the groupwork booklist

What should you be reading about groupwork? Our introductory guide.

As a way into exploring group work I have included a selection of material dealing with the:

Organizing a useful selection from the vast body of material that can be seen as the 'literature of groupwork' is a nightmare. Aside from the obvious problem of scale, there are issues around categorizing material, quality (many texts are are repeats of a basic how-to-do-it formula), and purpose. To make life easier I have adapted a framework used by Kenneth E. Reid in his helpful study of the use of groups in social work (1981) and added in a more therapeutically strand. I am not very comfortable with the categories - but they do provide a way of mapping material:

Some issues

A quick glance at this categories should alert us to a number of issues. First, and foremost, they orient us to difference. The obvious danger here is that we then overlook something of great significance - the considerable overlap and sharing of dispositions, ideas and practices across the approaches. Many of the books listed can be categorized as concerned with 'social group work' (with an emphasis on social functioning and interaction) rather than therapy. By way of contrast, and to point in the direction of some significant insights, I have also included a section on group therapy and sensitivity training.

Second, as soon as we come to allocate writers we can quickly see that they can belong in different categories according to how we 'cut the cake'. Take someone like Carl Rogers for example. At one dimension he falls within a therapeutic framework, at another his humanistic emphasis leads us to interactionalism. Lawrence Shulman by focusing on 'helping' could be seen as case-oriented, but his focus on mutual aid places him with an interactionalist approach. Part of the problem is that many of these writers are operating from a frame of reference derived from social work (in its casework and case management forms) rather than from education.

My interest lies primarily in explorations of groupwork that focus on mutuality and learning. Sadly, the literature of groupwork has become dominated by material from more psychoanalytical or psychodynamic perspectives, and from casework. I would be particularly glad if people could let me have any suggestions of books or materials they have found especially useful in developing their practice and understanding around more developmentally oriented groupwork.

Understanding groups

I have focused on more recent general texts plus one or two abiding classics such as Bales (1950), Lewin (1948) and Homans (1951).

Bales, R. F. (1950) Interaction Process Analysis, Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley. Pathbreaking study that looked to task or 'instrumental' behaviour and socio-emotional or 'expressive' behaviour. Written from a functionalist perspective, Bales developed a very influential analytical model. He later developed the model into SYMLOG. See Bales, R. F., Cohen, S. P. and Williamson, S. A. (1980) SYMLOG: A system for the multiple level observation of groups, New York: Free Press.

Baron, R., Kerr, N. and Miller, N. (2003) Group Process, Group Decision, Group Action 2e, Buckingham: Open University Press. 231 + xiv pages. Review of of theoretical perspectives and data that can help interpret group phenomena. Chapters examine social facilitation; individual versus group performance; group motivation losses; social influence and conformity; group decision making; social dilemmas; group aggression and intergroup conflict; stress and social support; crowding.

Brown, R. (1999) Group Processes. Dynamics within and between groups2e, Oxford: Blackwell. 448 pages. Popular text that adopts a useful approach focusing on groups and social identity; tensions between task and socio-emotional aspects; and the impact of social comparison processes.

Cartwright, D. and Zander, A. (eds.) (1968) Group Dynamics: Research and theory 3e, New York: Harper and Row. Popular standard collection of 36 studies organized in sections on groups and group membership; uniformity pressures; power and influence; leadership and performance of group functions; motivation; and group structure. Good introductions plus good scene-setting chapters.

Douglas, T. (1983) Groups. Understanding people gathered together, London: Tavistock. 252 pages. Useful text exploring group processes; the probable effects of those processes in 'natural' groups (the family, friendship groups, work organizations, teams, committees); the probable effects of group processes in the design and function of special environments (residential institutions, therapeutic environments and communities, specific types of 'created' groups); and implications.

Douglas, T. (1995) Survival in Groups. The basics of group membership, Buckingham: Open University Press. 167 pages. One of the few books to approach the practice of work with groups from the perspective of members. Chapters deal with the nature of groups, seeing groups, process, influences, communication, survival, the rewards/costs/dangers of group membership; outcomes, learning from experience.

