Interventive Strategies for Social Work with Individuals, Families and Groups

  1. Advantages of Groups
    • Efficiency
    • Experience of commonality
    • Greater variety of resources and viewpoints
    • Sense of belonging
    • Skills practice
    • Feedback
    • Vicarious learning
    • Real-life approximation
    • Commitment
  2. Efficiency
    allows worker to see a large number of people in less time
  3. Experience of commonality
    • -“all in the same boat phenomenon”. People realize their experiences and feelings are not unique to them.
    • --common group
    • ---not only one going through experience
  4. Greater variety of resources and viewpoints
    members can share data
  5. Sense of belonging
    members experience sense of acceptance and mutual feelings
  6. Skills practice
    • members can practice or rehearse new behaviors
    • group work is good practice
  7. Feedback
    group members respond to verbal and non-verbal messages
  8. Vicarious learning
    hear concerns similar to their own
  9. Real-life approximation
    groups replicate real-life situations better than one-on-one counseling
  10. Commitment
    stronger when made to a number of people
  11. Universal perspective
    oppressed and vulnerable groups may internalize negative societal definitions about them and blame themselves or see their problems as a result of personal shortcomings. When these clients se others with the same issues or problems, they may begin to recognize that the cause of their problems is external to themselves.
  12. Kinds of Groups
    • Education groups
    • Discussion groups
    • Task groups
    • Growth groups and experiential groups
    • Counseling and therapy groups
    • Support groups
    • Self-help groups
  13. Education groups
    The leader provides information and then elicits reactions and comments from the members, thereby serving sometimes as an educator and other times as a facilitator of discussion

    • Examples:
    • -Training
    • -Swaddling Newborns
  14. Discussion group
    The focus is usually on topics or issues rather than any member’s personal concerns

    • Examples:
    • -Bible Study
    • -Group Interviews
  15. Task group
    The task group is one in which a specific task is to be accomplished, such as discussing a patient on a psychiatric ward, resolving conflicts among house residents or deciding policies for a school.

    • Examples:
    • -Neighborhood Group to enhance neighborhood care plan meeting in nursing home
  16. Growth groups and experiential groups
    Members who want to experience being in a group and who are motivated to learn more about themselves often benefit from growth groups. Growth groups are conducted in settings such as schools, colleges, community centers, and retreat centers.

    Experimental groups are a from of growth groups, where the leader designs experiential activities for the members

    • Examples:
    • -Boys/Girl Scout
    • -Upper-Bound
  17. Counseling and therapy groups
    Members come to the group because of certain problems in their lives

    • Examples:
    • -People in an abuse
    • -People with eatting disorders
    • -Phobia
  18. Support groups
    Consists of members with something in common, meets on a regular basis-everyday, once a week, etc.

    Enable members to learn that other people struggle with the same problems

    • Examples:
    • -People with diseases such as AIDS
    • -Suicide
  19. Self-help groups
    • AA, most well-known self-help group
    • They have no permanent, professional leader.
  20. Group vs. Individual counseling
    • It depends on the situation sometimes individual is best and sometimes group is best.
    • -Some people need group because they need input from others plus they learn more from listening than talking
    • -Teenagers will talk more openly and readily to other teenagers
    • -Sometimes individual’s problems cannot be addressed properly in a group setting

    Sometimes a combination of the two is appropriate. The client can process more deeply in individual sessions some of the work that has occurred in the group. Individual therapy can help person feel more comfortable raising issues in the group.
  21. Group Planning
    Groups in agencies or institutions need to be related to the service

    Need must be established. Be sensitive to agency structure

    Clarity of purpose for both the leader and the members

    Relevance of purpose for the members

    Size of the group (most have 5-8 members)

    Length of each session (usually 30 minutes for children and can be up to 2 hours for adults)

    Frequency of meetings (2-3x a week to monthly)

    Adequacy of the settings (décor, accessibility, privacy, etc.)

