A valuable guide to working with groups for a variety of purposes in the human services. Its distinctive strength is the focus on 'thinking group' and on theory informed reflective practice. Grounded throughout in the rich experiences of 'group insiders', the book is both engaging and informative. Definitely a recommended resource for practitioners, students and educators.
Ros Thorpe, Professor of Social Work and Community Welfare, James Cook University
Group facilitation is a core skill for social workers, community workers, youth workers, health workers and psychologists. Inside Group Work offers a guide to group work theory and practice in a variety of human service settings.
Drawing on thought-provoking contributions from experienced group leaders and participants, Fiona McDermott 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, she 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. But McDermott argues these skills by themselves are not sufficient. Rather, facilitators need to 'think group' in order to be most effective.
McDermott also explains the various stages groups go through, and looks at ways in which group facilitators can handle typical problems. She explores issues of power and leadership, and also the influence of gender, sexuality, ethnicity and age.
Table of Contents
2. Group purpose
3. Theoretical basis of group work
5. Thinking group
6. Thinking group in action
7. Forming a group
8. The life of the group
9. Critical issues
10. Doing 'good' group work
Fiona McDermott is Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Work at the University of Melbourne.