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Group Theory and Process

Course Code: PNUR 3341
Faculty: Health Sciences
Department: Nursing - Psychiatric
Credits: 1.5
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course will introduce students to group theory and group process. Students explore their beliefs and values pertaining to groups and discover the relevance of this to their own learning and practice. Students will explore professional and ethical issues in the context of group work. Students examine groups in relation to types, roles, aims, barriers and opportunities as they work in groups, both in the classroom and in clinical settings. Students expand their knowledge of the history and development of groups. Students further enhance their knowledge and skill related to group structure and functioning. Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate therapeutic relationship skills in group work. Students learn to establish goals and objectives for groups, and apply the underpinnings of specific group theories. Planning and implementing a psycho educational group will be the focus of this course.

Course Content

In this course, within the context of the Douglas College Psychiatric Nursing’s philosophy and conceptual framework, students will focus on developing the psychiatric nursing role and promoting health in clients through an understanding, acquisition and utilization of group skills. Specific concepts that will be addressed are:

  1. A brief history of the evolution of groups and group theory.
  2. Exploration of types of groups and varied group theoretical modalities.
  3. Role of Psychiatric Nurse in group practice.
  4. Knowledge (basic) related to group theory, process and dynamics, group structure & functioning, group norms and rules, sources of power.
  5. Application of group work principles to working in any group.
  6. Examining personal attitudes, beliefs and values as a member of a group
  7. Experiencing learning as a group member, including safety and trust
  8. Diversity in groups—being culturally-sensitive and inclusive as a group leader and member.
  9. Leadership (intro): responsibilities, attributes, qualities, roles and functions, skills.
  10. Co-leader role in groups.
  11. Phases/stages of group development and leader/co-leader tasks at each stage of group development.
  12. Planning and implementing a psycho education group based on specific population need across the lifespan.
  13. Essential group observation skills and analysis of group process.
  14. Application of knowledge of therapeutic communication skills to group leadership.
  15. Professional, legal and ethical issues in group practice.

Methods of Instruction

Student learning is facilitated through a variety of teaching/learning methods including lecture, demonstration, audio-visual aids, group discussion, group and/or individual research and presentations and experiential learning as a group member with the intent of advancing the development of group skills.

Means of Assessment

The course evaluation is consistent with Douglas College evaluation policy.  An evaluation schedule is presented at the beginning of the course. 
This is a graded course.

Learning Outcomes

In this course students will use the Douglas College Department of Psychiatric Nursing Curricular Threads (wellness-illness continuum, professional values, professional caring & health care delivery system), and in the context of the environmental, health and psychiatric nursing domains, will integrate the care of  the person domain (client system, psychological, physiological, sociocultural, spiritual & developmental variables).  Students will develop knowledge, skills and attitudes related to group structure and process when caring for individuals across the life span who are experiencing episodic or ongoing health challenges.

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.