    Time of day for both the leader and the members

    The leader’s attitude

    Closed or open group (Open ended means that people come and go and there is no beginning or ending to the group in terms of number of sessions. Closed means that there is a set membership for a set number of meetings)

    Voluntary or nonvoluntary membership

    Member’s level of commitment

    Level of trust among members

    Member’s attitudes toward the leader

    The leader’s experience and readiness to deal with groups

    Coleadership harmony

    • Recruitment, selection and screening of members
    • -i. Recruitment--organizing a group usually requires outreach. Clients may self identify via posters, flyers, public service announcements, mailings, etc. or they may be referred from colleagues
    • -ii. Selection--consider age, race/ethnicity, gender, and educational background. Some of these variables will be more significant than others depending on the nature of the group.
    • -iii. Screening
    • --1. Individual contact in person or by telephone--worker meets with the client prior to the group to begin developing a relationship, to inform the member further about the group, and to assess the appropriateness of group work.
    • --2. Written screening- Q and A form
    • --3. Screening by referral source
  22. Session Planning
    Consider the stage of the group (tasks vary for each stage: beginning--introductions of members, purpose, etc.; ending--wrapping things up)

    Plan the format for the session-progress reports, exercises, discussion, guest speakers, etc.

    Anticipate problems when planning--if reading planned, leader must be prepared fro people not having completed the reading; always have a backup plan

    • Planning the phases of the session:
    • -i. The Beginning phase (usually < 10 minutes no more than 15) except for the first session which where warm up phase will be longer
    • --1. Plan for introducing new members
    • --2. Planning for energy level for the beginning phase (important to consider and will vary depending on the group
    • -ii. the middle or working phase: very important for this is the time when meaningful interactions and discussions should take place
    • --1. planning varies depending on the type of group
    • -iii. the closing phase: planning for the closing phase is crucial and leaders should allow 3-10 minutes for summarizing and processing the session
  23. First Session of a group
    • Beginning the group: begin with an opening statement that explains the purpose of the group
    • -i. How the leader opens the session will have an important bearing on the tone of the group and the comfort level of the member
    • --1. Options
    • ---a. Brief statement about the group and then an introductory exercise
    • ---b. Start with a long opening statement
    • ---c. Long opening and then right into content
    • ---d. Brief statement and into content
    • ---e. Brief statement and then dyads
    • ---f. Brief statement and then sentence-completion form
    • ---g. Opening that grabs attention

    helping members to get acquainted--use introductions, an exercise, rounds, dyads, sentence completion to help members get to know one another

    setting a positive tone--work to create a safe and supportive culture

    clarifying the purpose of the group--may need to do this the first couple of sessions

    helping members to verbalize expectations

    drawing out members

    using exercises

    checking out the comfort levels of the members

    explaining the rules--rules will depend on the nature of the group; there may be rules around attendance, confidentiality, contact outside of meeetings, terminating membership prematurely, etc.; say what the rules are and why they exist with limited discussion

    explaining any special terms to be used

    assessing members interactions styleàget members to interact; use written exercises or rounds; name rounds dyads, etc

    cutting off members

    focusing on the content

    addressing questions

    getting members to look at other members

    • closing the first session
    • -i. allow time for reactions at the end
    • --1. How was it for you?
    • --2. What stood out?
    • --3. Was the group what you expected?
  24. Frequent Mistakes in Planning
    • Not planning
    • Planning too much
    • Irrelevant or meaningless content
    • Not allowing enough time for the group to have any significant meaning
    • Inappropriate exercises
    • Too many exercises
    • Poor planning of time
    • Poor planning of order
    • Not planning an interesting beginning
    • Allowing too much time for warm-up
    • Not allowing enough time for warm-up
    • Vague plans
    • Lack of flexibility
  25. First Stage
    • Model I:Infancy or forming
    • -i. Behaviors are initially polite and superficial as each member seeks out similarities and common needs
    • -ii. Confusion and anxiety are prevalent
    • -iii. Each member is focused on the issue of inclusion
    • -iv. The group is very dependent on leadership at this stage
    • -v. Central issue is trust

