Offering a contemporary reflective, context-based approach to group work, this introductory group work textbook is ideal for students in social work, community work, health, and welfare or as a professional reference. Drawing on thought-provoking contributions from experienced group leaders and participants, the book outlines the various ways in which group work can be used. Focusing particularly on psychoeducation groups, psychotherapy groups, mutual aid groups, and social action groups, it explains that the purpose of the group should determine the form it takes. The key facilitation skills of listening, observing, intervening, and responding under pressure are outlined as are the various stages groups go through and the ways in which group facilitators can handle typical problems. Explored are issues of power, leadership, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and age.
Introduction -- Group purpose: 'Why would you do it on your own?' -- Theorical basis of group work: 'It's more like growing plants than running a machine' -- Leading: 'A series of tasks anyone can do' -- 'Thinking group': 'It's got a life of its own' -- 'Thinking group' in action: 'Dealing with the dynamics of a very emotional thing' -- Forming a group: 'The people in it create it' -- The life of the group: 'Laughter and tears' -- Critical issues: 'It's a bit of a risk ... you just don't know what will happen' -- Doing 'good' group work: 'Outward looking and moving on'