Continual Change Groupwork: Being an Effective Group Leader by Andrew King
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Continual Change Groupwork: Being an Effective Group Leader by Andrew King

Continual Change Groupwork: Being an Effective Group Leader

This book provides a fresh and enlivening appreciation of the importance and mastery of groupwork. Groups structure our social world, whether they are families, teams, communities, workplaces or on social media. Due to their underlying structures, groups are continually changing and evolving. To help group leaders keep pace, Continual Change Groupwork provides the knowledge and skills those working in the community services, health and counselling fields require to deepen their facilitation expertise and maximise the potential for change in group members’ lives.

In a comprehensive overview, Continual Change Groupwork presents the Continual Change Framework as a useful and valuable tool for group leadership practice. The framework provides a solid foundation for effective facilitation, beginning with groupwork’s basic building blocks and progressing to creative group leadership tools that develop a strong leadership presence. It also provides a mental map to assess and diagnose the challenges experienced along the way.

“Continual Change Groupwork marvellously outlines how counsellors’ best respond to the challenge of effective group leadership. This short and comprehensive book provides a refreshing and broad perspective with something for everyone, no matter if you are just beginning as a group leader or someone who has led groups for years. Each chapter is full of gems that capture the passion and required knowledge for groupwork that allows the reader to understand what goes on in groups and how to make them better”. Ed Jacobs, PhD Associate Professor at West Virginia University and founder of Impact Therapy.

“Groupwork is a core intervention in human service delivery. This timely book emphasises and celebrates all that is important about groupwork. It is a treasure trove of ideas and practical guidance that will be a great training companion and organisational resource for both new and established group leaders. It is a thorough ‘how to’ book in relation to designing services and supporting staff to deliver competent and well considered assistance to diverse clients. Of particular note is the focus on matching identified need, group response/design, group leader and client recruitment, with special consideration of cultural considerations throughout. Accessible and broad in scope, it is a very useful contribution to the literature on effective and excellent groupwork”. Elisabeth Shaw, Chief Executive Officer, Relationships Australia NSW. 

“This is an excellent resource packed with ideas and supporting theory from decades of expertise of group work that is accessible, creative and worthy of inclusion in any group work course. Andrew King has captured the essence of group work that engages the reader towards becoming an effective facilitator of groups”. Adam McLean, Director, Change Happens Consulting, Sydney. Group Psychotherapist, Clinical Supervisor and Trainer.

“This book covers an impressive array of theories and approaches to groupwork. Each approach has something for a group work practitioner whatever the stage you’re in. Groupwork theory is often an amalgam of literature as it draws from so many fields and is applied with many different purposes. Particularly valuable is the chapter on Group Leadership which draws on the seminal work of Dr Max Clayton. He taught that the art of group leadership is a living method that must be practiced in the here and now, where the leader creates and models the conditions for the group to do its work. Important leadership factors include the ability to work with whatever is emerging, the courage to stay in the unknown, and responding to group members from an appreciative rather a problem-oriented mindset. Learning about group leadership never stops and if you select two or three aspects that interest you and apply them for the wisdom they offer, you will continue to develop your own leadership. It is a worthwhile and rewarding journey”. Rollo Browne, Organisational consultant and coach; Director of Training, Sydney Campus, Psychodrama Australia; Sociodramatist and TEP; MAppSci (Social Ecology).

“By providing a clear and comprehensive guide to group work, Continual Change Groupwork will enhance training, workforce development and ongoing service provision, to be better practiced, more ethical and better evaluated. This book provides context, theory but most importantly, the components of good group work to guide implementation for new and experienced professionals alike. An invigorating and clarifying text!” Dr. Rebecca Gray – Head of Research and Evaluation, Relationships Australia, NSW.

“Group work is challenging, indeed sometimes it is really hard. So many of them, the members, only one of you, the leader. So much that can go wrong, yet so much richness, so many rewards. No wonder the prospect of leading a group can seem daunting and stressful. Continual Change Groupwork will be an invaluable resource for group workers no matter how much experience they have had. It is concise, well organised, accessible and very practical in its style. It will be the guide to group work that so many people who lead groups have been looking for. The author moves fluently between theory and practice, giving summaries of essential theoretical frameworks then helping the reader see how those theories can be applied in practice. He has used many examples, from a wide variety of practice settings that illustrate the value and importance of grounding our interventions in both theory and evidence. There are very strong sections on aspects of group process, adult learning, the use of structured exercises, dealing with conflict in groups, and ethical practice. Each chapter includes a section on cultural considerations, an aspect rarely mentioned in most group work texts. This is a very useful book which will gain wide acceptance in both the group work community and in training environments. Pamela Cohen – Chair, Training and Standards Committee, Institute of Group Leaders; Senior Social Worker, Clinical Supervisor and Group Work Specialist, St Vincent’s Campus, Sydney.


1. Introduction to groupwork

2. The Central Core

3. Program development

4. Basic building blocks in groups

5. Groupwork tools

6. Group leadership

7. Systems theory and continual change

8. The mental map

9. Dynamics within groups

10. Clear direction for change

11. Continual learning in groups

12. Co-leadership in groupwork

13. Ethical considerations and supervision

14. Groupwork and technology

Andrew King (BA Wel Stu; MAEd) is the Practice Specialist, Groupwork, and Community Education Manager at Relationships Australia, NSW. He is a specialist trainer who has worked with professionals in Australia, Asia and Canada, and published a range of professional articles. He has also coordinated a large fathers’ centre, worked in parenting education, and dealt directly with many cases spanning family violence issues, young people with drug, alcohol and mental health problems, and families with special-needs children.

As seen at the Marriage and Relationship Educators Association of Australia (MAREAA) Conference in Melbourne, November  2017: 25% of the sale price goes to MAREAA

Includes postage Australia wide.