Definition of Group Counseling

Donald E. Ward

in The Oxford Handbook of Group Counseling

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195394450
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Definition of Group Counseling

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Because professional group work has such varied origins, agreement upon a single, concise definition of group counseling has been difficult to achieve. An abbreviated review of the literature highlighting the origins of modern group work is presented. Definitions provided by various professional organizations of group workers are presented. Systems describing group work are presented, emphasizing the Association for Specialists in Group Work’s model of four types: work and task groups, psychoeducation groups, counseling groups, and psychotherapy groups. A consensus definition is extracted from these sources, and future directions are identified.

Keywords: group counseling; group work; classification of group work; group types

Article.  11920 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Counselling Psychology

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