Group Work-Introduction to Social Work

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

This phase is often considered on of transition, where individual group members must dispel familiar frames of reference in lieu of new ones that help them evaluate the new group situation (Garland, Jones & Kolodny, 43). Here ambiguity may result in change that leads to more intimate relationships within the group setting (44).

Here the primary role of the social worker will be providing clarification in the group of its existence and "nature of the power control issue" to help result it and enable group members to trust "their vulnerable intimate selves to one another and to the workers" (Garland, Jones & Kolodny, 45). The worker should aspire to clarify issues and meaning and provide members an opportunity to connect with particular struggles within the group and relate them to their every day lives (Garland, Jones & Kolodny, 43).

Group Activities/Meetings

The aim of the group work will include developing life skills including coping skills that will better enable coping during instable times and help treat problems that exist within relationships. This in turn will hopefully reduce the instances of abuse and improve the functioning of the family and individual members of the group. The group will also aim to provide a safe and educational forum for family members and children to express their fears, concerns and frustrations and to provide support and nurturing as well as an outlet to vent when necessary.

The group will perform several activities within the course of a daily session Activities planned may include action-oriented activities that encourage friendly communication, coaching by social workers to provide advice and constructive criticism regarding destructive behaviors, role playing and sharing of information including personal experiences and stories and group decision making activities that will help not only define the groups purpose but also engage the groups in new activities (Richmond, 2000). Group mentoring will also be encouraged where members of the group are encouraged to share their experiences, feelings, and hardships and members of the group will act as mentors for one another lending support, personal experiences, coping mechanisms and more as guided by and overseen by the social worker or therapist (Herrera, Vang & Gale, 2002).

It is often much more challenging to develop activities and structure a group in a multiethnic or diverse group setting, as is the case with this group (Saino, 2003). To allow the maximum amount of sharing in this environment of common and diverse experiences it is important the facilitator plays a key role in building rust and safety in the group, hence it may help to limit set curriculum and instead allow the group to focus more in the initial stages on sharing experiences, stories about their cultures and lifestyle and enabling open discourse in the initial sessions (Saino, 78). This may include activities as going around the circle and allowing all group members to share some insight about themselves and their situation (Saino, 78).

As the group continues in their development the group activity can include sharing living situation or personal stressors, music and dance activities and other fun activities may be incorporated to help create an environment that is safe and genuinely encourages open and honest communication without pressure (Saino, 80).

Evaluate Group Experience

Critique of the group experience will depend largely on the self-reported benefits of group therapy as described by individual members. Other methods for evaluation will include assessments of group members general symptoms at termination of the group session, which will include use so a structured interview and self-report to measure symptoms experienced and reported by group members. Self-esteem, interpersonal functioning, perceived success rates and control will all be factors critical to evaluating effective treatment of group members (Lubid, Loris, Burt & Johnson, 1998).

References:

Garland, J. (1986). The relationship between group work and group therapy. In M.

Parnes (Ed.), Innovations in social group work: Feedback from practice theory (pp. 17-28). New York: Haworth Press.

Garland, J. Jones, H. & Kolodny, R. (1973). A model for stages of development in social work groups. In S. Bernstein (Ed.) Explorations in Group Work, Boston: Milford House, pp. 7-17.

Herrera, C., Vang, Z., & Gale, L.Y. (2002). Group mentoring: A study of mentoring groups in three programs. Philadelphia, PA: Public/Private Ventures and National Mentoring Partnership.

Kurland, R. & Salmon, R. (1998). "A misunderstood and misused keystone of group work practice." Social Work With Groups, 21(3): 7-17.

Klein, A. (1972). Effective group work (pp. 57-74) (Reprinted by Practitioner's Press,

Hebron, CT. 1984).

Lubin, H., Loris, M., Burt, J. & Johnson, D.R. (1998-Sept). "Efficacy of Psycho educational group therapy in reducing symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder among multiple traumatized women." Am J. Psychiatry, 155(1): 1172-1177. Available: http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/155/9/1172

Richmond, L.H. (2000). Reflections on thirty-five years experience with adolescent group psychotherapy. Journal of Child and…