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Working with Groups - Essay Example

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573 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
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The reciprocal model is a model of group work. Its aim is to bring about mutual aid systems among members of a group. It describes creative work of the members as a cyclical process that involves four steps. These steps are integration, adaptation, goal attainment and pattern maintenance (Perkins, 2017). Integration is the method of ensuring that members fit together. This method ensures that members stick together and attain their goals as it helps in building teamwork, friendship and understanding. Adaptation serves to ensure that group members adapt to change that is constantly taking place. This allows space for more productivity. Pattern maintenance aims at ensuring that groups define their identity, sustain their basic purpose and procedures. Goal attainment ensures that groups pursue and accomplish their duty (Perkins, 2017).

The National Training Laboratories, founded in Maine, 1947 crated the T-groups. The main objective of this structure was to carry out grouped experiments and find out the science behind the dynamics of group work and their achievements. The use of T-groups methodology has spearheaded the formation of organizations and the rise of group learning. The application of this methodology has made it easier to do work with groups than do it as a single entity. Group work helps to make work easier and understand some tough concepts easily. The other aim was to enable training being carried out in groups be understood by individuals who could also learn behaviors of other group members. This led to the creation of team building where managers and leaders associate freely with their servants and understand how their behaviors affect them .This enables them to understand their behaviors , gain experience from them, gauge whether there is a change on their way of doing things build themselves further and become easier to deal with expectations.

Casework began in England in the late 19th century while group work began in the same period but rather in settlement houses. Settlement houses were focused on source of support and shared experiences among people with same experiences through socialization. Individual wellbeing was mainly focused on unity and stimulating democratic involvement for social justice. The first settlement house was founded in the late 1800s and led to formation of other 400 others. It served as an educational center, welfare agency, a research institute and community center. Its main goal was to alleviate poverty in low income areas and assist the disadvantaged in keeping the environment healthy. Settlement houses offered job training, fought against child labor and corrupt politics. Social gospel was a movement that applied Christian values and ethics to the social problems like social injustice, wealth inequality, poor neighborhoods and educational systems. It helped improve social, economic and ethical conditions of the urban working class.

The popularity of group work started declining in the 1960s because professionals believed that individualized training was better than groups. This was surprising as groups were deemed more efficient than working alone (Perkins, 2017). A section of experts believe that overall participation in groups has declined as people are too busy to join these groups. Papell and Rothman explained three historical models of group work in an article in 1962. These models are the social model, remedial model and the reciprocal model. The social model explains groups in a social context and is formed within communities (Perkins, 2017).


Perkins, M. (2017). Historical Development of Groups. From Settlement House to Field Theory. Retrieved on December 14, 2017 from Lecture Notes online.

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