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Group Work Practice to Advance Social Competence A Specialized Methodology for Social Work by Norma C. Lang

Group Work Practice to Advance Social Competence A Specialized Methodology for Social Work


Group Work Practice to Advance Social Competence A Specialized Methodology for Social Work by Norma C. Lang

Small social groups are fundamental for achieving personal growth, social development, socialization, and the skills of sustaining relevance, relationships, and connections to society. Unfortunately, those who would benefit most from small groups often find themselves unable to achieve membership. Lacking the necessary skills for entry, these individuals may never enjoy the advantages of group membership. Advancing a practice methodology that specifically targets the socially unskilled, Norma C. Lang provides much-needed guidance to practitioners helping individuals become part of group life. Grounded in extensive practice, Lang's methodology addresses the special needs and anomalous functioning of individuals who lack the skills to form and use groups. She outlines the unique pregroup processes of socially unskilled populations and provides a methodology for advancing social competence. She also identifies the professional and agency requirements for working with presocial processes. Widely applicable to practice with social work groups, Lang's method greatly expands the literature on social work theory and practice with individuals and groups.


This pioneering book represents a creative and signficant contribution to the social group work literature. Social Work with Groups This book will be a useful resource for those working in group work where the ability to engage with others is a real challenge. -- Ken McMaster Aotearoa

About the Author

Norma Lang is professor emerita of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. Her practice experience involves work with several at-risk populations and with emotionally disturbed children and her teaching expertise concerns social work with groups, qualitative research, and nondeliberative forms of social work practice, which is the subject of her next book. She has a special interest in the development of practice theory for social work with groups.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th October 2010


Norma C. Lang

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Columbia University Press


276 pages


Social work



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