SOCW 6121 Week 5 Understanding Group Dynamics

SOCW 6121 Week 5 Understanding Group Dynamics

It is important to understand group dynamics because of their impact on the function and success of the group process. The actual “dynamic” is what influences the behavior of each member of the group and the group as a whole. Every group develops their own dynamic, and it is the social worker’s role to ensure that the interactions within the group are helping the members reach the group’s goals. Sometimes it takes only one member to interrupt or destroy the group’s cohesion and social interaction. It is the role of the social worker to oversee the functioning of the group and to ensure that all members feel empowered to help change the dynamic to a supportive influence. It is also the role of the social worker to make sure that the group process is moving in a direction that is consistent with the group’s purpose.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze group and family dynamics in a case
  • Compare group dynamics to family dynamics
  • Analyze the role of the social worker in empowering groups

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Toseland, R. W., & Rivas, R. F. (2017). An introduction to group work practice (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Chapter 3, “Understanding Group Dynamics” (pp. 67–97)

Drumm, K. (2006). The essential power of group work. Social Work With Groups29(2–3), 17–31.

Required Media (Producer). (2011a). Group therapy: A live demonstration. [Video file]. Mill Valley, CA: Author.

Watch segment from timestamp 30:00 to 39:48.

McGoldrick, M. (n.d.). The legacy of unresolved loss:  A family systems approach [Video file].