Interpersonal Relationships within Groups

Psychology 447/547



T.Treadwell, Ed.D,TEP,CGP

Department of Psychology
33 Peoples Building
Phone: 610.436.2723

Public Safety Emergency 610.436.991

Teaching Assistants

Debbie Dartnell, MSOD,MA

Jill Pankow

Ainsley Stenroos

Angelica Russert

Research Assistant

Chan To


Cognitive Website

A. Texts:

Greenberger, D., & Padesky, C.A.(1995). Mind over mood: A cognitive therapy treatment manual for clients. New York: Guilford Press.

Karp, Marcia, Holmes, Paul & Bradshaw-Tauvon, Kate, (Eds.). (1998). Handbook of Psychodrama. London: Routledge Publishing Co.

Young, J. & Klosko, J. (1995). Reinventing your life. New York: Plume Books (Division of Penguin Books).

B. Course Purpose:

Familiarize students with action group experiential methods to explore dysfunctional interpersonal relationships and the connection with family schematic patterns.  A schema is a pattern that starts in childhood and is duplicated throughout one’s life.  A schema or ‘lifetrap’ organizes how you think, feel, act, relate, and understand as well as determining how you interpret the world.

The course acquaints participants through the use of cognitive behavioral & psychodramatic skills to understand the cognitive and psycho-dramatic triad by observing mood, behavior, and thought processes utilizing Automatic Thought Records in the context of a safe group environment.  Psycho-dramatic Techniques of role-playing, role-reversal, and mirroring facilitate the process by examining various conflicting situations individual’s experience. The cognitive-psycho-dramatic group environment provides a supportive climate to practice new thinking and behaviors.

You will be familiarized with tests measuring various aspects of inter & intra personal relationships. The data will become part of your class file to be used for both instructional and research purposes. The long-range purpose is to improve the effectiveness of interpersonal relationships. 

Undergraduate Learning Outcomes

Graduate Learning Outcomes


1. To acquaint students with the varied aspects (including gender differences and cross-cultural perspectives) of interpersonal relationship issues.
2. To examine schemas/core-beliefs that affect interpersonal behaviors and relationships.
3. To familiarize students with tests used in measuring various aspects of interpersonal relationships. The data will become part of your class file for both instructional and research purposes. The long-range purpose is to improve the effectiveness of the group-cognitive therapy model for the training of group and individual therapists.

Assessment Instruments: [administered pre-post and during the 15 Weeks]

  • Group Cohesion Scale
(pre/post) Session 1 & 14
  • Beck Depression Inventory II
  • Beck Anxiety Scale
  • Social Networks Inventory
Session 1 [Take home]
  • Automatic Thought Record (ATR)
  • Spontaneity Scale
(pre/post) Session 1 & 14
  • Intimacy Attitude Scale
(pre/post) Session 1 & 14
  • Schema Mode Inventory (SMI) Schema modes
(Graduate Students) Session 7 [Take home]
  • Therapeutic Factors Inventory (TFI)
(pre/mid/post) Session 1,7,14.
  • Young's Schema Questionnaire (L-3) (YSQ)
Session 1 [Take home]

C. Course Requirements:

Attend all classes and participate in class activities. Students must meet all the deadlines for the submissions of the assignments. Since all sessions will be videotaped a consent form must be signed for videotaping/confidentiality. A portion of each class will be devoted to discussion about the previous session. All Flash Drives must be returned to Instructor!

D. Course Outline:

1.  Three general ways that we adapt to our schemas; fight=overcompensation; flight=avoidance; & surrender=freeze.

2. The five schema domains:

- Disconnection & rejection
- Impaired autonomy & performance
- Impaired limits
- Other directedness
- Overvigilance & inhibition

3.  Measure interpersonal issues within the family and social network system.

4.  Understanding conflicts in interpersonal relationships, where they stem from, and ways of dealing with them.

5.  Utilizing thought records, core-beliefs/schemas and the data they produce determining conflictual communication patterns in interpersonal relations.

6.   Exploring factors and communication strategies in initiating, developing, maintaining, and terminating relationships?

E. Evaluation Rubric Grades are based on the following: Evaluation Rubric

1.Collaborative Team (Small Group) Story Building & Cohesion Intervention Graduate/Undergraduate
[Address during 1st session! The group process begins on day 1 with presentations commencing on 1/28 and 2/4 ]

2. Collaborative Group Project I: Cultural Genogram & Personality Profile: Graduate/Undergraduate Cultural Genogram: - an important tool in examining historical interactions across generations related to family and diversity. Define each term with your collaborative team and present individual (each team member) results next class. Include demographic and genetic information e.g., medical, psychiatric history, health behaviors, inter-ethnic/racial, marriages and relationships.

Culture refers to aspects of a social environment that are used to communicate values such as what is considered good and desirable, right and wrong, normal, different, appropriate, or attractive. Click on this link for guidelines in creating your cultural genogram:


Sexual Orientation

Personality Profile: you and your team members are to explore some of the influences on personality and personality types. We all have a unique personality and it is valuable to understand the nature or your personality. The following are two major areas that affect your personality and its development:

1. Heredity which dictates many physical characteristics - - how tall you are, the color of your eyes, the shape of your nose -- but it also affects how you learn, how you react to certain situations, and how you interact with other people.

