A presentation at Heritage University @ CBC Week 02 in
January 2020 in
Pasco, WA 99301, USA by
Location: CBC Campus - SWL 108Time: Wednesdays from 5:30-8:15Week 02: 01/22/20Topic and Content Area: Theoretical and Philosophical Foundations to Groups part IReading Assignment: Garvin, Gutierrez, and Galinsky (2017) Chapters 1-3Assignments Due: N/AOther Important Information: N/A
What are groups used for in social work practice?
We are going to watch a clip from a movie, Fight Club. There is some strong language and themes. We are only going to watch about 5 - 10 minutes. You can feel free to step out if you might be easily offended.
[Activity] Watch scene from Fight Club (5:41-12:26)
Discuss some scenes from support groups in movies
Group work can be some of the most challenging and rewarding work that we can do as social workers. But what does it mean to do work with groups?
Nothing truly valuable can be achieved except by the unselfish cooperation of many individuals.
— Albert Einstein
We were all born into a group (family) and eventually become members of multiple groups such as work, church, and other venues. Humans are social animals and need to belong, to be accepted by others.
There are two main types of groups, task groups, and treatment groups.
[Discussion] What types of groups have you been involved with or seen
[Discussion] What is a local example of each group?
The type most of us think about is treatment groups. These are any groups where the primary focus is on member’s emotional and social needs.
The second type of group is a task group, which is are where members focus primarily on a specific objective or task.
Task groups could be characterized in three ways based on who it is intending to meet the needs of:
These groups often take some of these general forms.
There are a number of roles that social workers take while facilitating groups.
During every group, there are two functions that have to be fulfilled consistently. These are task functions and maintenance functions. As a group leader, you will have to go back and forth between the two throughout the group process to have the group be successful.
Group members also frequently take on roles…
Some roles can potentially be negative, such as aggressor, blocker, recognition seeker, dominator, help seeker, confessor.
Some roles played by members meet only their own needs and do not help further the progress of the group.
Aggressive members, recognition seekers, dominators, confessor, scapegoat, defensive members, deviant members, quiet members, and internal leader.
Groups need guidance and help from the leader to recognize and confront nonfunctional roles.
When a group has a general, expected format (whether you are looking at a treatment group or a task group), it helps all of the members have an idea of what to expect and for it to be easier to create norms.
When I was at the Crisis Residential Center in Spokane, I frequently led groups for the youth staying there. I had a general format that I would always follow:
[Activity] Have all students move desks into a circle. Go through the first three steps of the group. We are going to go through a part of a group exercise to see what it can look like. We will role-play as if this is a therapeutic group working on communication skills.
If any of you have every part, sometimes it can be a little bit difficult… one way that we can make it a little bit easier is to set up some ground rules for while we are at the group. Does anybody have any suggestions about possible rules for our group sessions?
If you could describe your day today as an animal, any animal… what would it be today and why?
Today, we are going to do a pretty fun activity. It is kind of like telephone, but… completely different…
Today we are going to be talking about communication. What did we see when we did the activity? How could that relate to how we communicate?
What did you see and not see?
When looking at patterns of behavior, two areas that we frequently evaluate are those of content and process.
All groups have an identifiable culture that is made of the traditions, customs, and values and beliefs shared by group members.
Group size and composition of a group changes its dynamics and is frequently is determined by the worker.
Groups make decisions in different ways. These include:
As heterogeneity (i.e. diversity) goes up, so does critical thinking.
Groups can be effective decision-makers but they can fail to use critical thinking in their deliberations, sometimes with disastrous results.
Group think is used to describe situations where groups have the illusion of agreement but have really failed to carefully consider their decisions. This usually happens when decisions are made too quickly or do not want to upset the camaraderie by expressing opposing opinions.
A critical thinking group will weigh alternatives carefully, consider both advantages and disadvantages of each option, and value the insights of all group members.
There are a number of ways to think about group dynamics and processes. Some of the seminal work on groups was Tuckman in 63 where we got the group dynamic concepts of forming, storming, norming, and performing stages. Hepworth lays out five stages:
Another model describes the following:
Personally, I like the simplicity of groups having…
Conflict is a fact of life. It occurs routinely within relationships and can have positive or negative consequences depending upon how it is handled. There are four steps to the problem-solving framework of managing conflict.
There are two main methods that a group facilitator can evoke change among group member’s behaviors.
con·fron·ta·tion noun ˌkänfrənˈtāSHən/
a hostile or argumentative meeting or situation between opposing parties.” a confrontation with the legislature”
Synonyms: conflict, clash, fight, battle, encounter, faceoff, engagement, skirmish;
View Week 02 - Theoretical and Philosophical Foundations to Groups part I.
A look into the theoretical and philosophical foundations of working with groups. The agenda is as follows: