Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Group Work

The following are types of groups and a brief description of them.

Education Group
In an education group, the facilitator's main goal is to provide information. Some discussion is appropriate. Examples include youth learning study skills and dialysis patients learning about transplant.

Discussion Group
In a discussion group, the participants discuss topics and not their personal issues. The facilitator is just the person in charge and not necessarily an expert. An example would be a book club.

Task Group
A task group is a group that forms in order to accomplish a task. When the task is completed, the group is dissolved. Examples include students working on a group project, or a committee planning an event.

Growth or Experiential Groups
This type of group's task is to grow as individuals. Examples include spiritual encounter retreats, and physical challenge retreats.

Counseling Groups
Counseling groups are typically for individuals who are experiencing life challenges such as divorce, making friends, life changes, etc. The facilitator may guide the group on topics and tease out details of an individuals situation. The group members are encouraged to help each other.

Therapy Groups
Therapy groups are typically for individuals with problems that are more severe than those in counseling groups. There are many techniques for group therapy and they may look radically different from each other. Examples include groups for women who have been assaulted, individuals in residential addiction rehabilitation, and people with anxiety.

Support Groups
A support group is a group where the members have something in common and meet regularly to support each other. Support groups allow members to realize there are people with the same struggles they have. Members should talk to each other and the facilitator role should be minimal. Examples include groups for people living with a specific illness, parents who have lost children, or people who experienced a common event (such a school shooting).

Self Help Groups
Self help groups do not have social workers are their leaders; they are lead by one of the participants. They typically follow the AA model.

Adapted from:
Jacobs, E., Masson, R., & Harvill, R. Group counseling strategies and skills (5th ed.) Belmont: Thomson.

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