In this activity, you will learn about and reflect on the roles of support groups, self-help groups, and prevention groups in social work practice. You will watch two brief media examples of these types of groups. Then you will reflect on the dynamics and skills (or lack thereof) observed in these examples that may or may not support individual and group change.
Note: These groups are important models of practice. They will be further discussed in Workshop Eight, when you will observe and reflect on the use of spirituality in group practice, specifically in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) groups. You will be required to attend and observe an open AA group in your community during that workshop, so consider seeking opportunities and planning to attend this type of group now. In many communities, AA and NA groups are held on a weekly or even daily basis. Most groups are open and available to the public, with the days and times posted online. Contact your instructor as soon as possible if you have difficulty locating a group to attend.
Upon successful completion of this assignment, you will be able to:
The dynamics and purposes of support, self-help, and prevention groups have an important role in social work group practice. Clients often find these types of groups to be accessible, empowering, and validating of the obstacles that they face in life. Both support groups and prevention groups can happen in a variety of practice settings, including but not limited to:
There are specific benefits and challenges to the effective implementation of these group types. You will consider these benefits and challenges in this activity. You will also consider what types of skills are needed for a social worker to implement and facilitate this type of group effectively throughout the phases of the social work practice framework. Consider also the type of dynamics and challenges that may occur in this type of group.
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