Group work is our passion.

The Association for Specialists in Group Work—a division of the American Counseling Association—exists so that members and other helping professionals are empowered with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to practice effective, socially just, and ethical group work in a diverse and global society. We value the creation of community; service to our members, their clients, and the profession; and group leadership as a process to facilitate the growth and development of individuals and groups.

Fulfilling our mission will result in the following OUTCOMES benefiting ASGW members and the profession of group work:

  1. Members experience a vibrant, caring, and diverse community.
  2. Research relevant to group work is systematically supported and disseminated.
  3. ASGW professional standards exist, continue to evolve, and guide group work.
  4. Helping professionals practice evidence-based and innovative group work models.
  5. Group work professionals benefit from opportunities and resources for training, practice, and professional growth.
  6. The principles of multiculturalism, social justice, and global perspectives permeate all group work.

Take sometime to get to know us, explore our resources, and then join our group.


ASGW Professional Standards for Training Group Workers

The purpose of the Professional Standards for the Training of Group Workers is to provide guidance to counselor training programs in the construction of their curricula for graduate programs in counseling (e.g., masters, specialist, and doctoral degrees and other forms of advanced graduate study). Specifically, core standards express the Association’s view on the minimum training in group work all programs in counseling should provide for all graduates of their entry level, master’s degree programs in counseling, and specialization standards provide a framework for documenting the training philosophy, objectives, curriculum, and outcomes for each declared specialization program.

ASGW Best Practices Guidelines

These Best Practice Guidelines are intended to clarify the application of the ACA Code of Ethics to the field of group work by defining Group Workers’ responsibility and scope of practice involving those activities, strategies and interventions that are consistent and current with effective and appropriate professional ethical and community standards. These Best Practice Guidelines address Group Workers’ responsibilities in planning, performing and processing groups.

Multicultural and Social Justice Competence Principles for Group Workers

ASGW has endorsed this document with the recognition that issues of multiculturalism and social justice affect group process and dynamics, group and individual outcomes, facilitation, training, and research. Oppressive systems (e.g., racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, sizeism, nationalism, adultism, ageism) affect everyone in substantial and different ways. As individual members of this organization, it is our personal responsibility to address these issues through developing multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills, and social justice advocacy skills. We are responsible for increasing our awareness of our biases, values, and beliefs, and how they impact the groups we form, facilitate, participate in, and evaluate. Finally, we must increase our ability to facilitate groups that are diverse on many dimensions, leading with confidence, competence, and integrity as we assist group members informing and maintaining relationships that emphasize respect.

Defining Moments in Group Work

Burt Bertram, EdD, LMHC, LMFT shares his experiences on how momentary shifts in group process can impact members and the flow of a group. 


The Journal for Specialists in Group Work (JSGW)

As the official publication of the Association for Specialists in Group Work, The Journal for Specialists in Group Work (JSGW) is an indispensable resource for both practitioners and educators working with groups in clinical, organizational, educational and community settings. Members in ASGW enjoy print copies of current issue mailed directly to them and full access to archived issues. Click here for more information.

If you have questions for the JSGW editor or ideas for a special issue, please click here. 

Create Connections at the 2017 ACA National Conference

San Francisco, C.A. March 16-19, 2017

Featuring Keynote Speaker IRVIN D. YALOM!

As you may already know, ASGW holds conferences every two years, so our next conference is planned for early Spring 2018. We are busy making plans for that conference and will share details soon. Please keep checking here for more updates coming soon!

Fortunately, you don't have to wait until 2018 to join with other group workers to share knowledge, learn skills, and create community. ASGW will have many learning programs and networking events at the American Counseling Association (ACA) conference. Make plans now to attend the ACA conference in San Francisco, CA, March 16-19, 2017.

Make Plans to Attend the ASGW Sponsored Sessions and Events at ACA National Conference

San Francisco, C.A. March 16-19, 2017

ASGW Sponsored Sessions

Now more than ever, the work that ASGW members do is so essential.  While you are at ACA, come see some amazing examples of group work in action and discuss the use of groups to address some of the problems facing our world.

  •  Group Interventions in the Aftermath of Violence, Terrorism, and Dislocation (#236)

Christine Suniti Bhat, Devika Dibya Choudhuri, Stephanie Eberts, and Jane Webber

Saturday, March 18         10:30am - 12:00pm         Room 2014


  •  Implications of “Religious Freedom” Legislation on Group Work and Group Workers in Tennessee (#104)

Maia Niguel Moore, Asher M. Pimpleton-Gray, Mildred S. Dukic, Sandra Terneus & Virginia S. Dansby

Friday, March 17               7:30am - 8:30am             Room 2018


  • Group Work in Cultural Context: Working with LGBTQ Members (#618)

Kerrie R. Fineran, Amber Lange, Cassandra Halbert, Brooke E. Wright, Alyssa Hale & Christie Jenkins

Friday, March 17              12:00pm - 12:30pm           Poster Area 4


  • Group Interventions in Disaster Mental Health (#849)

Rebecca Rodriguez, Cynthia Stewart, Jonathon Kovalsky, Lauren Dershowitz, Maggie Zielinski

Sunday, March 19            12:00pm - 12:30pm           Poster Area 7


ASGW Special Events

(all ASGW events Will Be Held at the Intercontinental Hotel)

ASGW Leadership Collaborative Planning Session

Twin Peaks     Thursday     March 16     9:00am-12:00pm

*ASGW Member Meeting & Awards Ceremony - join us for awards and food!  (this ceremony replaces the luncheon this year.)