Forsyth, D. R. (1999) Group Dynamics 3e, Belmont, Ca.: Brooks/Cole - Wadsworth. 622 + xii pages. A book firmly in the tradition of US teaching texts - comprehensive coverage dealing with group formation, development, structure; conformity, power, leadership, performance, decision making, environmental processes, conflict, collective behaviour; and groups and change.

Hartley, P. (1997) Group Communication, London: Routledge. 226 + xiv pages. Good introduction to the theories and practical applications of small group dynamics. Chapters on studying small groups, how groups change, group influence, leadership, structure and communication, problem-solving an decision making, intergroup relations, teams, teamwork and learning, and helping.

Hertz-Lazarowitz, R. and Miller, N. (eds.) (1992) Interaction in Co-operative Groups. The theoretical anatomy of group learning, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 294 + viii pages. Focuses on the theoretical anatomy of co-operation in the classroom. Part one explores developmental foundations and the social construction of knowledge; Part two, social skills and classroom factors influencing peer interactions; Part three: the effects of task and reward structures on academic achievement; and Part four: factors influencing the promotion of positive intergroup relations.

Homans, G. C. (1951) The Human Group, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 484 + xxvi pages. Classic study of groups in their setting that looks to sentiment, activity and interaction. Uses a number of seminal studies to examine group behaviour, external systems, internal systems, leadership, interpersonal relations, social control, social conflict etc.

Kahan, B. (1994) Growing up in Groups, London: HMSO. 374 + xii pages. Examines practice in residential settings that provides a background to residential work and living; an exploration of living away from home in groups (the physical environment, common core, behaviour, hazards of growing up,arrival and settling in, protection, boarding schools and therapeutic communities, medical settings); setting the conditions and making it work (includes work structures, qualifications, training, management).

Klein, J. (1956) The Study of Groups, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 200 + ix pages. Important British book that explores small group behaviour. Chapters on: the performance of tasks in groups; differentiation in the group - functional authority and status authority; the spread of information; the need for organization; the evolution of norms; the evolution of likes and dislikes; sentiment in the group; communication as adaptive behaviour; decision making as instrumental behaviour; latent pattern maintenance; and the larger society and social change.

Lewin, K. (1948) Resolving Social Conflicts. Selected papers on group dyna7ics, New York: Harper and Row. 230 + xviii pages. Influential book dealing with problems of changing cultures, conflicts in face-to-face groups, inter-group conflicts and group belongingness. Includes the classic paper: 'action research and minority problems'.

Peck, S. P. (1987) The Different Drum. The creation on true community - the first step to world peace, London: Random Century. 334 pages. Popular book examining how communities work, and how group action can be developed on the principles of tolerance and love.

Radley, A. (1991) In Social Relationships, Buckingham: Open University Press. 142 + x pages. An excellent introduction to group dynamics and social interaction. Uses examples from everyday situations and brings out some of the ambiguities. Chapters explore appearances, claims and secrets; the group setting; social identity; playfulness and seriousness; non-verbal behaviour and communication; the social body; and ideas in practice: the denial of ambiguity.

Smith, P. B. (1980) Group Processes and Personal Change, London: Harper and Row. Good summary , for its time, of research on group processes and training. Chapters on: training methods, learning processes; effects; training design and behaviour; and different approaches. See, also, P. B. Smith (ed.) (1980) Small Groups and Personal Change, London: Methuen. Contains some good readings.

Turner, J. C. (1987) Rediscovering the Social Group. A self-categorization theory, Oxford: Blackwell. 239 + xi pages. Seeks to explain how the social group arises - how individuals come together in groups and become capable of collective action. Individuals become groups not primarily because they develop develop personal relationships based on the mutual satisfaction of their needs, but by developing a shared categorization of themselves in contrast to others.

Wheelan, S. (1994) Group Process. A developmental perspective, Boston, Mass.: Allyn and Bacon. Provides a good overview of the development of group research and surveys various different methods of of analysing group behaviour.

A selection of group case studies

Butcher, H., Collis, P., Glen, A. and Sills, P. (1980) Community Groups in Action. Case studies and analysis, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 290 + xiv pages. One of the few substantial studies of community groups and community initiatives. The book combines five substantial case studies with a thematic commentary and analysis. The latter looks at: groups and their environment; goals and foal achievement; organization: process and structure; strategy, tactics and resources; the role of the community worker.

