Misuses of groups

Groups can be misused when facilitators or practitioners change the type of group that they are running without the informed consent of their organisation and everyone within the group.

It is a misuse of group work to change a group advertised as a psychoeducational group into a group focusing on inner child and early life experiences without the informed consent of the participants and the wider organisation. Facilitators need to establish clear and transparent expectations that are based on:

  • their level of skill and training
  • participants’ purposes for attending the group and their expectations
  • advertised purpose of group
  • sponsoring organisation’s expectation
  • type of supervision received.
Other misuses in group work can occur when:
  • facilitators have too high expectations of the group or the participants
  • people participate in the group when they have an active psychosis, anti-social behaviour or have a different purpose to that of the group
  • facilitators introduce group exercises at an inappropriate time or too early within a group or are not safe for the group.