Staff Support Groups in the Helping Professions
Principles, Practice and Pitfalls
Edited by Phil Hartley, David Kennard
Routledge – 2009 – 216 pages
Staff burnout and work-related stress in mental health professionals cost the National Health Service not only millions of pounds each year, but also impact upon the welfare of those being cared for. Staff Support Groups in the Helping Professions takes the lead from recent Department of Health initiatives, promoting the use of staff support groups to foster emotional resilience, deal with potential conflict and support reflective practice.
In this book Hartley, Kennard and their contributors explore the influences that help and hinder the setting up and running of staff support groups, and attempt to counter the often negative reactions that the term 'staff support' can evoke. They demonstrate that such support groups can be a sophisticated and valuable intervention that needs careful preparation and skilful management to succeed, and will in turn not only benefit the individual, but also the department as a whole and those that they care for.
Contributors share their experiences of facilitating support groups in a number of settings including:
Containing a wealth of case material, Staff Support Groups in the Helping Professions will provide much-needed guidance for those professionals attending, managing, or in the process of setting up a staff support group.
"This is the first book of its kind on facilitating staff support groups within health, social and educational settings… it has been a privilege to review this unique book. Readers, whether novice or experienced in facilitating groups, will be enlightened by the authors' vast array of experience and reflection in setting up and running staff support groups in diverse health, social and educational settings." - Allen Senivassen, Journal of Social Work Practice, Vol. 24, No. 1, March 2010
"Staff Support Groups in the Helping Professions left me realistically optimistic about the value of staff support groups and I would recommend it to anyone commissioning such a group, as well as to potential facilitators." - Christopher Davies, Therapy Today, February 2010
Hinshelwood, Foreword. Introduction. Part I: Hartley, Kennard, What Staff Support Groups Are For. Why it Can be Difficult to Ask for Support, Especially if You Work in a Caring Profession. Ten Keys to a Successful Staff Support Group. Setting Up a Staff Support Group. The Role of the Facilitator. Common Problems and Ways of Responding to Them. Ending a Staff Support Group. Do Staff Support Groups Work? Part II: McGowan, On Learning From the Short Life of a Staff Support Group in an Acute Admission Inpatient Mental Health Setting. Maher, Authority and Control: Working with Staff Groups in Children's Homes. Powell, The Insider as Facilitator: Conducting a Group for Hospital Clinical Team Leaders. Wojciechowska, Managing Personal and Professional Boundaries. Humphreys, Working with Disturbed States of Mind. Winship, Working with Staff Dynamics in an Educational Setting: The Staff Support Group that Wasn't To Be.
Phil Hartley is an Adult Psychotherapist at St Andrews Counselling and Psychotherapy Service, North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust. He is also a member of the Institute of Group Analysis.
David Kennard is a clinical psychologist and group analyst providing supervision and staff support to individuals and organizations. He was formerly Head of Psychological Services at The Retreat, York, and is a member of the Institute of Group Analysis.