What is it about?
Belongingness in group counseling, sometimes referred to as group cohesion, is an important predictor of therapeutic outcomes including reductions in distress and improvements in interpersonal functioning. We described both how cohesion changes across time and in what ways it's development is influenced by individual members, leaders, and characteristics of the group (e.g. group size, attendance, etc).
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Why is it important?
Our findings suggest a common trajectory of cohesion change across individuals (an upward, linear trend early in the life of groups followed by a curving upward trend in the latter half of groups). While client characteristics are mostly responsible for determining how cohesion will grow, our findings suggest that group leaders who focus on structuring to the exclusion of fostering emotional belonging may inhibit the bonding of groups they lead.
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This page is a summary of: Modeling cohesion change in group counseling: The role of client characteristics, group variables, and leader behaviors., Journal of Counseling Psychology, December 2019, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/cou0000403.
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