3rd Edition

A Mutual-Aid Model for Social Work with Groups

ISBN 9780415703222
Published February 10, 2014 by Routledge
280 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

USD $72.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Group work is a popular and widely used social work method. Focusing particularly on the central role of mutual aid in effective group work, this text presents the theoretical base, outlines core principles, and introduces the skills for translating those theories and principles into practice.

A Mutual-Aid Model for Social Work with Groups will help readers to catalyze the strengths of group members such that they become better problem solvers in all areas of life from the playroom to the boardroom. Increased coverage of evaluation and evidence-based practice speaks to the field’s growing concern with monitoring process and assessing progress. The book also includes:

  • worker-based obstacles to mutual aid, their impact, and their antidotes
  • pre-group planning including new discussion on curriculum groups
  • group building by prioritizing certain goals and norms in the new group
  • the significance of time and place on mutual aid and the role of the group worker
  • maintaining mutual aid during so-called individual problem solving
  • an expanded discussion of anti-oppression and anti-oppressive practice
  • unlocking a group’s potential to make difference and conflict useful
  • special considerations in working with time-limited, open-ended, and very large groups.

Case examples are used throughout to help bridge the gap between theory and practice, and exercises for class or field, help learners to immediately apply conceptual material to their practice. All resources required to carry out the exercises are contained in over 20 appendices at the end of the book. Key points at the end of each chapter recap the major concepts presented, and a roster of recommended reading for each chapter points the reader to further resources on each topic.

Designed to support ethical and successful practice, this textbook is an essential addition to the library of any social work student or human service practitioner working with groups.

Table of Contents

1. The Mutual-aid Model of Social Work with Groups  2. The Nine Dynamics of Mutual Aid and Their Implications for Practice  3. Ten Common Worker-Based Obstacles to Mutual Aid, Their Impact, and Their Antidotes  4. Pre-Group Planning with Mutual Aid in Mind  5. Early Group Goals and Norms  6. Mutual Aid, "Time and Place," and the Role of the Worker  7. Individual Problem Solving with Mutual Aid in Mind  8. Mutual Aid and Authority  9. The Role of Conflict in a Mutual-Aid System  10. Mutual-Aid Practice with Single-Session Groups  11. Mutual-Aid Practice with Short-Term Groups  12. Mutual-Aid Practice with Open-Ended Groups  13. Mutual-Aid Practice with Very Large Groups  14. Evaluation

Appendix A. Mutual Aid Dynamics and Their Related Skills  Appendix B. Generic Skills for Catalyzing Mutual Aid  Appendix C. Assessing Group Purpose Statements  Appendix D. Assessing Statements – Instructor Cheat Sheet  Appendix E. Exercise Guide: Transforming Statements into Statements of Group Purpose  Appendix F. Exercise Guide: Developing a Group Purpose  Appendix G. Case record: Group Work v. Casework in a Group  Appendix H. Case Record: Group Work V. Casework in a Group  Appendix I. Skills for Maintaining Mutual Aid during Individual Problem Solving  Appendix J. Skills for Decentralizing Authority  Appendix K. Exercise Guide: The Impact of Conflict Resolution Strategies on Mutual Aid  Appendix L. Skills for Maintaining Mutual Aid during Conflict  Appendix M. Exercise Guide: Applying the Keys to Dealing with Group Conflict  Appendix N. Exercise Guide: Catalyzing Mutual Aid in Single-Session Groups  Appendix O. Skills for Catalyzing Mutual Aid in Single-Session Groups  Appendix P. Skills for Catalyzing Mutual Aid in Short-Term Groups  Appendix Q. Skills for Catalyzing Mutual Aid in Open-Ended Groups  Appendix R. Skills for Catalyzing Mutual Aid in Very Large Groups  Appendix S. Exercise Guide: Introducing Mutual-Aid Practice into the Very Large Group  Appendix T. Mutual-Aid Practice: Ten Common Obstacles and Antidotes

View More



Dominique Moyse Steinberg is former chair of the group work sequence at Hunter College School of Social Work in New York City, USA and currently sits on the executive committee of the International Association for Social Work with Groups, Inc.