Coyle, G. L. (1937) Studies in Group Behavior, New York: Association Press. 258 + ix pages. Influential study that looked at group leaders and their function plus five detailed case studies. Useful for the insights into record keeping as well as the groups themselves.

Elsdon, K. T. with J. Reynolds and S. Stewart (1995) Voluntary Organizations. Citizenship, learning and change, Leicester: National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. 168 + viii pages. Important report of a six year research project in England, Scotland and Wales. Examines the nature of voluntary organization and the educative possibilities of associational life. An overview of the 31 case studies that formed the basis of the research is included. The study also produced three useful collections of case studies plus an overall study of voluntary organization in Retford.

Phillips, M. (1965) Small Social Groups in England, London: Methuen. 318 pages. Exploration of around 50 groups with a useful foot note by Bryan Wilson on the sociology of small group studies.

Spencer, J. (1964) Stress and Release in an Urban Estate. A study in action research, London: Tavistock. 355 + xiv pages. Fascinating study in Bristol of community groups. Part one outlines the project; part two: explores some different aspects of group work; part three working with adolescents; part four: the adventure playground; part five: conclusions and recommendations for social policy.

Whyte, W. F. (1943, 1955, 1981, 1993) Street Corner Society. The social structure of an Italian slum 4e, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 398 + xx pages. Wonderful, and still deeply evocative, ethnography that mapped the ‘intricate worlds of street gangs and "corner boys" and provided a detailed account of social interaction in various groups. Each edition has an expanding methodological appendix which makes for fascinating reading. The current edition’s brings the story up to date and includes a piece by Angelo Ralph Orlandella - a member of the gang who became Whytes assistant in the research.

The history and development of groupwork

In this section I have included some historical explorations and a selection of older, influential, books that help to chart the development of practice. (Material from the 1960s and on is contained within the various sections).

Brew, J. M. (1957) Youth and Youth Groups, London: Faber and Faber. 296 pages. Brew was one of the earlier UK practitioners to grasp the significance of the deepening of knowledge around group work. This is a revised edition of In the Service of Youth that takes account of the developments in her thinking around social group work and informal education. The first half of the book looks at adolescence. The second half explores the ‘infinite variety’ of youth groups; the nature of youth leadership; youth group organization: management, helpers’ and members; committees; programme planning; using games, dancing, camping, holidays and parties; using music, drama, crafts and projects; discussion, radio, television and reading; and finishes with a chapter on religion and the youth group.

Coyle, G. (1930) Social Process in Organized Groups, New York: Richard R. Smith. Important early work that drew upon Dewey.

Coyle, G. (1947) Group Experience and Democratic Values, New York: Women's Press. Important bringing together of insights. See also, the very influential (1948) Group Work with American Youth, New York: Harper. (To be added to).

Follett, M. P. (1924) Creative Experience, New York: Longman, Green and Co. (Republished by Peter Smith 1951). 303 +xix pages. This book, and Follett's earlier (19) The New State. Group organization - the solution of popular government were significant additions to the literature. The latter looked to the development of community groups and centers in sustaining democracy; the former to experience as self-sustaining and self-renewing process, and taking an experimental attitude to experience.

Klein, J. (1961) Working with Groups, London: Hutchinson. 240 pages. Popular exploration with good material around task, environment, role-play etc.

Kuenstler, P. (ed.) (1955) Social Group Work in Great Britain, London: Faber and Faber. 176 pages. The first British exploration. A very useful collection that examines the nature of social group work (Kuenstler); historical development (Spencer); group work with children (Peterson); group work with adolescents (Brew); church, settlement and community centre (Forster); adult groups (Morris); the dynamics of group work (Curle).

Lindeman, E. C. (1924) Social Discovery. An approach to the study of functional groups, New York: Republic. 375 + xxvii pages. Influenced by Mary Parker Follett, this book explores group conflict, language, participant observation, groups and leaders. group situations and responses, group behaviour.

Lippitt, R. (1949) Training in Community Relations. A research exploration toward new group skills, New York: Harper. 286 + xiv pages. Publication out of Lewin’s Research Center for Group Dynamics that provides a detailed exploration of a pioneering training experiment. One of the first detailed studies of groupwork.