2. Environment in which you grew up. The culture you were born into, the family that raised you, the friends you had, the schools you attended, your social network. Your religion, the size of your family, your role models, the leisure activities in which you participated are all examples of environmental influences on your personality.

Each team member is to complete the personality inventory and evaluate whether the information collected from it matches with what you know about yourself. The inventory you will be taking is The Jung Typology Test and should take no more than10 minutes. Your job is to consult with one of your team members and share your personality profile. This team member is to construct a coherent picture of you and your major psychological processes using the Jung Typology Test along with their personality profile incorporating heredity & environment. You will do the same for someone else on your team. Be sure to identify individual differences - explaining how this person is unique. Click on the following links to the Jung Typology Test & retreive the Personality Profile.

Jung Typology Test
Sixteen Personality Types (Profiles)

Cultural Genogram and Personality Profile Presentation expectations will be discussed 1st session. Generally, each team member interviews a team member to learn his/her cultural genogram & personality profile. This information is presented to the large group. Jan 28th / Feb 4th.

GenoGram Links

Genogram Software [Download]
Drawing the GenoGram
GenoGram Basics - An Introduction

3. GenoGram Information. For every group session a group member will present his/her genogram for exploration to the group. Volunteering will determine the order of presentations. Genograms represent your social network. Relationships include family of origin- (psychological), your work/school network (collective), persons from that network you consider significant Family thought records are to be utilized in conjunction with the genogram. Basic family schemas will be addressed.

4. Collaborative (small group) Group Project II: Graduate/Undergraduate The collaborative (small) group will design a power point/prezi slide presentation of the large group. Digital pictures are necessary of all group members to aid collaborative team in developing a comprehensive group project. Your collaborative group is to organize the pictures that tell a story about the entire group.

Some of this project might be hypothetical, that is, your hunch(s) are based on suspected or hypothesized schemas and core beliefs of all group members. Identify various psychodramatic techniques you would use in moving individual group members into action. Suggest a plan for intervention and your methods of measuring outcome! (100pts).April 22nd * April 29th.

Paper on Group Issues. Graduate students develop a group therapy proposal no longer than 10 pages in length and address the following dimensions:
This paper will address the following issues:

A. The purpose of the group.
B. Type of group and research-based rationale supporting this design.
C. Screening criteria.
D. Facilitation issues and role of group leaders/directors.
E. Methods & techniques to be used.
F. Duration of Group.
G. Expected Outcomes.
H. Process for Evaluation.

This paper is to include a thorough integration of literature, along with your own viewpoints, references, and prepared in APA Style, [6th Edition].Due Date - April 22nd.

Schema Mode Paper:Graduate students formulate a scholarly paper detailing your personal schema history & its effect upon your current interpersonal relationships. The focus is on identifying, understanding and challenging long-standing maladaptive patterns in thinking, feeling along with behaviors that are creating interpersonal obstacles. Include a genogram to demonstrate family patterns.The paper should be no longer than 15 pages, with references supporting your views. The paper is to be prepared using The APA style manual (6th edition). Due Date - April 15th.

Personal Theory Paper:Undergraduate students develop a paper detailing your personal schema history & its effect upon your current interpersonal relationships. The focus is on identifying, understanding and challenging long-standing maladaptive patterns in thinking, feeling and behaviors that are creating interpersonal obstacles.The paper should be no longer than 10 pages, and should contain references research and theory to support your views. The paper is to be prepared using The APA style manual (6th edition). Due Date - April 22rd (75pts).

7. Running Log of sessions.
The running log includes the following details:

1. Date of Class.
2. Nature of the session.
3. Type of techniques used and their purpose(s).
4. Name of person & core belief (s) / schema (s) that emerged.
5. What roles emerged, if any, and how did they effect you.
6. Your thoughts of the session 'topic and your reaction/effect on you.
7. Reaction to genogram' & how it activated your schema's/core beliefs.

(Due last week of each month, January, February, March, & April. (50pts).

8. Weekly Thought Records:

Due weekly via E-mail and placed in your file. Submit weekly ( Due Monday of each week via E-mail (15 points).

9. Weekly Video Analysis: Following group sessions 1 or 2 group members are responsible for analyzing the group session. Basic rule – to protect confidentiality, use initials of participants, not names. At the beginning of each session time is devoted to discussion about the previous session. The analysis follows the group format outlined below. All Flash Drives must be returned to Instructor!

Guidelines for analyzing flash drive (Video) Click Here Sample flash drive group analysis Click Here

10. Contribution to Class:Relationship dilemmas and interpersonal conflicts (initiation, maintenance, termination, love, jealousy, shyness, power, gender differences, communication issues, self-disclosure, attraction, anger & conflict resolution) are the primary focus of the course. Thus, interpersonal and relationship core beliefs/schemas can be activated and important that these schemas be shared during group sessions to best understand schema theory. (25 points).

11. Class Attendance:

An experiential group course requires your attendance & participation. There is a NO CUT policy for this course. Class attendance is discussed 1st group session. Absence(s) can lead to dismissal from this course. Emergency or extenuating circumstances are taken into consideration. Grades depend upon: (a) clarity of writing, (b) relevance of your personal comments, and (c) conformance with The Publication Manual (APA) 6th Edition.