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In addition, you must respond to at least 2 classmates’ threads with 200–250-word replies each.

First reply:

Janai Deitt

Beginning and Transition Stages


Pre-Group Planning

Pre-group planning is the prerequisite to all other planning. This is where the basic group structure is decided (who, when, where, and how many sessions there will be), what topics will be appropriate for discussion, and the session format (possible activities, the amount of time needed for each, and what problems may arise) is created (Jacobs et al., 2016). Each of these pre-group planning steps are essential for leaders to help mitigate future conflict, possible misunderstandings, meaningless content, and poor time management before the beginning phases even starts (Jacobs et al., 2016). It will also increase group cohesion from the beginning and throughout subsequent phases.

Beginning Phase

In the beginning phase, the first and second sessions are the hardest when starting a new group because the leader needs to think about helping the members get acquainted, clarifying the purpose, assessing the members’ interactions, knowing how to cutoff members when needed, address questions and so much more (Jacobs et al., 2016). No other phases will be reached if the beginning phase does not go well. At the start, using an introductory exercise as a warmup is crucial for group members to feel comfortable and helps lessen anxiety. The exercise should not take up too much time and should tie into the group’s purpose so group members understand where the group is headed and so the leader can discover if any member should not remain in the group (Jacobs et al., 2016). It is also important that leaders emphasize eye contact for all group members, so everyone feels involved and gives the leader time to gauge member reactions, notice body language, and other key nonverbal and verbal cues (Harvill, 2020). Another important part of the beginning phase is planning how to close the first session. Closing the first session will need more time for member reactions and questions, a summarization of the material covered, and reiteration of the group purpose. Afterwards, leaders need to evaluate the first session to lay the groundwork for the transition stages.

Transition Stages

Evaluating the first session is the key to session improvement and member engagement where weak areas or areas that were missed can be changed based on group dynamics for a more safe, effective, and cohesive group experience. Every session should have a warmup to create a safe environment where members can share concerns, learn from other group members, and find social support. These first two sessions are critical because they set the tone for the transition stages of storming (conflict) and norming (structure). When done right, group members feel safe and speak openly quicker. This allows disagreements, tension, and dissatisfaction to be shared earlier, before things compound and storming gets out of hand (Forsyth, 2019). After working together and overcoming these obstacles, the group can become more stable, organized, and unified when norming (Forsyth, 2019). In summary, the more work leaders can do before and during the beginning phase, the greater the chance things will go much smoother through stage transition and the group will be more productive after the transition stages.


Harvill, R. L. (2020, September 2). Beginning groups: Tone and use of eyes [Video file]. Retrieved from…

Forsyth, D. (2019). Group dynamics (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Jacobs, E. E., Schimmel, C. J., Masson, R. L., & Harvill, R. L. (2016). Group counseling strategies and skills (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Second reply:

3 hours ago

Katrina Watson

Forum 2


According to Forsyth (2019), groups go through predictable stages including forming, storming, norming, and performing. Each stage is important and helps to move the group toward being successful. In the beginning of the formation of a group, the group enters the forming stage followed by the storming stage. These stages are critical to the success of the group. The leader plays a particularly important role during these stages, and if the leader attends to these stages properly, the group should enter the later stages smoothly.

In the forming stage, members become familiar with the leader, the other members, and the purpose of the group (Jacobs, Schimmel, Masson, & Harvill, 2016). The forming stage can last several sessions or just one session, depending on the group. If the members are unacquainted, the leader should take special note to introduce each member through activities and introductions. Just as a host of a party should introduce party guests, it is the leader’s responsibility to acquaint the members so they can begin to build common ground. During this stage, the members get comfortable within the group and, also take note of what is expected of them (Jacobs et al., 2016). Although this stage can be short in duration, it is vital to the successful transition to the other stages.

During the second phase, storming, the members may begin to feel tension within the group (Jacobs et al., 2016). According to Jacobs et al (2016), groups do not have to go through this stage and most likely will not if the leader is skilled at leading groups. However, if a group does go through the storming stage, the leader’s job is to help the members by pointing out commonalities, build trust among members, and elicit commitment from each group member (Jacobs et al., 2016). By clarifying the purpose, utilizing strong structure within the group, and enhancing investment of each member, the group is likely to move through this challenging stage.

When my husband and I adopted our sibling group of three children from foster care over ten years ago, we unknowingly went through these stages as a family. We had two previously adopted children already and then added the three siblings. During the initial stages, we spent a lot of time in stage one of forming. It was important to become acquainted with one another while communicating what our expectations were for all family members. By making a safe place for each of the children to be themselves and voice their feelings, we were eventually able to move into the later stages of the group process.


Forsyth, D. (2019). Group dynamics (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

Jacobs, E., Schimmel, C., Masson, R., & Harvill, R. (2016). Group counseling: Strategies and skills (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

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