A group can be defines as two or more people who come together and shares a common definition and evaluation of themselves. It is therefore people who interact with one another, accepts the rights and obligations as members and share common identity (Bednar, Melnick, & Kaul, 1974). A group therefore involves two or more people who comes together to achieve shared goal and accepts the rights and responsibilities that comes with their membership in their endeavor to achieve those goals. Group dynamics and group process are two key variables in study of groups. As will be explored in this paper, the two terms are both interrelated but their meaning differs in reference to group studies.
Group dynamics can be defined as study of groups and a general term that is used to refer to group processes. As has been defined above, a group is made up of more than one person who interacts and has a shared vision (Bednar, Melnick, & Kaul, 1974). This means that groups are held together by social relationships and in the process, group members tend to interact and influence each other. Therefore, a group will develop different dynamic processes that separate them from a random collection of individuals who may not share a give vision.
On the other hand, group process can be defined as the efforts towards understanding the behavior of people in a group. As has been highlighted, individuals gather in groups for a shared vision and to accomplish a given task, group process will occur in these groups. Therefore, group process will explain the steps through which a group goes through to become a functional group.
There are different ways in which Yalom’s therapeutic factors influence group process and dynamics. In development of this group therapeutic model, Yalom argued that therapeutic factors are actual mechanisms that affect change in patient. Yalom therefore identified 11 factors that are likely to influence the process of change and recover among clients in a group. Through the 11 therapeutic factors including universality, altruism, instillation of hop, guidance, imparting information, developing sills, interpersonal learning, cohesion, catharsis, existential factors, imitative behavior ,and corrective, Yalom’s therapeutic factors influence group process and dynamics in different ways.
On of the factors that affect group process and dynamics is characteristics of the individual member of the group. Groups are comprised of individuals and depending on individual member characteristics, the group formation process will be easier or cumbersome (Wilson, Rapin & Haley-Banez, 2004). If members have love and understanding for each other, this will be reflected in group dynamics and process and vice versa.