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.

JSGW Special Issue Call for Authors

Research in Group Work: A Renewed Focus on Exemplary Methods

The Journal for Specialists in Group Work invites proposals for a Special Issue on contemporary issues in the research of Group Work. It has been almost two decades since the Journal for Specialists in Group Work (1997, Vol 22, 4) last published a special issue focused on issues related to research in group work. Arguably, the field has advanced considerably in 20 years with respect to the contemporary knowledge base in group work practice, ethical and organizational standards, sophistication in available research methodology, as well as its applications.

The purpose of this special issue is to synthesize contributions representing a range of issues that are important to research in group work. Authors are asked to contribute both conceptual and empirical articles that address the call for an increased focus on sophisticated methods to conduct group work research, whether that be through quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods research. Articles will be developed addressing important aspects of the different applications of research in group work, with at least one article illustrating an exemplary application of such methods. As the teaching and training of research in group work is essential in the sustainability and further development of the field, both empirically supportive and promising innovative pedagogies will be explored.

Manuscripts should be focused on one of the following areas:

  1. Quantitative Applications of Group Work Research
  2. Qualitative Applications of Group Work Research
  3. Mixed Methods Applications of Group Work Research
  4. Multicultural or International Applications of Group Work Research

If you are interested in authoring a manuscript for the special issue, please submit a brief (up to 3-5 pages) proposal which should include: title, author(s), rationale, and overview/outline of manuscript into the Manuscript Central Submission Portal for JSGW ( Following initial proposal review and endorsement from special issue editors, manuscripts will undergo a blind peer review process. Proposal acceptance does not guarantee acceptance of publication. Proposals are due to the Special Issue Editors by May 30, 2016. First drafts of manuscripts for approved proposals due July 30, 2016. Final dispositions will occur in 2017. For additional information or questions, please contact the Special Issue Editors: Melissa Luke, Syracuse University ( and Kristopher M. Goodrich, University of New Mexico (

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. 

2016 ASGW National Conference

Washington, D.C. February 18-20, 2016
Group Work for a Better World

Make plans now to attend the ASGW conference in Washington, D.C., February 18-20, 2016. Scroll down for information on registration, hotel accommodations, area attractions, and program guide details.

* ASGW Professional/Regular Member: $425

Full-time Graduate Student Member: $250

Retiree/New Professional Member**: $250

Non ASGW Member: $495

Guest (non-professional): $300

* ASGW Membership There will be no on-site processing for ACA/ASGW memberships available at the 2016 ASGW Conference in Washington, D.C.. In order to take advantage of the member discount, individuals must join ASGW prior to submitting registration for the 2016 conference. In order to join ASGW, please visit the American Counseling Association (ACA) membership website or contact the ACA Member Services Department at 800-347-6647, ext. 222 (M-F, 8 am - 7 pm, ET).

**Graduated with a master’s or doctoral degree within past 12 months or retired from profession.

ASGW Conference Hotel Information

Take advantage of low conference rates for this four-star hotel in Old Town Alexandria on the banks of the Potomac River and a 14-minute walk from the Old Town Boutique District. The hotel features spacious rooms, free WiFi, complimentary airport shuttle and it is only 0.8 miles from the Washington Metro's Braddock Road station.

A single room has a King and is $139 per night and the Double has two double beds at $149 per nigh. To make a reservation by phone, please call 1-888-233-0368 and ask for the "AC5 Group" rate. To make your reservations online, click the button below.

ASGW 2016 Conference Resources

We are excited to share details with you about the conference and the community of Old Town Alexandria where the 2016 ASGW conference is being held. Please click on the buttons below to learn about opportunities for sharing in Group Work for a Better World!