IASWG Massachusetts Chapter Conference 2014

Tools, Tips and Trends:
Takeaways for Inspired Group Work




We hope you will join us for this exciting, informative and innovative event!

04.11.14 IASWG-MA Conference Flyer_smallest

This year’s conference, Tools, Tips and Trends: Takeaways for Inspired Group Work will be held on Friday, April 11, 2014 at Wheelock College on the Brookline Campus
[  google maps ]. Our goal this year is to help attendees hear about useful, exciting, and innovative approaches to group work. We would like attendees to leave at the end of the day feeling both inspired and full of practical ideas and tools that they can start implementing immediately in their practice or agency.


This year, the Mass Chapter is thrilled to announce the keynote Speaker:


Andrew Malekoff, LCSW, CASAC


Our keynote speaker this year, Andrew Malekoff, is sure to engage and inspire those in attendance. He has been the editor of the journal, Social Work with Groups, since 1990, has published several books and hundreds of articles on Group Work, and is a sought after presenter throughout the country. Among his hundreds of publications is the internationally acclaimed Group Work with Adolescents: Principles and Practice (Guilford Press). “Group Work with Adolescents” is a seminal text that has inspired and instructed many social work students and seasoned professionals alike. Click here to watch him speak on his experiences with groups in the wake of disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy.In addition to the keynote, there will be poster presentations and workshops on a variety of group work topics, workshops & poster presentations:


  • How to use proven icebreakers and group activities to engage your group
  • How to start groups in your agency
  • What to do when your group is not working
  • Approaches to working with adolescents, the elderly, or clients on the Autism Spectrum
  • Implementing the use of photography and other innovative techniques to engage clients
  • The conference is sure to be both informative and fun!

Click here workshop details
$89 – non members
$79 – members
$25 – students$10 will be added to the price of registration for same-day registrations.CEUs are available!


Poster Submission Form  [ PDF ]
Group Worker of the Year nominations [ PDF ]
official 2014 high resolution Flyer [ PDF ]


Parking: Limited parking we suggest you take public transportation MBTA Green C Line – Hawes Street stop; and Green D Line – Longwood stop


Conference program

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 [email protected] . (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.