Therapeutic Work in Groups (Childhood Studies)

The details
Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
04 October 2018


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA L520 Childhood Studies,
BA L521 Childhood Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA L522 Childhood Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA L523 Childhood Studies (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

This module is an introduction to group work and working in groups with children from a psychodynamic perspective. It aims to provide students with the basic understanding, techniques and skills needed to engage professionally in a variety of groups in the workplace: both educational and therapeutic. In the first seven seminars students will build upon their knowledge to explore the historical background and development of group work, to consider specific issues such as managing children’s in a group setting, dealing with troubling behaviour, gangs and groups, issues of interpretation, insight and corrective emotional experience, as well as consider the support facilitators need.

In a series of workshops, students will form a group led by the seminar tutor in order to gain first hard experience of group participation and leadership. Students will explore the functioning of their group, consider the primary task of the groups and decide on the boundaries and rules needed for this to be emotionally safe. Students will also participate in break-out sub-groups where they will need to manage their own group dynamics. In these groups they will be tasked with devising and planning a pedagogical group activity. Then, over the final weeks, students will lead group activities and exercises with the other participants. They will learn experientially about the dilemmas of participation and leadership in groups while also developing a set of group-work skills and resources for the future.


• To learn about running groups with children through a number of different pedagogical methods
• To learn about the origins and development of group work
• To explore the structures and boundaries required to engage effectively with children in group settings
• To plan and carry out a group activity

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students will have:

• Students will have gained knowledge about the purpose, origins and conceptual development of group work
• Students will gain specific knowledge about the aims and benefits of working with children in groups
• Students will be able to recognise the way in which children respond to peer groups at different developmental stages
• Students will understand the distinctions between primary and secondary groups, and between groups and gangs
• Students will have gained a good theoretical understanding of psychodynamic processes in groups
• Students will have a greater awareness more of unconscious processes in groups and the need for a solid ‘holding environment’ and group structures
• Students will gain gained further experience of participating in a group and learned about specific activities and exercises equipping them to lead or support group work in the future

Module aims

No information available.

Module learning outcomes

No information available.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Teaching is divided into three components – Theory, Participation in a Group and Leading a Group Seminar 1 - Theory The first seven weeks are theoretical taught seminars. Students will build upon their knowledge of groups, explore the historical background and development of group work and go on to consider specific issues such as dealing with troubling behaviour, gangs and groups, issues of interpretation, insight and corrective emotional experience, as well as consider staff support groups. Seminar 2 - Participation in a Group This seminar is experiential. Students will participate in a group led by the seminar tutor and will be given a specific task to work on during the groups. They will consider the importance of beginnings and endings in groups, the holding function of continuity and routine, a range of exercises with different functions and the balance needed between activity and reflection. Students will reflect and make links from their own experience of the group to the theory being studied. Student Workshops Students will be participating in weekly groups, including some activities and exercises. They will, in addition, during final three weeks, each have the opportunity to lead a group activity or exercise, contending with issues raised by leadership, followership, participation and teamwork.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
from Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Student Administrator Room 4SB.6.2 telephone 01206 874969 email



External examiner

Dr Claudia Lapping
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information

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