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Riding the Mutual Aid Bus and Other Adventures in Group Work

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Riding the Mutual Aid Bus and Other Adventures in Group Work

A "Days in the Lives of Social Workers" Collection

Linda May Grobman & Jennifer Clements, Editors

Foreword by Steven Kraft

Available now!

Groups come in all kinds. Therapy groups. Support groups. Task groups. Psychoeducational groups. Online groups. Play groups. Experiential groups. Art groups. Drumming groups. Co-facilitated groups. Child groups. Adult groups. Family groups. The list goes on. Regardless of what setting you are in, if you are a social worker, you will work with groups at some time in your career.

You may have a picture in your mind of what a social work group looks like. It probably has people sitting in a circle, talking about their feelings. There certainly are many groups described in this book that fit that image of a traditional group. However, we also introduce you to groups that take place on a bus or a train, in a public restroom, or on a zipline 40 feet in the air! Each story takes us into the life of a particular social worker and shares practice wisdom about a time when that social worker worked with a group.

By reading each one, you will have a greater perspective on social work with groups. The diversity of the chapters, fields of practice, types of group, and populations will give you a greater idea of the power of group work. It can be quite an adventure!Developed in collaboration with the International Association for Social Work With Groups, this book includes the full text of the Standards for Social Work Practice With Groups.

“This book presents a lovely compilation of group work vignettes—slices of practice life—that reflect a range of populations, issues, and settings in which group work takes place.  The exercises at the end of each vignette offer many types of opportunities to help students work through some major practice issues, either as individual assignments or in small classroom groups.  The informal approach to presentation makes the case examples very user-friendly and, accompanied by theoretical material, offers a creative way of bringing theory to life.”
Dominique Moyse Steinberg, DSW, Adjunct Faculty, Smith College SSW, CEO, CustomElderCare®

"From children in residential treatment and adolescents in an outdoor adventure program to men charged with domestic violence and individuals living with AIDS, this book is chock full of examples of how groups benefit their members. A variety of practitioners from a range of practice settings write about their group work experiences in an approachable, appealing style. The core principles and benefits of group work practice are clearly illustrated in the multitude of case examples. This book will serve as an excellent accompaniment to a standard text on group work. Students will no doubt find the case material interesting and relatable. The editors’ and authors’ enthusiasm for the modality is infectious and should serve to motivate readers to make group work an integral part of their practice."
Dr. Carolyn Knight, Professor, School of Social Work, University of Maryland Baltimore County
Past Vice-President, Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups

"These captivating stories will inspire and inform social workers about the endless possibilities and power of practice with groups.  Social workers will find strong connections with stories that are set across a wide range of organizational contexts with highly diverse populations, group models and strategies. The accessible and poignant chapters will resonate with practitioners and students as the authors share their challenges in working with groups – as well as their successes. Ultimately, the stories provide examples of skillful practice and accompanying struggles that promote progress and change through group membership."

Dr. Carol S. Cohen, Associate Professor, Adelphi University School of Social Work, Garden City, New York & Co-Chair,  Commission on Group Work in Social Work Education,  International Association for Social Work with Groups

About the Editors

Linda May Grobman, ACSW, LSW, is the founder, publisher, and editor of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER®, the magazine for social work students and recent graduates, and editor of the Days in the Lives of Social Workers book series.  She has practiced social work in mental health and medical settings, and is a former interim executive director of the Pennsylvania and Georgia state chapters of the National Association of Social Workers. She received her MSW and BM (Music Therapy) degrees from the University of Georgia, and is a graduate of the Music for Healing and Transition Program.

Jennifer Clements, Ph.D., LCSW, is currently an associate professor of social work at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. She is Vice President of the International Association for Social Work with Groups and a passionate group worker. She has worked in child welfare practice for 15 years, where she has led numerous groups with children and adolescents.  


Table of Contents

About the Editor/Contributors    9
Foreword    17
Introduction    19
Acknowledgments    23

Chapter 1—Somewhere Else    25
Chapter 2—Journey Into the Land of Groups: How Groups   Found Me!    31
Chapter 3—Group Worker’s Heaven    39
Chapter 4—When the Group Clicks: Psychoeducation With Adolescent Girls in Crisis    47
Chapter 5—Social Work 40 Feet in the Air    53
Chapter 6—Creating Group Norms Around the Campfire: Adventure Based Group Work With Adolescents    59
Chapter 7—Riding the Mutual Aid Bus    65
Chapter 8—The Magic of Group Work: Preparing for Adoption    69
Chapter 9—Keeping the Hope Alive: Family Nurturing CampTM    77
Chapter 10—Don’t Count Me Out: Short- and Long-Term Outcomes With Groups With Disabilities    83
Chapter 11—Job Club Support Group: Multiple Disabilities    87
Chapter 12—Refugees in a Community Health Clinic    95
Chapter 13—Red Flags and Common Themes in an Addictions Group    101
Chapter 14—Group Therapy for Social Phobias and Panic Attacks    107
Chapter 15—Overcoming the Secret of Shy Bladder in a Group Weekend Workshop    113
Chapter 16—Graduation Day    117
Chapter 17—Shattering Stereotypes: A Group for “Mature Women”    123
Chapter 18—Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk With the Sexuality and Gender Identity Group    129
Chapter 19—Fight Club: A Support Group for LGBT College Students    137
Chapter 20—In the Company of Others: How Groups of Social Work Students Helped Me Become a Better Social Worker    143
Chapter 21—An Intergenerational Group Experience for Social Work Students    149
Chapter 22—Group Work in a Homeless Shelter    155
Chapter 23—The Power of Men’s Stories: Facilitating Men’s Changes in Domestic Abuse    161
Chapter 24—A Focus on Relational Needs: Supporting Group Work Goals With Mandated Clients    167
Chapter 25—Uplifting Fathers and Strengthening Families    173
Chapter 26—The Group Who Holds the Group: Supervision as a Critical Component in a Group With Infants Affected By        Family Violence    179
Chapter 27—Group Work With Male Adolescent Sex Offenders    185
Chapter 28—Crisis Oriented Group Work With Emergency Services Personnel    191
Chapter 29—Strengthening Leadership, Building Community    199
Chapter 30—Collaboration, Connection, and Community: A Women’s Psychotherapy and Psychopharmacology     Group    205
Chapter 31—Group Practice Complexities: A Hospital-Based Group for Persons Living With AIDS    211
Chapter 32—Family Caregivers: Services for Unsung Heroes    217
Chapter 33—The Caregiver Support Group    225
Chapter 34—Pet Loss Support Group    231
Chapter 35—Children Facing Loss: Renewing Hope Through Group Sharing    237
Chapter 36—Grieving Daughters    243
Chapter 37—Group Work: A Means for Consultation With Schools    249
Chapter 38—Gloria’s Casserole: Group Social Work at a NORC    255
Chapter 39—Tapping Into the Creative Parts: Art Therapy With Older Adults    261
Chapter 40—Some Things Just Have To Be Lived: Drumming in Group Work    265
Chapter 41—Reaching Out and Outreaching: Connecting Rural and Urban Groups Through Technology    271
Chapter 42—Technology in Social Work: Moderating Online Support Groups for Cancer Patients    279
Chapter 43—On Group Work for Social Justice: Intergroup Dialogue    285
Chapter 44—From Group Member to Hero, Husband, and Father: A Long-Term Reflection    293

APPENDIX A: Organizations, Web Sites, and Resources of Interest to Social Workers With Groups    299

APPENDIX B:  Standards for Social Work Practice With Groups    301

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Linda May Grobman & Jennifer Clements
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