    • Model II: The Beginning Stage
    • -i. The time period used for introductions and for discussion of such topics as the purpose of the group, what may happen, fears, group rules, comfort levels, and the content of the group
  26. Middle Stage
    • Model I: Adolescence or Storming
    • -i. Once a group is joined the group moves into adolescence
    • -ii. Storming is a crucial stage as power and decision-making are the key issues and these skills are necessary for the future functioning of the group
    • -iii. Individuals begin to challenge differences in an effort to regain individuality, power and influence
    • -iv. General reaction of members will be to directly (or indirectly) attack existing or emerging group leaders
    • -v. When an acceptable order/process for decision-making emerges, the group will move into stage 3

    • Model II: The working stage
    • -i. The “middle” state is when the members focus on the purpose; members learn new material, thoroughly discuss various topics, complete tasks, or engage in personal sharing and therapeutic work; core of the group process; it is the period when members benefit from being in a group
  27. Closing Stage
    • Model I: Adulthood or “norming and performing”
    • -i. The group is now a cohesive unit and begins to tackle its goals in a collaborative way
    • -ii. Members are working out of affection and caring for others
    • -iii. Behavior is interdependent. Tasks are accomplished by recognizing the unique talents of the group

    • Model II: The closing stage
    • -i. The “ending” stage is devoted to terminating the group; members share what they have learned, how they’ve changed, how they plan to use what they’ve learned, members may also day good-bye, deal with ending the group.

    **Groups go through these stages at varying rates. They can become “stuck” at certain stages. If they complete stages of the group and the group continues recycling will occur. Recycling generally occurs when there is: (a.) change in the composition of the group (b.) a change in the charge of the group (c.) inattention to needed activities at any given stage**
  28. Basic Skills
    • Active listening
    • Reflection
    • Clarification and Questioning
    • Summarizing
    • Facilitating
    • Interpreting
    • Confronting
    • Linking
    • Encouraging and supporting
    • Tone Setting
    • Modeling and self-disclosure
    • Use of Eyes
    • Use of voice
    • Use of leader energy
    • Identifying allies
    • Cultural understanding
  29. Active listening
    involves absorbing the content, noting the nonverbal behavior and intuiting what the person is not saying. Think about what all the group members are thinking/feeling. Must always be scanning for clues.
  30. Reflection
    reflecting the content of what is being said in order to clarify what the client is saying or to help the client explore the issue on a deeper level
  31. Clarification and Questioning
    focusing on the underlying issues and sorting out confusing and conflicted feelings; it is the leader’s responsibility to make sure clear communication is occurring; clarifying helps client become more aware of what he/she is saying or feeling; conveys that you are listening and aware
  32. Summarizing
    restating what has been said and feelings that have been expressed. Useful when the process is getting bogged down, fragmented, or to conclude a session.
  33. Facilitating
    • involves opening lines of communication to help the group increase their responsibility for direction of the group; involves reflecting on what someone is saying or reflecting on themes 2 or 3 times; the group leader can facilitate the process by:
    • -i. Helping members to express their fears and expectations
    • -ii. Working to create a climate of safety
    • -iii. Encouraging and supporting members as they explore personal material or a new behavior
    • -iv. Invite and challenge other members to participate
    • -v. Encourage open expression of conflict
  34. Interpreting
    worker offers possible explanations for certain behaviors or symptons; help person see things from a new prespective

