ASWB Prep: Group Formation Part 2

By Heidi Tobe on July 14, 2020

Last month’s social work blog covered the topic of group formation. We did an overview of the stages of group formation and offered a free application practice question. We wanted to do something unique this month with our practice question. Rather than offering a new topic and question, we are doing something a little strange. We are using the same practice question, but are changing it from an application question to a reasoning based question. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out last month's blog to see how you do on the question as an application question. Then come back here to try it out as a reasoning based question!

Application and Reasoning Questions

Not sure what I mean by ‘application question' or ‘reasoning question'? No worries! This is a key part of understanding the exam. TDC covers this in our foundational ‘How to Think’ lecture in both our LMSW and LCSW program for the ASWB exams. And with hundreds of practice questions (including full-length mock exams), you have ample opportunity to strengthen your skill in answering these unique questions).

group therapy

ASWB Practice Question

A group for women experiencing depression has been meeting for 3 weeks. Several group members approach the group leader expressing concern that another group member regularly interrupts and dominates the conversation. What should the social worker do NEXT?

A. Meet with the identified group member individually to discuss concerns.

B. Address the group member during the next session.

C. Encourage the concerned group members to bring up their concerns during the next session.

D. Seek supervision.

(Scroll for answer and Rationale)

























The correct answer is C, to encourage the concerned group members to bring up their concerns during the next session. A is incorrect because group work is all about the group process and most of the time we are going to bring issues and concerns back to the group. Things like group conflict, confidentiality breaches, interrupting, or dominating should definitely be brought back to the group to be discussed, as it is part of the group process. While our intention is not to cause shame, if shame is a byproduct of the group addressing a member breaking the group rules, that is okay. That also can be processed within the group.

B is incorrect because it is better to encourage the group members who brought up the concern to bring up the issue than to do it as the group leader. Again, this is part of the group process. D is incorrect because there is no reason in the question stem to speak with a supervisor at this time. If the question stem added something like “the social worker is unsure of how to deal with the situation” or “the social worker is unsure of how to proceed” then we could choose answer option D as a starting point.

When to meet one-on-one with a group member

There will be times that we need to meet one on one with a group member. If there is an extenuating circumstance that comes up in a group we may need to meet individually with a group member. This includes things like: someone sharing something that is going to result in a child abuse/neglect report, someone who is actively suicidal, someone who is abusing substances and in need of a referral, or when you are removing someone from the group. The expectation of the exam is that you talk one-on-one with them in situations like these. Otherwise, you always want to bring issues/concerns back to the group and allow them to share their feelings about difficult situations and dynamics. 

ASWB Masters and Clinical Exam Preparation 

How’d you do on this month’s reasoning based group question and last month’s application based group formation question? Whether you answered one, both, or neither correctly, know that TDC is here to help. TDC’s masters and clinical ASWB exam prep courses give you everything you need to pass the exam with confidence. We’ve taken all of the extra, unnecessary information out that makes studying overwhelming and anxiety-provoking, and parsed it down to the knowledge and reasoning skills you need to pass your exam. TDC has helped THOUSANDS of social workers across all 50 states PASS their exams. Are you next?


Commenter Name
January 20, 2021

I've struggled knowing when to meet individually with a client. This blog clarified that for me!

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