Counseling and psychology are based on empirical research. Such research leads to best practices in the field. Group therapy has been in existence for decades, and, thus, there is a robust body of knowledge of what works, and theory that outlines why it works. When blended with an ethical and legal code, an outline of professional competencies is created. Professional associations typically outline the foundations for both professional culture and professional competencies. In the group therapy world, such associations include the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, and the Association for Specialists in Group Work.
As a professional therapist, there is a possibility that you might be sued, charged with malpractice, or accused of an ethical code violation during your career. In these situations, one of the first questions that would be asked is, “Were you qualified to be doing what you were doing?” At that time, it would be your responsibility to outline how you were qualified to be practicing as a group therapist. Therefore, as you continue with your training, it is a good idea to keep your course syllabi, document any additional training (e.g., continuing education credits), and maintain membership in a professional association. These steps can help to prove you are a competent group therapist and protect you if your competency is called into question.
For this Discussion, consider the characteristics of a competent therapist. With these thoughts in mind, think about how you might use professional development to increase your own competence as a group therapist. Consider professional organizations that might assist you in this process.
With these thoughts in mind:
Write a brief explanation of what it means to be a competent group therapist. Then, explain three ways you might use professional development to increase your competence as a group therapist. Include any professional organizations you might be interested in joining, and explain why. Be specific and use current literature to support your response.
APA format. stay on topic. no more than 4 paragraphs.