I’m halfway through reading Group Action by T Martin Ringer. It’s the first book in a while that has resonated so strongly with me, and I’m enjoying taking notes and capturing the key elements.
The book is an insightful and comprehensive exploration of how groups work, and the role of facilitators in working with them. I really appreciate its solid theoretical underpinning, its high psychotherapeutical awareness, and the way that body of knowledge is communicated in layperson’s terms, making it a genuinely accessible read. Although Group Action is informed by psychotherapy, Ringer’s concern is to speak directly to groups and facilitators in corporate as well as therapeutic contexts.
He brings absolute clarity to the task of explaining projection, transference and counter-transference. I work with groups myself, and when I’m helping supervisors to develop in their practice of group supervision, this is going to be a really valuable guide. I think it’s a seminal book for this area.
The other book which is an anchor for me in group supervision work is Brigid Proctor’s Group Supervision. It makes a good companion to Ringer’s book by providing excellent guidance for setting up and managing groups, and in establishing the role and responsibilities of group supervisors.
Ringer focuses to a greater extent on how groups develop and work, and on the role of the facilitator, and he is more discursive in style, giving examples and telling stories to unpack his ideas – so his book is ideal for anyone facilitating groups, and not just in supervision.
As a group supervisor, I recommend both books for anyone working with groups.