Union Square     Friday     March 17     3:00pm-4:30pm

ASGW Journal for Specialists in Group Work Editorial Board Meeting

Laurel Hill     Friday     March 17     5:00pm-6:30pm

ASGW 2015 Fellows Committee Meeting

Sutter     Saturday     March 18     3:00pm-4:00pm

*ASGW Fellows Recognition Meeting - EVERYONE is welcome to attend and hear from our new Fellows Melissa Luke and Deb Rubel

Sutter     Saturday     March 18     4:00pm-5:00pm

*ASGW/ACC/ACES/AHC Joint Reception

Pacific Terrace     Saturday     March 18     7:00pm-9:00pm

*All ASGW members are invited to participate in these events! 

Join Us in Savannah, GA for the Association for Specialists in Group Work National Conference

Savannah Hilton DeSoto Hotel, February 1-3, 2018


Groups: Nurturing Positivity for Greater Good

Featuring Keynote Presentations from

Dr. Samuel Gladding


Dr. Carolyn Stone

What would life be like if we woke up tomorrow and livedour best possible lives? One in which we loved fully, worked joyfully, laughed heartily, and slept peacefully, knowing that the day had been fulfilling and well-lived?

We cordially invite you to join us at the ASGW Conference in Savannah, Georgia, on February 1-3, 2018. Escape the cold, wintry weather, and wrap yourself in a blanket of positivity. We welcome proposals on all types of group work, including those related to the conference theme -  Groups: Nurturing Positivity for Greater Good. Share how gratitude, forgiveness, altruism, empathy, compassion, flourishing, wellness, and mindfulness can be brought to life through group work.

The call for proposals will open on April 1, 2018, so please check back for more information.

Conference Hotel Information

The conference will be held in the newly renovated Savannah Hilton DeSoto hotel with nightly rooms rates of $149 + tax. Hotel reservations for the conference are not open yet, but in the meantime more information about the hotel can be found here:

ASGW Member Recognition

Our members are engaged in innovative and groundbreaking work on local, regional, national, and international levels and we are excited to recognize this work through awards and scholarships. We recognize their leadership in the areas of group work research, practice, and teaching. Take a moment to scroll down to meet some of those leaders in our profession and also find opportunities to recognize the next generation of group work innovators.

Looking for some inspiration?

Just look in the mirror! You can also click the buttons below to read past issues of the Group Worker that profile past award recipients and find the growing list of our ASGW Fellows.


2000   Ed Jacobs, Lynn Rapin

2001    Michael Hutchins, Beverly Brown, Michael Waldo

2002    John Dagley, Glen Martin, Karen Prichard,

            Zipora Shechtman, Vernon Sheeley,

            Marlow Smaby

2003    Maria Riva

2004    William Kline

2005    Kurt Kraus

2006    Fred Bemak, S. Lenoir Gillam, Michael Wilbur

2007    Alicia Homrich

2008    Burt Bertram, Rita Chung

2009    Sheri Bauman

2010     --- None awarded ---

2011     Edil Torres- Rivera

2012     --- None awarded ---

2013     Carmen Salazar

2014     Niloufer Merchant

2015     Amy Nitza

2016     Lorraine J. Guth, Kelly A. McDonnell,

            Kathryn Norsworthy

1987   George M. Gazda

1988   Fannie R. Cooley, Walter Lifton, Merle Ohlsen

1989   Marguerite R. Carroll, Jack Duncan, Rex Stockton

1990   James D. Beck, Benjamin Cohn, H. Allan Dye

1991   Gerald Corey, Richard L. Hayes, John Vriend, 

          James V. Wigtil

1992   E.W. Christensen, Robert K. Conyne,

          Marianne Schneider Corey, Diana Hulse

1993   Jeremiah Donigian, Arthur M. Horne,

          Richard Malnati, D. Keith Morran, James P. Trotzer

1994   Rosemarie Smead, Rebecca Schumacher,

          Carolyn Thomas, Donald Ward

1995   Chuck Kormanski, George Leddick, Kathleen Ritter,

           Flip Robison, Allen Segrist

1996   --- None awarded ---

1997   Jesse B. DeEsch, Samuel Gladding, Jeffrey A. Kottler,

          Jeffries McWhirter, F. Robert Wilson

1998   Janice DeLucia, Bree A. Hayes, David G. Zimpher

1999   Holly Forester-Miller, Rod Merta

Nominate Your State Branch for the 2017 ASGW State Branch Award

Nominate your state ASGW branch for Outstanding Branch Award. Tell us about the important things that have been accomplished in your state branch the last year. We want to hear about your workshops, publications, membership service and all your special activities.
What: Tell us what your branch has been doing this past year. Please submit supportingmaterial. ASGW wants to recognize your branch for your contributions.
When: Send your letter of nomination and supporting materials by January 31st, 2017.

