Yes, a group counseling therapist should break the confidentiality of the group if she or he believes that a member of the group intends to cause harm to himself or others, because if a person is about to harm themselves, they need immediate help more than they need counseling. It is an emergency situation that warrants it.
Yes, I think a group counseling therapist should definitely break the confidentiality of the group if there is a chance one of the members of the group intends to harm himself or others. Confidentiality can be carried too far. I think any professional, when faced with this scenario, would make the decision to save a life.
A group counseling therapist is breaking the confidentiality of the group when taking action to prevent a group member from doing something harmful to himself or others. There are ways for these situations to be handled and they are discussed within the groups themselves. Members of these counseling groups are already dealing with trust issues. Not only should privacy be kept, but the individual safety of the members is also a valid concern. Safety of others trumps another’s secret.
I do not believe a group counseling therapist should break the confidentiality of the group if he or she believes a member intends to cause harm to himself or others. That is not the purpose of these sessions. Confidentiality is the cornerstone of these therapies and if it is broken therapy will fail to thrive.