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Stages of group therapy

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Finally, the leadership portrayed in the movie is highlighted along with a description of how leadership changes as the group progresses. Keywords: Group cohesion. 12 Angry Men. Tuckman. Leadership. Counseling Group therapy has evolved as a dynamic way of increasing group cohesion and developing social skills required for collaboration of ideas and problem solving. More often than not, groups address a task or an issue that is resolved through mutual cooperation and strong interpersonal skills. Although conflicts are a commonplace in the group development process, they are often overcome through successful leadership as well as events during the group development process that bond the members together. Nevertheless, the role of group counselors may somewhat remain necessary in bridging the gap between members and providing key information for keeping the group focused on the task at hand. 12 Angry Men has been considered for the purpose of reflecting upon Tuckman’s stages of group development, leadership and group cohesion in this paper. 12 Angry Men is a movie that has demonstrated group dynamics and the stages of Tuckman’s group development at various points. Tuckman suggested that groups go through the stages of forming, storming, norming and performing (Tuckman, 1965). The first stage surfaced in the movie when the jurors interacted with each other through a brief conversation related to the hot weather, sports and business when the fan that was supposed to ‘cool’ the room did not work. At this stage, the members appear to be polite and obedient as they are not sure of how the fellow members would react (known as primary tension). Theory suggests that ambiguity in roles leads members to rely on the group leader for direction and purpose at this stage (Tuckman, 1965). Once the members settle down in the movie, the roles of team members are explained by the foreman as well as a brief depiction of how to proceed with the discussion. If group therapy was conducted at this stage, then I would have drawn connections between members by arranging a formal introduction of each member. Tuckman suggests that once members become acquainted, the group moves on to the second stage known as storming (Tuckman, 1965). During the storming stage, the members experience power struggles and conflicts (Tuckman, 1965). Although the purpose becomes clearer, members begin evaluating their comfort level with each other. With respect to the movie, it is assumed by the jury that everyone agrees that the boy is guilty (the verdict) until one of the members votes for the boy as innocent (and so disagrees with the rest). This clearly results in conflict with one of the members claiming that someone is always responsible in these cases. In another instance, the person makes a discriminatory statement by labeling all people from the slums as being the same type. However, when one of the members says that he is also from the slums but not the same, the tension between the jury members intensifies. Leading the group counseling at this stage, I would have cut any unproductive discussions by redirecting the group’s attention to the task and correcting the irrational approach of the racist who was passing derogatory remarks. This is followed by Tuckman’s third stage of norming whereby the group members begin emerging as one with conflicts being reduced and a common point of view emerging (Tuckman,