Reid, K. E. (1981) From Character Building To Social Treatment. The history of groups in social work, Westport, Co.: Greenwood Press. 249 + xvii pages. Very helpful historical study that charts the emergence of group work and the development of practice and thinking. Particularly good on the development of the literature upto 1980 and the key people involved.

Wilson, G. and Ryland, G. (1949) Social Group Work Practice. The creative use of the social process, Cambridge: MA.: Houghton Mifflin. 686 + xii pages. A classic study of social group work that explores methods; program media; practice; and supervisory and administrative processes. Thoroughly grounded treatment that examines work in some detail with pre-schoolers and school-age children; adolescents and young adults; and adults and older people. There are a number of possible books to choose from - but this is a very comprehensive treatment. Gertrude Wilson also produced one of the first systematic attempts to relate group work and casework: (1941) Group Work and Case Work: Their relationship and practice, New York: Family Welfare Association.

Young, A. F. and Ashton, E. T. (1956) British Social Work in the Nineteenth Century, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 264 + vii pages. Has two substantial chapters on the development of group work in youth work and in settlements.

General texts

Benson, J. F. (2001) Working more creatively with groups. 2e. London: Routledge. 324 + x pages. Jarlath Benson's book has proved to be very popular in the field. It covers much of the ground one wants from a text including material on group dynamics - and has three welcome chapters around working more creatively more groups. It does get a bit 'listy' in places - but does benefit from being written from a more holistic (in this case psychosynthetic) perspective than most texts.

Bertcher, H. J. (1994) Group Participation. Techniques for leaders and members 2e, Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage. 197 + xii pages. Popular guide in the ‘Human Services’ series. Gives details of basic techniques and process: attending; seeking and giving information; contract negotiation; rewarding; responding to feelings; focusing; summarizing; gatekeeping; confrontation; modeling; mediating; starting. Includes exercises.

Bertcher, H. J. and Maple, F. F. (1996) Creating Groups 2e, Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage. 95 + x pages. Another book in the ‘Human Services’ series. This is a short guide to composing new groups and modifying existing ones. Chapters on dealing with difference; defining ‘group’; different kinds of groups; recruiting group members; composing groups; group modification; time, space and size; and planning the first meeting.

Brown, G. (1992) Groupwork 3e, Aldershot: Arena. 229 + x pages. Accessible introductory guide for social workers. Chapters on groupwork in social work, planning, leadership, programme and process, working with groups in day and residential centres, anti-discriminatory practice, and developing skills and understanding.

Brown, A. and Clough, R. (eds.) (1989) Groups and Groupings. Life and work in day and residential centres, London: Routledge. 227 + xiii pages. Collection that attempts to provide an insight into life in day and residential centres; with explorations of different settings.

Doel, M. (2006) Using Groupwork. London: Routledge. 180 + xii pages. Mark Doel uses accounts of the experiences of nine groups run by different workers to explore the process of working with created groups. He is also able to draw on the perspectives of participants. This combined with the book being organized in an interesting way makes for an innovative and very helpful text. It covers much of the ground of standard 'how to' texts but brings the material much more to life. It is a 'generalist' text - applicable to many different groupwork contexts - but is focused on created groups.

Doel, M. and Sawdon, C. (1999) The Essential Groupworker. Teaching and learning creative groupwork, London: Jessica Kingsley. 288 pages. Aimed squarely at social workers - but having use for a much wider group of practitioners - this book is a good introductory text for working with created/formal groups.

Douglas, T. (1991) A Handbook of Common Groupwork Problems, London: Routledge. 193 + ix pages. Examines some common problems faced by practitioners. Includes problems relation to the members of the group; the group as a system; the conditions that affect the group; the performance of leadership roles; the supervision, training and development of groupworkers.

Douglas, T. (1993) A Theory of Groupwork Practice, London: Macmillan. 168 + ix pages. Attempts to provide a general basis for all forms of work with groups; and to examine the received wisdom of practice around a number of dimensions such as group developmental sequences. Chapters deal with interactive and affiliative patterns in groups; associated patterns in created and adapted groups; resources; obstacles; technique; resource theory; group design; implications.

