or eliminates the chances of social vices such as ethnicity and racism which eventually makes MIM's members feel more comfortable and can, therefore, freely interact with one another during the group's activities.

The designated duration of a group, according to Zastrow (2017), is dependent on the number of meetings and length of each meeting. Most sessions normally last between 1 and 2hours for several weeks. For this group, each session will last for 2hours although an allowance of 30minutes will be included in case a pressing issue arises within the sessions. The group will be meeting twice a week for three weeks. The resources required include the spinning medicine wheel, sacred herbs for smudging, and a room where the sessions will be taking place.

For efficient running of the group, it is imperative for the leader to possess several personality traits such as self-confidence, enthusiasm, interpersonally more sensitive compared to the group members and extroverted. Even though the leader should possess more positive traits and skills than the group members, he or she should not be extremely successful that the members will view him as an outcast (Zastrow, 2017). Moreover, charisma is a leadership skill that must be evident in the person selected to steer the group through its activities. This is because charismatic leaders seemingly motivate their followers to be fully committed to the group's mission and love one another.


Acquaintance with prominent group treatment theories is also an essential attribute for an operational group leader. Through this knowledge, the leader can select an intervention strategy that will most probably be successful in remedying an issue brought forth by the group members. It is perhaps safe to assert that the theory of rational therapy is the most suited for this intervention group as will be seen in the analysis below.

Rational therapy underwrites the premises that dysfunctional behaviours and undesirable emotions are functions of one's processes as opposed to the external environment. This theory's strengths can be drawn from the premise that individuals who adeptly engage and analyze their self-talk are capable of controlling their unwanted demeanours and emotions (Zastrow, 2017). Proponents of rational therapy assert that all actions and feelings take place according to the following format:





According to Jorn (2016), belief refers to a view of an apparent truth or reality of something. In other words, beliefs can be labelled as thoughts having both factual and emotional elements. (Jorn, 2016) continues to categorize beliefs as being either positive or negative. Negative beliefs eventually result in irrationality, which proves to be detrimental to contentment and joy, and unhelpful in getting an individual's cravings for approval, relief and attaining success.

The main irrational beliefs include the demand for approval and love, yearning for success and comfort, and absolutism. (Jorn, 2016) argues that predispositions towards of one of these irrational beliefs go hand in hand with low frustration tolerance (characterized by words such as too hard and cannot stand it), awfulization (characterized by phrases such as catastrophe, horrible or disaster) and global-rating (signaled by phrases such as stupid, useless or worthless). When disputing irrational convictions, it is perhaps imperative to consider using energy or vigour. Disputing is both an emotional and cognitive approach to shifting irrational to rational beliefs (Jorn, 2016).

(Obembe, 2012) argues that when disputing the above-mentioned beliefs, therapists who hold this theory aim at establishing healthy relationships with their clients from where they can help the client change his undesirable self-statements, beliefs and insolences that result in problematic demeanours. The constructive process of changing these unwanted emotions or beliefs includes either changing the disturbing event, the irrational thoughts underlying the undesirable emotion or engaging in meaningful activities (Zastrow, 2017).

Essentially everybody experiences irritations or frustrations daily such as having a rough classroom session, unpleasant encounters with a workmate or having to tolerate a gloomy social life. Such frustrations are likely to spawn unsolicited sentiments such as feelings of failure, despair and anger. Nonetheless, involvement in enjoyable and meaning activities tends to elicit contentment through obstructing these negative sensations. Through jotting down undertakings that they deem pleasant, revitalizing and motivating such as visiting friends and socializing, group members are able to understand the importance of meaningful activities in averting negative behaviour (Zastrow, 2017).

For the adult indigenous learners in this intervention group, the essence of this theory is seen in the method of engagement in meaningful activities such as sharing circles and using the medicine tool as ways to promote healing and cohesion among the group members. When sharing circles, these members, as well as the group leader, will share their insights, experiences and sentiments in response to certain topics or issues. According to Innerchoice Publishing Inc. (2012), members abide by coherent rules of conduct, support one another and experience contentment by conforming to the procedures specified in the sharing circle's activity. Individuals who regularly involve themselves in such events are able to fast-track the internalization and development of emotional intelligence skills.

Engaging in such cultural activities such as the medicine wheel and sharing circles can impact a huge difference in the adult learners' lives, especially with regards to their self-awareness, self-management and relationship skills. Emotional intelligence is a function of the sense of self-awareness, comprehension and management of impulses and emotions, and finally cultivation of healthy relationships. The group leader needs to work on these aspects to enhance the members' emotional competence that will help them live vibrant lives (Innerchoice Publishing Inc, 2012).

Self-awareness is crucial for the adult learners to manage their emotions through word practice. Grasping a certain sentiment enables the mind to inevitably recall concepts and ideologies associated with the emotion and thus begin devising approaches to dealing with this feeling. For instance, if a member is feeling irritated. With regular practice, the group members develop consistent, organized and safe grounds on which self-awareness can be cultivated.

With self-awareness, the adult learners are now able to manage their reactions to the sensation messages that their feelings convey to them. The secret to responding positively to imprudent behaviour that is characterized by extremely emotional episodes is to first become cognizant that one is experiencing them. This cognition is greatly enabled by listening to others as they discuss their emotions in addition to discussing one's feelings with other people (Zastrow, 2017).

After becoming aware of those feelings and learning how to manage them, building relationship skills such as conflict resolution, cooperation, listening and empathy is imperative. Individuals who are efficient in social interactions know how to cooperate with, and understand others. Cultural components such as the sharing circles model responsible and healthy behaviours with the group leader being the mentor or counsellor. Through discussions in this activity, the adult learners are able to construe and respond to social relations by knowing the actions that befit a situation and thus building their relationships with others.

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