The primary goal of our group proposal was to help single mothers to manage stress. Due to the needs of single parenthood, the group came up with the idea of assisting stress management with cognitive thinking, simple coping skills, and mutual support network was to be held. Through the group, the members, who consisted of single mothers with children of age fifteen years or below, were expected to learn how to reduce causes of stress in their lives.
Discuss and summarize your group proposal experience
The experience of the group proposal was excellent. After much interaction with the participants, our group realized that the ultimate causes of stress are: family-related issues, financial issues, emotional and interpersonal problems. We also came up with intervention strategies for stress management which includes cognitive therapy. The proposal's goal was to improve the living standards of the single parents. We used specific objectives to attain which are: to identify the origins of stress for the members, to direct members to reduce their pressures through positive mental activities cognitive and to come up with a support network among the single parents. As a group, we structured with a duration of 5sessions, taking place once in a week specifically Mondays, from 2:00 pm-4:00 pm.
What role(s) did you see yourself in as a group participant?
My role in the group was as an information processor. Since I was brought up by a single mother, I have first-hand information and facts about stress that single mothers experience. Most of the time I would witness my mother pass through depression because of the pressures she faced in life, like lack of adequate funds to take care of me because her job was not well paying. Apart from coming from a single parent family, I have a university degree in gender issues, and our group was dealing with women. I have also worked on a volunteer basis at an NGO that handled women and children. Therefore, I would frequently step in at the beginning of the meeting when the group meeting seemed to bog down. When the group members had difficulties, they would always consult me for clarification and direction. Mostly, I would propose tasks, or goals. Due to the experience I had, I would help the group to identify the inside problem, give suggestions and procedures for getting the task accomplished.
What roles did others in your group take?
There was a group member who took the role of a blocker. He was not aware of his position because no one would tell him about it. He would overlook at other group members opinions. He had a problem cooperating with other group members. He was always ready to disagree and oppose ideas of other people. The member would stubbornly resist the group's wishes for his reasons. His principal aim was to bring the group's progress down His opinion and idea was supposed to be, final and this would result in confrontations between him and other members of the group.
The group could not miss a dominator. He was a member with a strong personality. Often she had an urge to take control of all the group details. Although she possessed a brief contest of power, she would give other group participants to take care of grunt work for the agency as long as we did what she wanted. She was the one responsible for carrying out group presentations, training of volunteers. She overtook everybody in the group and was in charge of the group. She helped the group achieve its goals.
Then there was a group coordinator. We appointed her as a group chairperson. From the first day we met, she exhibited excellent interpersonal skills and knew the art of communicating effectively with team members. She played an important role to ensure the progress of the group. She was in charge of clarifying goals and group's objectives. She would also allocate roles, responsibilities, and duties of the group.
The rest of the group members were followers. These members never contributed anything to the group. They were afraid to initiate anything, like to give their ideas and opinions. I think they felt frustrated by the group dominator. The followers, in my opinion, I viewed them as lazy people and did not care what the group does. Sometimes they would be assigned roles of helping to identify other single mothers in the surrounding communities, but they would reject the duty.
Discuss the positive impact this experience this had on you.
First, by being a group member, it helped to achieve more by acquiring skills through the ides that we shared. It deepened my understanding of stress management and I would apply the knowledge to help my mother cope and manage stress. I have the capacity of working with other people despite their backgrounds. The group experience imparted to my leadership skills, and I can now communicate effectively.
What would you do differently as a group participant?
Sometimes, disagreements would ensue during the sessions. I would be pissed me, but I did nothing to help. If given another chance, I would assist to reconcile disagreements and reduce tensions by getting people to know and explore their differences. I would also elongate the time allocated for each meeting to help the single mothers more by coming up with other stress management skills. For instance, I would suggest that after the two hours of sessions, we have another extra one hour to participate in outdoor games like playing basketball, lawn tennis and also athletics.
Overall discuss what you learned as a group participant.
I acquired knowledge that stress is manageable. People can work together despite their differences in personalities. I learned to handle people with different characters, recognizing their efforts and tolerating their weaknesses and strengths. The group enabled me to work and relate well with people from different backgrounds and who are not in my circle of friends.
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