Leading a group can be challenging. It is important to remember that within the group, the social worker does much more than simply guide a conversation. Skills such as attending, synthesizing thoughts, providing resources, clarifying, and resolving conflict are all used to support process and treatment. The social worker is constantly assessing individual members and the overall group and determining the level of power and influence to exert. Even concrete, organizational actions such as opening and closing a session take skill and finesse.
Assignment: Application of Group Skills
While leading a treatment group, you may be faced with a dominant member who takes up much of the session time while others fall silent, or someone who is resistant or combative. There may be interpersonal conflict, or a complete lack of engagement. These challenging scenarios require effective leadership skills to balance negativity, empower group members, and build a respectful community. What skills do you currently possess, and how do you see yourself applying them in group work practice? When you’re leading a treatment group, you might have to deal with a member who is very talkative and takes up most of the session time while others are quiet. You might also have to deal with someone who is resistant or fights back. There could be a fight between people or a complete lack of interest. In these tough situations, good leadership is needed to balance out the negative, give group members more power, and build a respectful community. What skills do you have right now, and how do you think you’ll use them in group work?
For this Assignment, you assume the role of a social worker leading a group session in an interactive media piece. You draw on your skills to navigate the scenario and take appropriate action; then, you reflect on your choices and the strengths and opportunities for your leadership skills.
• Navigate through the Group Therapy media piece in which you act as the social worker leading a group session.
• Reflect on the choices you selected based on the on-screen guidance and what you would have done differently if you were truly facilitating the group.
• Consider your leadership skills in general. Where might you need to improve to be a successful group leader?
Submit a 2- to 3- page paper in which you:
• Explain the reasoning behind your choices at each step of the video scenario. What leadership skills did you employ and why?
• Explain what you would have done differently from the options presented to you and why. Include specific language you would have used (e.g., I would have said “X” to “Y” person in order to…).
• Describe how you view your leadership skills at this time. What leadership skills (identified in the Toseland and Rivas text) could you work on to improve?
Use the Learning Resources to support your Assignment. Make sure to provide APA citations and a reference list.
Virtul Book : email@example.com
Toseland, R. W., & Rivas, R. F. (2017). An introduction to group work practice (8th ed.). Pearson.
• Chapter 4, “Leadership” (pp. 98–136)
Ezhumalai, S., Muralidhar, D., Dhanasekarapandian R., & Nikketha, B. S. (2018). Group interventions. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 60, S514–S521. https://doi.org/10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_42_18
Walden University, LLC. (2022). Social work case studies [Interactive media]. Walden University Blackboard. https://class.waldenu.edu
• Navigate to the Levy Family case. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to view the video.
Time Estimate: 5-7 minutes
Note: The video below is interactive. Click the play button and use the buttons to navigate through the piece.