Group Work Then and Now

Register Now for CE programs nowJoan Letendre, PhD, LCSW
Tues, June 27, 2023
9:30 am – 4:oo pm
In-person: SSW Building, 38 Prospect St, Hartford – Room 113
5 CECs – includes one hour of content on cultural competency

$100 – UConn SSW Alumni & Current Field Instructors
$125 – All Others

The field of social group work has always used groups to bring members together to share common concerns, provide support and mutual aid, solve problems, and learn new skills. Practice today requires clinicians to use group work models to work with differing client populations in a variety of settings. The social isolation and loneliness experienced by many during the pandemic has shown us that people need connection and groups are one way to bring people together. Understanding the needs of the members and the group at differing stages of the group. can help facilitators to intervene in a way that fosters communication and promotes positive interactions.

In this first workshop of the group work series, we will focus on understanding a stage model of group development which includes:

  • planning with careful attention to factors that will influence the group (Why this group? Who will be in the group? What is the purpose? What type of group? What will we do? When will we meet and for how long?)
  • beginning the group with a focus on engagement of members and sharing of goals and development of norms
  • the working stage which focuses on developing cohesions with attention to roles, challenging behaviors and conflict
  • ending and evaluation with a focus on saying good-bye, evaluating gains and generalizing skills to situations outside of the group

Attention to diversity of membership and types of groups will be included as we discuss the stages of group development. We will focus on the challenges and strategies for working with open ended groups which allow members to enter and exit at different times, the use of evidence and skill-based curricula mandated by many agencies to build skills and the use of virtual groups which were developed to provide services during pandemic. Each of these groups has their benefits but challenge practitioners to adapt differing strategies to engage members, provide a safe space and develop a cohesive group.

This seminar will enable you to:

• learn how to adequately plan for a group
• understand the needs of members and the group during each stage of development
• learn and practice the skills that leaders use at each stage to facilitate engagement and positive interactions
• adapt knowledge and skills to facilitate groups that are open ended, use curricula and are facilitated in the virtual environment.
• develop strategies that help members to problem solve group challenges in ways that contribute to interpersonal skill development
• learn how to evaluate both the content and process experience of the group