Where: The branch award will be given at the ASGW luncheon at the ACA Convention in San Francisco.
Please include in your nomination materials the name and contact information of the person who will accept the award at the ASGW luncheon.
How: Submit materials to:
                                M. Carolyn Thomas
                                ASGW Branches Chair
                                9360 Vaughn Road
                                Pike Road, AL 36064

 ASGW Awards

Awards Nomination Deadline:  January 17, 2017
For 2017, these awards will be presented at the American Counseling Association Conference in San Francisco, CA, March 16-19, 2017.

Group Work Practice Award

The ASGW Awards Committee is seeking nominations for the Group Work Practice Award. The purpose of this award is to recognize an outstanding practitioner in group work. Recognition may be for any area of group work covered by the ASGW Professional Standards and nominees must be members of ASGW.

A nomination letter and two supporting letters should address the following points:
Scope of practice of nominee to include:

  • Type of group work
  • Client population served
  • Practice setting
  • Innovations in group work practice by the nominee.
  • How nominee has disseminated group work skills through workshops, conference presentations, supervision, or training.
  • Evidence of nominee's significant contribution to group work practice.

All submissions must be sent via email (with attachments) to:  Ana Puig;

Applications (nomination letter and two supporting letters) must be received by January 17, 2017. The award recipient will be announced during the ACA Conference in March 2017.


Eminent Career Award and Professional Advancement Awards

The ASGW Awards Committee is seeking nominations for the Eminent Career Award and for the Professional Advancement Award. Nominations in either category should address the nominee's outstanding activities and contributions to the field of group work. Additional letters speaking to the nomination would be welcome. Letters should identify which award is being sought.

Eminent Career Award:This highest award is intended to recognize major contributions made to the field of group work by an ASGW/ACA member. Credentials and letters of recommendation for the nominee should convey the national and/or international influence the individual has had on group work over a period of time.

Professional Advancement Award:This award is made to recognize the outstanding activities of an individual who has helped advance the field of group work through any one of the following: research, development of a new technique or theory, public relations, legislative activities, or group work practice.

All submissions must be sent via email (with attachments) to:  Ana Puig;

Applications (nomination letter and two supporting letters) must be received by January 17, 2017. The award recipient will be announced during the ACA Conference in March 2017.

 ASGW Scholarships

Scholarship Nomination Deadline:  January 17, 2017
For 2017, these scholarships will be presented at the American Counseling Association Conference in San Francisco, CA, March 16-19, 2017.


The ASGW Awards Committee invites applicants for the $2,000 scholarship given annually to honor Marguerite “Peg” Carroll, former ASGW President and pioneer in group work. The purpose of the award is to support the study of group work and further the understanding of group dynamics. Any student interested in the field of group work is eligible for consideration by the ASGW Awards Committee.

Applicants are requested to respond to the following questions:

1.   There are many types of group experiences such as: therapeutic and/or counseling, decision making, task oriented, psychoanalysis, quality circles, classroom meetings, etc. What area interests you the most and why?

2.   Where would you obtain training in your area of interest? Be specific in respect to trainers, institutions, workshop sponsors, etc. In addition, describe your intended degree program, if it applies.

3.   In what setting(s) and with what population do you hope to use your expertise?

4.   How do you plan to assess if you and your groups are making progress? Have you had any experience with these evaluation tools? Explain fully.

5.   List the types of groups in which you have participated. Describe their duration and the positive and negative aspects of each experience and your role (participant, leader, intern, etc.).

6.   Describe your participation in professional organizations related to group work.

 The application should have a cover sheet with name, address, home and work phone numbers, e-mail address, and the names and contact information of those writing letters of recommendation.

Letters of recommendation should be solicited from THREE professionals in the field who are familiar with the applicant’s work. These letters may be from supervisors, mentors, major professors, or other individuals who are knowledgeable about the applicant’s work with groups. These letters should be forwarded directly from the recommendation source to the address listed below and must be received by January 17, 2017. Recommendation letters should address topics such as group counseling skills of the applicant, evidence of ethical behavior, and evidence of professional commitment and potential.

All submissions must be sent via email (with attachments) to:  Angela D. Coker at

Applications (nomination letter and two supporting letters) must be received by January 17, 2017. The award recipient will be announced during the ACA Conference in March 2017.



Two $200 scholarships are available to support students and/or new professionals to attend the Association for Specialist in Group Work (ASGW) National Conference in early 2018.

Applicants must submit a 300-500 word written statement that:

(1)    Confirms ASGW membership;

(2)    Identifies the university and degree program in which the applicant is currently enrolled or from which the applicant recently graduated;

(3)    Includes a statement of the applicant's interest and experience in group work, including ways in which the applicant is likely to benefit professionally from attending the conference.

Applicants should also provide the following information: name, mailing address, e-mail address, and contact number(s).

All submissions must be sent via email (with attachments) to:  Angela D. Coker at

Applications (nomination letter and two supporting letters) must be received by October 16, 2017. The award recipient will be announced during the ACA Conference in March 2017.