VISTAS Counselor Professional and Career Development

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.

Teaching Group Counseling as a Graduate Student: What Works and What We Will Never Do Again!

Amy L. McLeod, Chinwé J. Uwah, and Erin C. M. Mason


Carleton and Strand (1991) refer to the unique challenge of the teaching doctoral student as a “see-saw dilemma” (p.20), that of student and instructor and the balancing of these two often conflicting roles. Power structure may be especially perplexing for doctoral students teaching in a counseling program. That is, counseling programs, because of the humanistic foundation of counseling, may be more inclined towards an egalitarian model of instruction compared to other fields. Furthermore, the fact that group counseling is a content and skills based course, often taught with experiential techniques, may further confound power dimensions. In other words, experiential learning in a group course invites more active participation by all students and the instructor than a traditional lecture format. In the case of teaching group counseling, the roles and power bases within a “group” are not exactly the same as the roles and power bases within a “class.”

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