Jose, a cancer survivor, is a counselor at the local hospital. Part of his duties are to provide support for cancer patients. In the past he has provided individual counseling to patients. Now he is leading his first cancer support group for caregivers. He has completed three sessions and he is now thinking about the middle stage of the group. Jose wants the sessions to be helpful, but he is concerned that the beginning stage was not valuable. Members told their stories and were getting to know each other, but he had one difficult member, Ralph, who focused his anger on the hospital, the doctors, and the nurses. Ralph’s goal appears to be to get members to join him in a class action lawsuit against the hospital. Ralph has been very negative in each of the first two sessions. Ralph was not present at the last session due to a work conflict. Members expressed relief and indicated that they prefer he not be allowed back. The members in attendance appeared to be more relaxed and open with each other. Jose is faced with the question of what to do to be helpful. In the past, Jose led counseling groups. Since this is a support group, he is uncertain how to make this a meaningful experience.
What advice would you give Jose about planning the middle sessions of this cancer support group?
How should Jose handle the situation with Ralph?
Jose is aware that his experience leading counseling groups has led him to be more comfortable with a direct leadership style. Given that this group is a support group, should Jose adjust his style? If so, what does that mean for dealing with Ralph?
In response to your peers, suggest leadership skills and strategies that Jose can use in addressing the issues with Ralph.
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