Group Work

According to the Association for Specialists Group Work, ???group work is defined as a broad professional practice involving the application of knowledge and skill in group facilitation to assist an interdependent collection of people to reach their mutual goals, which may be intrapersonal, or work related. The goals of the group may include the accomplishment of tasks related to work, education, personal development, personal and interpersonal problem solving, or remediation of mental and emotional disorders??? (Gladding, 2012)

As a child growing up, I was a part of many teams. A team is a special type of task/work group. The team I remember the most is my volleyball team during high school. Our coach was an amazing coach. He set goals for us, expected us to work in a team effort, and held us to a high level of standards. ???A team is a group of two or more people who interact dynamically, interdependently, and adaptively and who share at least one common goal or purpose (Gladding, 2012). Our team worked well together and we built friendships that have lasted throughout the years. I remember always being able to count on my teammates both on and off the court. They had my back and I had theirs. We all knew that we our goal was to win state. Therefore, we held each other accountable to work hard, show up for practices, and take care of ourselves so that we could play to our potential. This was similar to a task group because we have an understanding of our mission, purpose, and goal.

Some of the therapeutic factors experienced during my high school years as a team member consisted of universality, altruism, cohesiveness, imitative behavior, and interpersonal learning. Universality is present because we all grew up playing volleyball through Kids??™ Inc. and transitioned into club ball. Therefore, we began to build a common bond at a young age. Altruism was seen throughout the years. The girls on my team were so good at inviting each other to camps and participation in other programs to help build our skills. We all knew we were working for the common good. Imitative behavior was modeled through watching each other practice and the proper forms we used to play effectively. Interpersonal learning took place each time we lost a game. We were able to reflect on what we did right and wrong and what needed to change. Last, cohesiveness was present throughout our entire four years of high school. Our coach was really good at making sure that we expressed our concerns and issues that we felt needed to be addressed. Of course, there was conflict at times with the girls but we discussed the problems and worked through them bring us closer together.

Therapeutic factors not experienced were correct recapitulation of the primary family group and development of socializing techniques. Neither of these factors was present or applicable to our volleyball team.

Bemak and Epp consider the 12th factor-love, to be a therapeutic factor that stands alone. The 12th factor expresses ??? giving and receiving love??? of which we saw everyday in our coach??™s actions and the relationships we shared as a team (Gladding, 2012).


Gladding, S. T. (2012). Groups: A counseling specialty (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.