Group Process Guidelines for Leading Groups and Classes


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Sue McNamara, MS, CPRP


Many group leaders are new to the process of leading groups; and many group leaders  never were trained formally in the skills of conducting a group, but rather they learned how to run a group on-the-job by observing a co-worker or a supervisor. This online course provides some guidelines for teachers and leaders of groups that are knowledge-based or skills-based.

Regardless of the type of group being led; all groups require the leaders to perform skills before the group in preparation for the group or class, during the group while conducting the group or teaching the class, and after the group for following-up the group or class activities. This online course is organized into lectures that outline these preparation, delivery, and follow-up skills. Information is included that explains this series of group process skills as well as some examples and exercises to practice the skills. One lecture is devoted to promoting peer leadership and specifically discusses the unique skills that peer leaders bring to a group or class.

Throughout the online course, you will be asked to think of a group or class that you currently lead or are planning to lead in the future. Be specific about identifying a particular group or class that will be the focus for your practice exercises throughout this online seminar. At the end of each lecture is a checklist that may be used by individual group leaders as a self-assessment tool to assess their own group process skills, and it may be used by supervisors as an evaluation tool.


It is anticipated that seminar participants will achieve the following goals. Participants will learn how to:

  • Plan for a group or class activity
  • Conduct a group or class activity
  • Encourage participation
  • Promote peer leadership
  • Follow up a group or class activity


Sue McNamara Sue McNamara, MS, CPRP, began her career in 1978 providing services for people with psychiatric disabilities in community programs, and in 1985 she began teaching the skills of psychiatric rehabilitation to providers in the mental health field. For 15 years, Ms. McNamara worked as an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor in the Rehabilitation Counseling Program at Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Boston University. She has co-authored several articles and curricula on psychiatric rehabilitation. Currently, Ms. McNamara is the Director of the Professional Development Program, which offers various options for continuing education through the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. She also works as the Product Specialist in the Publications Division at the Center, and is involved in developing and marketing products, monitoring inventory and sales, and providing customer service.

Boston University
Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation
940 Commonwealth Avenue West, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-358-2574


There are recommended readings but no required texts for this course.


After participating in the online course, if you would like a Certificate of Participation, you will be required to pass a 50-question test with 70% or better. Send the completed test and online seminar evaluation form to:

Sue McNamara, MS, CPRP

Director, Professional Development Program
Boston University, Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation
940 Commonwealth Avenue West, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02215


You may register for the online course at any time and complete the course at any time — there are no time requirements at all.

Cost: is Free!

Registration provides access to the course lecture pages and downloadable course handouts and materials.