Conference 2012

The Massachusetts Chapter of the Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups would like to extend a warm thank you to everyone who made it out to our annual conference, held at Simmons College on March 9th, 2012. Approximately 75 attendants gathered at the Simmons School of Management building in the Fenway in Boston for the event.

Joyce Collier, LICSW, Susan Englander, LICSW, Nancy Gaulin, Psy.D, MBA and Gail Bork accepted the Group Work Agency of the Year Award on behalf of “Facing Cancer Together”, Group Work Student of the Year was presented to two students, Charles Daniels (Simmons) and Nicole Marie Lora (BU). Group worker of the year was presented to Jared Kant, LCSW.

Dr. Dana Grossman Leeman, Ph.D, Associate Professor at Simmons College School of Social Work gave the keynote address on the importance of communication in the co-facilitation of groups.

Do you have photos of the event? Contact [email protected].


Picture 1 of 15

Photos courtesy of Tracey Westgate, Girls L.E.A.P.



Thanks to all of you for helping make this year a success!

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Mass Chapter conference workshop details


Icebreakers, Go-Arounds and Activities: Proven activities to use with your group.

Adam Glick, LICSW, IASWG MA Board member, Private Practice Therapist

In this workshop we will present, discuss and experience some proven icebreakers and group exercises that you can use with many different types of groups and populations. Some will be simple questions to use in a go-around, others are interactive activities good for any stage of your group. We will demonstrate many of these activities and send you off with a list of more than 25 of our favorite activities. Come ready to participate! We will discuss the activities and how they may be used or adapted with different populations and in different settings as well as key points for processing the activity with groups.

The 5 W’s of starting a group: Who, What, Where, When, Why?

Patty Underwood, LICSW – IASWG MA Chapter Board President

The 5 W’s of starting a group: who, what, where, when, and why addresses pre-group planning such as needs assessment, agency buy-in, structure, composition, purpose, and more!

Have you been asked to start a group at your agency? Do you have individual clients that you think would benefit from group treatment and can’t find a group? Are you wondering where to begin? This workshop is designed to help you understand the process of starting a group. Bring your questions, concerns, and ideas! Opportunities for problem solving barriers that get in the way of creating a group at your agency will be part of this interactive workshop.

From Therapeutic to Milieu: Working with Groups of LGBT Older Adults and Caregivers

Lisa Krinsky, LICSW, is the Director of the LGBT Aging Project

Learn more about lesbian,gay, bisexual and transgender older adults and caregivers and ways to engage them with a variety of group modalities.

A little less conversation, a little more action: Untraditional group work with boys.

Sobhan Namvar

This workshop will engage social workers in a walk alongside many boys through their untraditional journey of group work. Through creative approaches attendees will be exposed to a variety of current group work approaches that foster healing, rebuilding of self, resiliency, while discovering their own meaning of being a boy. Attendees will experience the process of a journey that empowers the growth of young men and leave with new recipes for engaging boys in group work.

Stop the Group I want to Get Off: Tips and Techniques for groups that get derailed

Dana Grossman Leeman, Board Member of IASWG International and MA Chapter, Professor at Simmons School of Social Work.

Every group worker has faced a group that is not working. It isn’t always clear when it happens, but at some point the worker realizes that the group has gone off the rails! It is never too late to have a fulfilling or more effective group. This workshop is geared towards helping participants identify latent and manifest indications of a group that needs to be stopped, so that the worker and members can take a step back from the process, to process what is unfolding, and assess what needs to happen going forward.

Finding Focus: How To Integrate The Use Of Photography Into Your Groups

Kyle Taylor Ganson, LCSW

Photographs are everywhere and can be made with the simplicity of a smart phone, so why not use photographs in a group? This workshop will introduce you to the curriculum of Finding Focus, a therapeutic photography group, and teach you how to implement it into a wide range of groups. The purpose, theoretical background, and benefits ofFinding Focus will be discussed. Case studies will explore how the group format and photography fostered mutual aid, relatedness, and interpersonal relationships for a group of adolescents experiencing major mental illness. You will leave this workshop with the knowledge and materials to start Finding Focus in your program.

If you plan to attend this workshop, please make one new photograph based on the prompt: Photograph a reflection of who you are and submit the photograph via email to kyletganson[at] . (Though it would add to the experiential piece of the workshop, sending a photograph is not a requirement to attend!)

Group Work with Tricky Kids: Social Thinking® and Related Techniques to Enhance Groups for People with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Dave Carpenter and Katy Shamitz

Join Katy Shamitz (Director, Skills for Living) and David Carpenter (Social Educator, Skills for Living) for a crash course in Social Thinking – a practical, user-friendly approach for working with people with social learning challenges. Gain perspective on the difficulties experienced by the socially challenged and learn useful tips and tools for making group work more supportive and effective for this population.

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