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Great Groups
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Great Groups
Creating and Leading Effective Groups


Courses:
Group Counseling

January 2016 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

“Hutchinson's Great Groups is a great text! Any student considering leading groups should first read this book. The author's warmth, empathy, and group leadership experience comes across in very engaging and practical ways. This book puts the reader right beside the author as he discusses leading groups.” 
—John Q. Hodges, University of North Alabama 

Great Groups is a practical and inspirational guide that serves as a foundational text to creating and leading groups. Designed primarily for the beginning group worker from any of the helping professions, the book also acts as a valuable resource for those with more group experience. Grounded in theory, but with a strong focus on practice and skill development, David R. Hutchinson strives to connect directly with the reader with his personal and engaging writing style and “learn by doing” approach. Following a hypothetical group from start to finish, with a plethora of examples and reflection exercises in each chapter, the book has a threefold purpose:  

  • to provide the reader with specific tools for creating, understanding, and leading effective groups;
  • to help the reader consider the application of theory to practice; and
  • to spur the reader to seriously consider making group work a cornerstone of his or her professional practice.
 
Chapter 1: An Invitation to Group Work
A Rationale for Group Work  
Some Practical Reasons for Leading Groups  
Great Groups Can Do Great Things for People  
Challenges of Group Work  
Group Work in Context: A Brief Historical Perspective  
Great Groups in Action: A Case Vignette  
Concluding Thoughts  
For Further Thought  
References  
 
Chapter 2: Becoming a Great Group Leader
Effective Group Leadership  
Characteristics of Effective Group Leaders  
Other Key Leadership Ingredients: Kindness, Enthusiasm, and Grit  
The Importance of Your Self-Awareness  
The Importance of Cultural Awareness  
The Importance of Professional--Including Ethical--Preparation  
Effective Group Leadership: Leadership Style  
Concluding Thoughts  
For Further Thought  
References  
 
Chapter 3: The Varieties of Groups
Different Groups for Different Purposes  
Process and Content in Groups  
Concluding Thoughts  
For Further Thought  
References  
 
Chapter 4: Putting Group Theory Into Practice
The Importance of Theory to Your Group Work  
Group Development and Dynamics  
What People Need in Groups  
What People Learn in Groups  
What People Can Get in Groups That Become Cohesive  
Concluding Thoughts  
For Further Thought  
References  
 
Chapter 5: Laying the Foundation: Developing Theoretical and Ethical Competency
Counseling Theory and Group Work  
Establishing an Ethical Foundation for Leading Groups: Considerations for Leaders  
Ethical Considerations Leaders Have for Members  
Concluding Thoughts  
For Further Thought  
References  
 
Chapter 6: Planning for a New Group
The New Group  
Other Planning Concerns  
Planning for the New Directions Group  
Reflection Exercise: Planning for a New Group  
Group Fishbowl Lab Practice: Planning  
Concluding Thoughts: Some Final Planning Advice  
For Further Thoughts  
References  
Chapter 7: Getting Your Group Started  
Starting a New Group  
Essential Tasks: What Needs to Happen in a New Group  
Essential Skills for Starting a New Group  
Starting the New Directions Group  
Reflection and Discussion Exercise: How Would You Start this New Group?  
Pitfalls to Avoid in Starting a New Group  
Concluding Thoughts  
For Further Thought  
References  
 
Chapter 8: Your Group Is Engaging
Leading the Engaging Group  
The Hallmarks of the Engaging Group: Anxiety, Resistance, and Problem  
Essential Tasks for the Engaging Group  
Essential Skills for Working With the Engaging Group  
Some Specific Suggestions on Using Skills for Problem Behaviors  
The New Directions Group Engages  
Group Fishbowl Lab Practice  
Concluding Thoughts  
For Further Thought  
References  
 
Chapter 9: Leading the Working (Norming-Performing) Group
Great Groups in Action: A Group Vignette  
The Group Settles Into Some Regular Norms and Roles  
Promoting Positive Norms and Roles: Moving Towards Cohesion  
Hallmarks of the Group That Is Performing Well  
Essential Skills for the Working Group  
The New Directions Group Is Working  
What to Do When It Is Not Working  
Group Fishbowl Lab Practice: Using Exercises to Promote Group Cohesion  
Concluding Thoughts  
For Further Thought  
References  
 
Chapter 10: Ending Your Group
About Endings  
The Meaning of Endings  
Your Group's Feelings About Ending  
Resistance to Ending  
Unplanned Endings: Dealing With Dropouts  
How to End Your Group  
Essential Skills for Ending a Group  
Ending the New Directions Group  
Reflection Exercise: Ending a Group  
Group Fishbowl Lab Practice: Planning for Ending  
Measuring Success  
Concluding Thoughts  
For Further Thought  
References  
 
Chapter 11: Groups Across the Life Span
Groups for Children and Adolescents  
Groups for Women  
Groups for Men  
Groups for Older People  
Concluding Thoughts  
For Further Thought  
References  
 
Chapter 12: Specialized Groups
Groups for People With Addictions Issues  
Groups for People With Serious, Persistent Mental Illness  
Groups for People With Issues Related to Violence and Criminality  
Groups for Victims of Violence  
Groups for Grieving People  
Reflection and Group Fishbowl Lab Exercise  
Concluding Thoughts  
For Further Thought  
References  
 
Chapter 13: Final Thoughts: Taking Care - The Personal and Political
Staying Healhty  
Reflection and Group Fishbowl Lab Exercise: Focused Awareness of Your Various "Selves"  
Staying Fresh and Alive - and Avoiding Burnout  
Becoming and Effective Advocate and Activist  
Concluding Thoughts  
For Further Thought  
References  

“Hutchinson's Great Groups! is a great text!  Any student considering leading groups should first read this book.  The author's warmth, empathy, and group leadership experience comes across in very engaging and practical ways.  This book puts the reader right beside the author as he discusses leading groups.”

John Q. Hodges
University of North Alabama

“This book teaches the fundamental concepts of group practice while maintaining the readability of a novel.”

Philip Mongan
Radford Unviersity

“A very practical hands-on guide to group facilitation capitalizing on the author’s valuable practice wisdom.”

Tracy A. Marschall
University of Indianapolis

The book is aimed at students who are working towards developing and leading groups... succeeds in offering an in-depth understanding of a wide range of issues that are important to consider when forming and facilitating successful groups, while managing to remain accessible and readable.

Frances Lampert, Counselor and Supervisor
Therapy Today

Easy to read, good content

Dr Paul M Hamilton
School Of Arts Sciences, Univ Of Houston-Victoria
April 8, 2016
Key features

KEY FEATURES:

  • Students will actually enjoy reading this book. The author uses his years of experience, including his mistakes, as the foundation for his communication with readers and instructors. Illustrations help make this book even more accessible.
  • The importance and use of theory is clearly articulated and shows students who are often bored or put off by theory how to use it in a way that makes sense.
  • This book prepares new group workers for difficult, challenging groups by reviewing a number of specialized groups.
  • There are a wealth of practice activities for the instructor, including reflection exercises, group lab practice activities, and questions for “further thought.”

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 9


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