Group Work: A Counseling Specialty

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2003-01-01
  • Publisher: Pearson College Div
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The fourth edition of this highly readable book examines all of the essential skills required to be an effective leader of a variety of groups in a variety of settings. It explores the history of group therapy work, and the development of groups--how they grow, how they change, and how various groups differ. It addresses the specifics of working with children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly. And, it discusses ten prominent theoretical perspectives from which groups can be approached, covering how each theory evolved, how it is practiced, and the results it most commonly achieves. Includes coverage of working with gay/lesbian/bisexual clients in groups and includes expanded coverage of the multicultural aspects of group work and understanding the influence of culture, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and other factors on how groups function and what they can accomplish.For professionals in the field of group counseling.

Table of Contents


1. History and Trends of Group Work.
2. Types of Group Work.
3. Group Dynamics.
4. Effective Group Leadership.
5. Beginning a Group.
6. The Transition Period in a Group: Norming and Storming.
7. The Working Stage in a Group: Performing.
8. Termination of a Group.
9. Group Work with Culturally Diverse Populations.
10. Ethical and Legal Aspects of Group Work.


11. Groups for Children.
12. Groups for Adolescents.
13. Groups for Adults.
14. Groups for the Elderly.


15. Psychoanalytic and Transactional Analysis Groups.
16. Person-Centered and Existential Groups.
17. Adlerian and Reality Therapy Groups.
18. Gestalt and Psychodrama Groups.
19. Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) and Behavioral Groups.
Appendix A: Association for Specialists in Group Work: Best Practice Guideline.
Appendix B: Association for Specialists in Group Work: Principles for Diversity-Competent Group Workers.
Appendix C: Association for Specialists in Group Work: Professional Standards for the Training of Group Workers.
Name Index.
Subject Index.


Groups are a part of everyday life. We are born into a family group, and many of the most important events of our lives transpire in the educational, recreational, and work groups of which we are a part. Almost everyone is influenced daily by some type of group, and it can be justifiably argued that we truly become human through our interactions in groups. Sometimes just the memory of a group experience or the attractions of an upcoming group event can have a powerful impact. The groups with which we directly and indirectly associate affect us all. The helping professions have been active in working with people in groups since the early 1900s. Professionals realize that groups have the power not only to help heal but also to harm. Working with persons in groups (i.e., group work) has become an increasingly popular, diverse, and viable means of promoting change and the accomplishment of tasks. Each group is different. Therefore, group workers must be equipped with a variety of skills. ORGANIZATION This book examines essential skills required to be an effective worker with groups in multiple settings. Part One of this text concentrates on the history, trends, dynamics, diversity, leadership, ethics, and development that are a part of the lives of groups. Through the 10 chapters in this section, the evolution of group work as a specialty is chronicled and explored in four primary areas: psychoeducation, counseling, psychotherapy, and task/work environments. Skilled group workers are aware of and comfortable in dealing with the dynamics and leadership requirements in each of these special domains. They are also cognizant of the development of groups over time, from their forming to their adjourning. The influence of culture on groups is another important topic incorporated in the first part of this book and integrated throughout its chapters through various illustrations and references. Finally, ethical and legal aspects of group work are discussed. Part Two examines the role of groups throughout the life span. These chapters cover issues and procedures for working with groups that focus on children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly. Each of these age and stage groups has special needs that can be addressed positively in a group setting. Different types of groups appropriate for various life span periods and circumstances are highlighted and discussed extensively. The final part of this book concentrates on theoretical approaches to leading groups, describing 10 of the most prominent approaches. Each theory is examined in regard to its premises, practices, leadership, emphases, outcomes, strengths, and limitations. The specific theories explored here are psychoanalysis, transactional analysis, person-centered, existential, Adlerian, reality therapy, Gestalt, psychodrama, rational-emotive behavioral, and behaviorism. NEW TO THIS EDITION You will notice a number of differences in this fourth edition ofGroup Work: A Counseling Specialty.Some are obvious; others are subtle. One difference that spans both the obvious and subtle domains is that more than 150 references have been added and incorporated into the body of the text. Another difference is that the theories section has grown from four to five chapters. Each theory has been strengthened by the inclusion of a "Learning More" subsection, in which readers can find web sites and original sources to consult in exploring that theory further. Chapter 9, on diversity, now includes a section on working with gay/lesbian/bisexual clients as well as ways of doing group work with African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native American Indians, and European Americans. Other material related to working with these populations is incorporated throughout the rest of the chapters. The text is more multicultural than ever before. Chapter 4, "Effective Group Leadership," has also grown in scope and breadth. It is

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