    You speculate to give the client something to think about.
  35. Confronting
    appropriate when a member’s behavior is disruptive to group functioning or when there are discrepancies between verbal and nonverbal behavior; it is important to challenge the specific behavior and not label; it is also important to use “I” messages; challenging members to look honestly at themselves noting discrepancies
  36. Linking
    relating what one person is doing or saying to the concerns of another; promoting member to member communication
  37. Encouraging and Supporting
    appropriate when a person is venturing into frightening territory, when members attempt constructive changes and fell uncertain about them, when members are struggling to rid themselves of old patterns; help members to deal with anxiety of a new situation; support can be conveyed nonverbally as well.
  38. Tone Setting
    the “subtle but crucial to the atmosphere and attitude of the group” Creates mood. Leader sets tone by action and words
  39. Modeling and self-disclosure
    the leader’s effective communication, ability to listen, encouragement of others, etc. will serve as a model. Self-Disclosure can indicate that you are human and that you have dealt with many of the same issues; the focus should never be on the leader
  40. Use of eyes
    • it’s important to see how others are reacting to what is being said
    • -i. Scanning for non verbal cues
    • -ii. Getting members to look at other members
    • -iii. Drawing out members
    • -iv. Cutting off members
  41. Use of voice
    • voice can influence tone and atmosphere
    • -i. To help set the tone
    • -ii. To energize the group
    • -iii. To pace the group
  42. Use of leader energy
    good leaders have enthusiasm for what they are doing
  43. Identifying allies
    members you can count on to be cooperative and helpful
  44. Cultural understanding
    leaders need to understand the different cultures and how each member’s culture affects his or her participation in the group.
  45. Paraphasing
    reflecting back using your own words to help the client feel understood and to clariy
  46. Cutting Off
    i. Timing: try to head off at the pass

    ii. Use of voice: don’t come across as critical

    iii. Clarifying: explain in the first session and at the time

    iv. Non verbal signals: avoiding eye contact, hand signals

    v. Cutting off a member who has the focus of the group

    • vi. Situations that call of cutting off skills
    • -1. When a member’s comments conflict with the purpose of the group
    • -2. When a member is saying something hurtful
    • -3. When a member is saying something inaccurate
    • -4. When the leader wants to shift the focus
    • -5. When it is near the end of the session
    • -6. When members are arguing
    • -7. When members are rescuing others
  47. Drawing Out
    1. Reasons for drawing members out-greater involvement, help members who have difficulty sharing

    • 2. Reasons for members’ silence
    • -a. Fear of what others will think
    • -b. Thinking or processing-silence can be productive
    • -c. Quiet by nature
    • -d. Not mentally present
    • -e. Not prepared
    • -f. Confusion
    • -g. Lack of commitment to the group
    • -h. Intimidation by a dominant member or leader

    3. Direct methods of drawing out members

    4. Drawing out delicately

    5. Use of dyads for drawing out members

    6. Use of rounds for drawing out members

    7. Use of written exercises for drawing out members

    8. Use of eyes to draw out
  48. What are Problem Situations
    • The chronic talker
    • The dominator
    • The distractor
    • The rescuing member
    • The negative member
    • The resistant member
    • The member who tries to "Get the Leader
    • Gatekeeper
    • Scapegoat
    • Deviant Member
    • Dealing with silence
    • Dealing with sexual feelings
    • Dealing with crying
    • Dealing with mutually hostile member
    • Asking a member to leave
    • Dealing with prejudiced, narrow-minded, or insensitive members
  49. The chronic talker
    they monopolize the group, try to dominate, often rambles, is repetitive

    Intervention--try working in dyads and pointing out behavior while paired with another member, address group as a whole
  50. The dominator
    similar to the Chronic Talker, wants to be in control

    Intervention--may try putting the member in a helper role, use some of the same techniques as with a chronic talker
  51. The distractor
    either seeking attention or avoiding looking at him/herself, brings up unrelated material

    Intervention--acknowledge emotions about topic distractor is mentioning and then turn focus back on content
  52. The rescuing member
    attempts to “smooth over” negative experiences by another group member

    Intervention--explain how helping and sharing is different from rescuing
  53. The negative member
    constantly complains about the group or disagrees with other members, can set a negative tone

    Intervention--talk outside of the group, direct questions/comments to allies to set more positive tone, avoid eye contact, DO NOT confront the individual in front of the group
  54. The resistant member
    often the “defensive” member who has learned to use denial to deal with painful problems, may respond to the challenge to change defensively or with resistance

    Intervention--give support, understanding, and time
  55. The member who tries to "Get the Leader"
    again on who wants attention and control

    Intervention--similar to monopolize, chronic talker, dominator
  56. Gatekeeper
    member who guards the gates through which the group must pass in order to deepen communication, this member will usually attempt to divert or distract the group to prevent more intimate communication

