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date: 16 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses group work for individuals across the life span through a psychosocial development lens. Erik Erikson’s contribution of the psychosocial stages to the helping professions remains a valuable tool in conceptualizing development, prevention, and treatment. Group work is an appropriate and effective method to promote positive psychosocial growth and assist members to overcome cognitive, behavioral, and emotional difficulties. As discussed throughout this text, groups are used to target broad areas such as behavior, chronic illnesses, career development, spirituality, emotional insight, and reminiscence. Due to the broad range of groups, it is important that group therapists conceptualize clients within a developmental context, including which psychosocial tasks the member is facing, when determining the group in which to place clients. This chapter opens with a brief overview of Erikson’s psychosocial stages, followed by overviews of group literature for 10 specific age groups, group therapist considerations, and future directions.

Keywords: groups, counseling, life span, psychosocial development

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