VISTAS Group Counseling

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Help-Giving as a Factor in Perceived Group Helpfulness and Member Satisfaction in Small Counseling Groups

Floyd F. Robison


Yalom (1995) identified altruism as a curative force in counseling and therapeutic groups. This study investigated the relationship between group participants' evaluations of the amount of help they gave other members and the following outcome variables: (1) amount of help they believe they received from others, and (2) satisfaction with their groups. Participants in six-week personal growth groups rated the amount of help they gave and received, and their satisfaction with their groups, at the end of the second and fifth meetings. Results revealed that participants who rated themselves as having given more help rated themselves as having received more help from the group and rated the group experience more favorably. Results suggest that participants who believe they are helpful to their group mates tend to evaluate the group experience as more helpful and satisfying to them.

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