Psychology of Group Behavior II

I.     Course Prefix/Number: PSY 236

       Course Name: Psychology of Group Behavior II

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

PSY 235

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course continues PSY 235. Content includes analysis and interpretation of human behavior in therapeutic group setting; development of appropriate intervention strategies; leadership styles and ways of working with different populations examined; simulations of actual group sessions and role playing of effective group counseling approaches conducted.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Students will learn to identify the behaviors in a group setting, which are indicative of personal issues and areas for continued growth, and change in group members.
  2. Using these observations, students will be able to analyze and interpret the behaviors to the extent that they can develop specific plans to effectively facilitate the group process.
  3. Students will be able to demonstrate their ability to use effectively different methods of group leadership as they relate to different issues, groups, and settings.
  4. Students will be able to examine the effects of various group facilitation methods to make discriminating judgments about their appropriateness.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
www.oakton.edu/studentlife/student-handbook.pdf

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Creating and understanding the group process
    1. Group therapy defined
    2. How to build the foundations for a group that works
    3. Both characteristics of and techniques for the group leader the coping process
    4. Counselor training and professional conduct
  2. Different Psychological approaches to Group Behavior
    1. Humanistic
    2. Psychoanalytic
    3. Behavioral
    4. Interactional
  3. Different Issues addressed in the Group Counseling process
    1. Early, Middle and Late stage treatment issues
    2. Dealing with transference in the group process
    3. Dealing with resistance in the group process
    4. Identifying and understanding psychological complaints in the group process
    5. Decision-making and problem-solving the group process
  4. Group Facilitation
    1. The curative process in Group Counseling
    2. Solution focused Group Counseling
    3. Conflict resolution in Group Counseling
  5. Working with different populations in Group Counseling
    1. The research on groups and children
    2. The research on groups and adolescents
    3. The research on groups and adults
    4. The research on the Addicted and Abused populations
  6. Changing directions in Group Counseling

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Instructional methods vary with the instructor and may involve any of the following: Lectures, discussions, readings, papers, audio-visual resources, group projects, simulations, guest speakers, case studies, exercises, group interactions, role-playing.


Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Reading assigned text and outside readings.
  2. Writing papers relevant to group theory and practice. Students will be required to write for the class the equivalent of 12-15 typed pages of material that will be graded. This writing may take the form of a research or term paper, summaries of journal articles, and or a series of shorter, analytical papers. Papers and Reports:
  3. Oral presentations on particular case studies of group therapy.
  4. Fieldwork in terms of observation and simulations of group facilitation.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Representative textbooks include:

Yalom, Irvin.D. and Leszcz, Molyn. (2005). The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Evaluation methods vary with the instructor and may involve any of the following:  examinations, conferences, self-evaluations, papers, class discussion and projects.

XI.   Other Course Information

  1. Attendance.
  2. Class policy on make-up exams, late assignments, etc.
  3. Note important dates.


If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.