Johnson, D. W. and Johnson, F. P. (2003) Joining Together: Group theory and group skills, 8e., Boston, Mass.: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon. 672 pages. Rightly popular practical guide with plenty of examples and exercises, plus some good foundational chapters. Chapters on group dynamics; experiential learning; group goals and social independence; communications within groups; leadership; decision making; controversy and creativity; conflicts of interest,the uses of power; dealing with diversity; leading learning and discussion groups; leading growth and counselling groups; and team development, team training.

McDermott, F. (2003) Inside Group Work: A guide to reflective practice, London: Allen and Unwin. 225 pages. Introductory texts that examine how group work can be used. MsDermott looks at psychoeducation groups, psychotherapy groups, mutual aid groups and social action groups in particular and argues that the purpose of the group should determine the form it takes. Looks at the nature of groups, facilitation and the various problems encountered.

Preston-Shoot, M. (2007) Effective Groupwork. 2e. London: Palgrave. 212 + x pages. This book has proved to be popular within social work- and covers much of what you would expect from an introductory text on working with created groups. Has material on evaluating groupwork, groupwork values and types and purposes of groups - as well as the usual material on planning and facilitating groups.

Group therapy, T-groups and encounter groups

Barnes, B., Ernst, S. and Hyde, K. (1999) An Introduction to Groupwork: A Group-analytic Perspective, London: Palgrave. Popular introductory text with attention paid to the social, cultural and institutional context within and outside the group.

Bion, W. R. (1961) Experiences in Groups and other papers, London: Tavistock. 198 pages. Important study which aimed to sythesize psychoanalysis and group dynamics.

Bion, W. R. (1970) Attention and Interpretation, London: Tavistock. 136 pages. Subtitled 'a scientific approach to insight in psycho-analysis and groups' this book's central theses is that accurate observation, accompanied by accurate appreciation and formulation of the observation is central.

Dalal, F. (1999) Taking the Group Seriously. Towards a post-Foulkesian group analytical theory, London: Jessica Kingsley. 239 pages. It's nice to report a real addition to the literature. Dalal identifies the contribution of Foulkes to the development of group psychoanalysis but brings out just how he was unable to break free of an individualistic (Freudian) framework. Using the work of Normal Elias, Falal mounts a challenge to the assumptions of individual psychoanalysis and humanistic psychotherapy.

Hinshelwood, R. D. (1987) What Happens in Groups. Psychoanalysis, the individual and the community, London: Free Association Books. 278 pages. Very helpful discussion of the ways in which individuals collectively and individually seek to protect themselves from the worst aspects of group life. Parts deal with raw experience; the individual's own community; despair, idealization and morale; the neurotic organization; therapy in the community; and the group as community.

Lakin, M. (1972) Interpersonal Encounter. Theory and practice in sensitivity training, New York: McGraw Hill. Examines basic concepts, relations between group and individual; trainer role, values etc.; policy issues; evaluation.

Lieberman, M. A., Yalom, I. D. and Miles, M. B. (1973) Encounter Groups. First facts. New York: Basic Books. Significant early study of a range of approaches.

Miles, M. B. (1959, 1981) Learning to Work in Groups. A practical guide for members and trainers, New York: Teachers College Press. 341 + xv pages. Was one of the most popular practical guides to group training. Chapters on effective group behavior; the training process; planning for training; training activities; designing training activities; taking the trainer role; evaluating training. Lots of practical exercises.

Neri, C. (1998) Group, London: Jessica Kingsley. 192 pages. Explores the processes that take place within groups from a psychoanalytical perspective.

Nitsum, M. (1997) The Anti-Group, London: Routledge. Argues that there has been a lack of emphasis on the nature, role and dynamic of the anti-group. Explores resistance to participation, hostility and anger in the group, and spiralling destructive processes in the group. Then examines the determinants of the anti-group; interpersonal disturbance; the role of the conductor; transformational potential; the anti-group in the wider sphere; and an integrative theory.

Ottaway, A. K. C. (1966) Learning through Group Experience, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 168 + viii pages. British example of explorations with ‘T’ (training) groups. Chapters on: what kind of group?; starting the group process; stages of development; the move towards emotional involvement; the therapeutic aspect; personal reports; on what we have learnt.

