In social work, group therapy is a necessary form of treatment to cover the needs of emotionally challenged people. It is not enough to find a place for a meeting or choose a leader who initiates communication. Opening a group session is a complex process that consists of several steps, namely planning, formation, and a first meeting. When a social worker plans a session, such aspects as people’s needs, group’s purposes, composition, and enrollment should be recognized. A properly created group session enhances social functioning and encourages coping with personal and social problems (Ezhumalai et al., 2018). At the same time, everything comes to an end one day, and any group session can be terminated, either planned or unplanned. To bring a session to a close, a social worker has to evaluate the achievements, discuss follow-ups, and give assurances for members. In this paper, all opening and closing steps in a group session will be analyzed in detail to improve the worth of such social work therapy.
How to Open a Group Session
The decision to open a social work group session is usually not spontaneous but thoughtful and reasonable for a particular community. The group worker is responsible for planning, organizing, and executing all the necessary activities and supervision (Ezhumalai et al., 2018). The first step is to understand the needs of the population and available resources. Then, it is important to define the purposes of a session. According to Ezhumalai et al. (2018), a group can be formed with some corrective, developmental, educative, recreational, or preventive purposes. The third step is learning the possible composition of the group and its size. Any session should be comfortable for all participants, and such aspects as heterogeneity, age, education, and even interests are considered. To promote a successful session opening, a worker must enroll members and define their responsibilities, also known as contracting. These steps allow to set the tone of a session and prove that a session may be open soon. The first meeting is the last step in opening a group session when all members participate in a meeting and share their thoughts, problems, and ideas.
How to Close a Group Session
Despite the success or failure of the chosen approach, the moment to close a group session would come, and several points have to be clarified. The termination of a session may be scheduled or unscheduled, but there are rules to be followed in any case. First, the group work evaluation helps see if all purposes are met at the moment. Second, a group leader shares some follow-up options to give the members hope and guarantee that they are not abandoned. One of the main characteristics of social work groups is cohesiveness, and closing a session should not affect interpersonal relationships (Ezhumalai et al., 2018). Finally, after closing a session, all participants should be assured about the confidentiality of their presence and the possibility to ask for help voluntarily.
In social work, group sessions play an important role because they help people cope with their emotional and psychological problems and survive traumas. The steps to open a session are not hard to take, but their order and essence are critical for successful support. A person should understand the needs of the population, examine available resources, and create a list of purposes first. Then, the evaluation of the membership is necessary to clarify if the size and methods are appropriate. Finally, official enrollment and contracting complete the process, and a session can be open. Appropriate session termination is also significant in social work because it demonstrates the already made achievements. People have to understand that their work and treatment are logical and bring certain results.
Ezhumalai, S., Muralidhar, D., Dhanasekarapandian, R., & Nikketha, B. S. (2018). Group interventions. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 60(4), 514-521. Web.