    Intervention--deal with behavior directly, confront behavior and meaning behind it
  57. Scapegoat
    group member is attached verbally or physically by other members, usually projecting onto others their own negative feelings about themselves

    Intervention--need to help the group recognize patterns and find new ways of dealing with concerns, need to try to look at what is really going on “behind the scenes”
  58. Deviant Member
    group member deviates from group norms, deviant behavior is generally a form of communication, the member may be communicating something about him/herself or something that has meaning for the group as a whole

    Intervention--bring dynamics out into the open
  59. Dealing with silence
    • silence or quietness may also be a form of communication, it can indicate a number of things 1) the member may not be comfortable speaking in a group 2) he/she may feel left out or uninvolved
    • -i. Not all members have to speak equally to have a successful group
    • -ii. Silence can be productive when members are processing

    Intervention--be direct but non-threatening, take member aside
  60. Dealing with sexual feelings
    members may be attracted to other members and this may come up in the group

    Intervention--depends on focus of the group, important to keep focus on the issue, dynamic v. specific details, important to acknowledge without accentuating or embarrassing
  61. Dealing with crying
    it’s not uncommon for group members to cry

    Intervention--address “process” if disruptive you can ask group member to step out, be sure to check in later
  62. Dealing with mutually hostile memebers
    sometimes members don’t get along and they carry their hostility to the group

    Intervention--if their behavior is impacting the group, you can have them address their feelings for one another in the group, feedback form others may be helpful, if too disruptive in group or if hostility towards one another is impacting their participation you may want to work with them individually before having them return to the group
  63. Asking a member to leave
    sometimes its necessary to ask someone to leave due to any resources

    Intervention--its best to ask privately, not to confront in front of the group and ask the member if he/she wants to address the group about his/her departure or if he/she would like the leader to
  64. Dealing with prejudiced, narrow-minded or insensitive members
    the issues around which the person’s prejudiced nature comes out are usually very sensitive

    Intervention--sometimes the group members will call the person out on his/her attitude, way of thinking, other times if the person isn’t getting the message it might be helpful to talk with the person individually
  65. Advantages of Co-Leading
    • Luxury
    • Very helpful for a beginner
    • Provide additional ideas for planning and support during the meetings
    • Bring different point of views
    • Can create variations in the flow or tone of the group
    • Some may be more specialized
    • Can serve as models
  66. Ethical Considerations
    • Ethical Standards
    • Leader Preparation and Qualifications
    • Knowledge
    • Personal Growth
    • Dual Relationships
    • Confidentiality
    • Informing Members about the Group
    • The Ethical Use of Exercises
    • The Leader's Role in Making Referrals
  67. Ethical Standards
    NASW standards guide our practice
  68. Leader Preparation and Qualifications
    group counselors do not attempt any technique unless thoroughly trained in its use or under supervision by a counselor familiar with the intervention
  69. Knowledge
    its unethical to lead a group without having a good grasp of the material being discussed
  70. Personal Growth
    leaders should not use groups for their own personal growth
  71. Dual Relationship
    leaders’ responsibility to make sure the therapeutic relationship is not being jeopardized
  72. Confidentiality
    the leader’s ethical responsibility for keeping material confidential and the leader’s lack of total control regarding members keeping matters confidential
  73. Informing Members about the Group
    like “informed consent”, members have the right to know the purpose of the group and how it will be conducted
  74. The Ethical Use of Exercises
    • Text pg.438
    • Re: behavior considered unethical
  75. The Leader's Role in Making Referrals
    Leader's responsibility to make sure members are made aware of proper follow-up treatments possibilities.
  76. Dyads
    an activity where pairs of members discuss issues or complete a task

    • Uses: Developing comfort, warming up members and building energy, processing information and group exercises, finishing a topic, getting certain
    • members together, providing leader/member interaction,
    • changing the format, providing time for the leader to think
  77. Rounds
    an activity where every member is asked to respond to some stimulus posed by the leader

    • Kinds of rounds:
    • -1. the designated word, phrase, or number round
    • -2. the word or phrase round
    • -3. the comment round
Card Set
Interventive Strategies for Social Work with Individuals, Families and Groups
Group Work