Posthuma, B. W. (1996) Small Groups in Counselling and Therapy 2e., Boston, Mass: Allyn and Bacon. Exploration of process and leadership within therapeutic situations.

Rogers, C. R. (1970) Encounter Groups, Harmondsworth: Penguin. 174 pages. Classic introduction with chapters on the origin and scope of the trend towards 'groups'; the process of the encounter group; change after encounter groups; the person in change; the lonely person; what we know from research; areas of application; building facilitative skills; the future.

Yalom, I. D. and Lescz (2005) The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy 5e, New York: Basic Books. 500 + xvii pages. Pretty much the standard text with chapters on the therapeutic factors, interpersonal learning, group cohesiveness, the therapist, working in the here-and--now, transference and transparency, the composition and creation of groups, beginnings, advanced groups, specialized formats, encounter groups. Provides a number of useful insights for those operating within other traditions.

Case-focused groupwork

Social group work is a method of social work which helps individuals to enhance their social functioning through purposeful group experiences, and to cope more effectively with their personal, group or community problems. Gisela Konopka 1963

Button, L. (1974) Developmental Group Work with Adolescents, London: University of London Press. 208 + xiv pages. Developmental group work, according to Button, is concerned with helping people in their growth and development, in their social skills, and in the other kinds of the relationships they establish. Its purpose is to provide individuals with opportunities to relate to others in a non-criticizing supportive atmosphere, to try out new social approaches, and to experiment in new roles. Has a focus on social diagnosis and programmatic activity. Chapters on meeting personal need; making contact; social diagnosis; the programme and the experience; repertoire of techniques; the worker’s strategy; group work in the larger youth organization; group work in secondary schools; group work and the wider community.

Corey, M. S. and Corey, G. (1997) Groups. Process and practice 5e, Pacific Grove, Ca.: Brooks/Cole. 454 + xiii pages. A standard US text that has developed over 20 years with a clear structure, focus questions and exercises. Unfortunately uses a questionable stage approach. Chapters on: introducing group work; ethical and legal issues in group counselling; the group counsellor: person and professional; forming a group; initial stages of a group; transition stage of a group; working stage of a group; ending a group; groups for children; groups for adolescents; groups for the elderly.

Glasser, P., Sarri, R. and Vinter, R. (eds.) (1974) Individual Change Through Small Groups, New York: Free Press. 515 + xii pages. Influential text that explores the concept of group work practice developed at the University Michigan which views the individual in the context of the intervention group and their social situation. Sections deal with their conception of practice; the treatment sequence; the group in the social environment; an group work in selected fields of practice.

Konopka, G. (1963) Social Group Work: A helping process, Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice Hall. Some of earlier work dealt with therapeutic group work with children, and with group work in institutions. This book made a significant impact upon practice.

Vernelle, B. (1994) Understanding and Using Groups, London: Whiting and Birch. 232 pages. Introductory guide with an orientation to case-focused work. Looks at group dynamics; group process; relationships between groups; training in groupwork; and looks to social skill and assertion training; transactional analysis; Gestalt psychology.

Whitaker, D. S. (2000) Using Groups to Help People 2e, London: Brunner-Routledge. 376 pages. Popular textbook that takes a 'decision-making orientation'. Includes chapters on the nature of groups; initial planning, setting, structuring the group, monitoring the group; forming membership; listening to and observing groups; getting started; the established phase of the group; problems and opportunities; conducting groups; making decisions about future work.

Interactional groupwork

Davies, B. (1975) The Use of Groups in Social Work Practice, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 147 + ix pages. Written from an 'interactionist' perspective, this book looks at group work in the British social work tradition, the nature and use of groups, the process of interaction, group tasks and their impact, the worker inside and outside the group, and the future for group work.

Gastill, J. (1993) Democracy in Small Groups. Participation, decision making and communication, Philadelphia PA.: New Society. 212 + x pages. The first part of the book deals with understanding small group democracy; the second part, practising it.

