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This paper discusses a group interview that occurred recently and discussed issues surrounding safety and trust. There was a variety of responses to the questions posed by the counselor, some of which were particularly noteworthy because they represented general concerns that frequently emerge in group discussions. These responses may occur in practice, and thus, every participant must know how to respond to the concerns that they represent. The essay will outline four particular topics and provide the author’s answers to them based on prior studies and literature.
Essence of the Interview
One of the group members was openly distrustful of the others, claiming that “No, I don’t trust. It’s very hard to build trust.” It is natural not to trust other people, particularly those that one has not had many interactions with in the past. The author would respond that “It’s normal to have reservations, and I respect them. Do you think you can contribute something with things you are comfortable sharing?” It is possible to work effectively while respecting each other’s boundaries by finding methods to communicate and eventually creating a discussion.
Confidentiality is a significant concern in many groups, as people are worried that information that they would prefer to keep private may be shared further. Moreover, like Corey, Corey, and Corey (2018) note, many people have cultural concerns over the disclosure of information. As one member said, “Well, I was reluctant to come back this week because I felt that last week I shared a lot, and I was feeling really guilty of the stuff that I shared last week.” The author would respond “If you do not want to share something, you can always say so. We do not want to force or shame you.”
The author would discuss confidentiality preemptively at the beginning of the group discussion. The author would begin the discussion with “I would like to ask that you do not share any details of what happens here with people beyond the group and respect each other’s privacy.” As such, it is essential to address any concerns before discussion can begin in earnest instead of waiting for someone to raise the question. In doing so, the author would assure the group of their earnestness and promote conversation without relevant matters being held back.
If a confidentiality breach occurs regardless, it is highly challenging to stop the spread of information beyond the group. As the second quote used in this paper indicates, people may share experiences that they would not like to be known in group discussions. Young, Mufson, and Schueler (2016) recommend discussing the matter with the entire group to enable the members to express their concerns and make them known to the others. The author would say “It is easy to disclose confidential information accidentally because different people consider different things private. This breach serves as a demonstration of why you should share your worries and make them known to the others.”
Overall, issues regarding trust and confidentiality tend to emerge often during the group discussion format in most audiences. As such, it is essential to build trust gradually, letting every participant slowly expand their comfort zone as they feel necessary. The leader should do their best to guarantee confidentiality and explain their efforts to the rest of the participants. Regardless, it is often not possible to avoid breaches, and rather than trying to minimize the consequences, it is critical to explain why such events are harmful and reduce the likelihood of them occurring again.
Corey, M. S., Corey, G., & Corey, C. (2018). Groups: process and practice (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.
Young, J. F., Mufson, L., & Schueler, C. M. (2016). Preventing adolescent depression: interpersonal psychotherapy-adolescent skills training. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.