Coping with contradictory messages in training group workers

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Abstract

Group work instructors often utilize the technique of simulating the class to a group model. Much has been written on the advantages of this method. We chose to raise questions as to its credibility. These questions refer specifically to the group's place among other existing systems which expect it to meet their needs, to the normative conflict which raises the risk of creating negative group norms and to the role of contradictory messages: freedom of choice or compulsory participation. Learning while doing, the relevance of the learning material to the students needs, decreasing the level of threat to the ego, clear definition of expectations and limits, easing the feeling of coercion, and a continual self-evaluation by the group leader, all of these enable the group to achieve its goals. The changes that we incorporated into the traditional group work course, enabled us to reach the results which we initially set out to accomplish: all the students worked with client groups, group attendance was high, working norms were developed and the students themselves testified to the course's success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-66
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Teaching in Social Work
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 25 Jun 1990

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