Gitterman, A. and Shulman, L. I. (eds.) (1997) Mutual Aid Groups, Vulnerable Populations and the Life Cycle 2e, New York: University of Columbia Press. 448 pages. Excellent collection of material exploring interactionalist approaches to groupwork. Opens with clear, orienting chapters by Shulman and Gitterman, followed by 17 chapters by practitioners exploring different aspects of practice. Concluding chapter represents the concept of mutual aid in groups by Lee and Swenson (after Schwartz).

Glassman, U. and Kates, L. (1990) Group Work. A humanistic approach, Newbury Park, CA.: Sage. 294 pages. Looks to a humanistic and democratic understanding with a focus on developing democratic mutual aid and actualizing purpose.

Values of the humanistic group

1. People have inherent worth and capacities regardless of race, class, status, age, and gender, as well as physical and psychological conditions

2. People are responsible for and to one another because social life is a natural and necessary human characteristic.

3. People have a right to belong and to be included.

4. People, having emotional and intellectual voices that are essential to their existence, have a right to take part and to be heard.

5. People have the right to freedom of speech, and freedom of expression.

6. Differences among members are enriching to one another.

7. People have a right to freedom of choice, to determine their own destinies.

8. People have the right to question and challenge those professionals who have sanction to guide and direct their lives.

Glassman and Kates 1990: 23 - 24)


Matthews, J. (1966) Working with Youth Groups, London: University of London Press. 160 pages. Specifically an attempt to explain the application of social group work to the practice of youth work in Britain. Chapters on the validity of social group work method for youth work in Britain; illustration of youth worker using the method; the history of social group work; leadership and the youth worker; thinking about groups; group process; principles and ethics; supervision; recording; building a professional service.

Phillips, H. U. (1957) Essentials of Social Group Work Skill, New York: Association Press. Social group is viewed as a means of preparing individuals for living together in democracy. Attention is given to the worker's disposition and feelings - within the group and outside with in relation to individual members.

Schulman, L. (1979) The Skills of Helping Individuals and Groups, Itasca, Ill.:Peacock. 365 pages. Explores an interactional approach to helping. Provides a model of the helping process; a review of groupwork skill; and looks at work with the system.

Schwartz, W. and Zalba, S. R. (eds.) (1971) The Practice of Group Work, New York: Columbia University Press. 284 + x pages. Explores the group work process in a range of settings including schools, settlement houses, trade unions, prisons and in neighbourhoods.

Social goals groupwork

Butler, S. and Wintram, C. (1991) Feminist Groupwork, London: Sage. 200 pages. Born out of a concern to approach the interaction of the structural with the personal, this book has chapters on: the feminist sphere of influence; the contours of planning and preparation; women making choices - groupwork revisited; group transformation - the dynamic process of change; women's groups as windows in the self; making connections: the broader context.

Goetschius, G. W. (1969) Working with Community Groups. Using community development as a method of social work, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 250 + xix pages. Exploration of work undertaken with housing estate community groups. Close and thorough account of practice with chapters on: the background to the study; factors affecting the development of the service; development; examples of field-work; the role of the worker; conditions of fieldwork practice; further considerations and conclusions.

Kahn S. (1994) How People Get Power rev. edn., Washington: National Association of Social Workers Press. 146 + xx pages (1e 1970). Introductory guide to community organizing - in the tradition of Alinsky. Chapters deal with entering the community; sizing up the community; making contacts; bringing people together; developing leadership; working with organizations; setting priorities; power tactics; building political power; self help strategies; and leaving the community. There are afterwords on the possibilities and goals of organizing. See, also, S. Kahn (1992) Organizing: A guide for grassroots leaders, New York: McGraw Hill.

Mullender, A. and Ward, D. (1991) Self-Directed Groupwork. Users take action for empowerment, London: Whiting and Birch. 194 + xii pages. Chapters on empowerment; the workers take stock; the group takes off; the group prepares to take action; taking action; the group takes over; taking it forward.

Twelvetrees, A. (1982; 1991) Community Work, London: Macmillan. 136 + viii pages. Popular practical guide with an emphasis on working with community groups. Chapters on what is community work; contact making, analysis and planning; practical considerations in working with groups; psychological considerations in working with community groups; working towards institutional change; and survival.

© Mark K. Smith 1996, 2005