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Group Process

The Texture of Life: Occupations and Related Activities, 4th Edition



Co-authored by Jeff Tomlinson, MSW, OT, FAOTA And Suzanne White MS, OTR, FAOTA

Edited by Jim Hinojosa, PhD, OT, BCP, FAOTA, and Marie-Louise Blount, AM, OT, FAOT,

AOTA Press, 2014.


This new edition presents a theo­retical foundation for the idea of occupation, framed within histori­cal and current practice and devel­oped from within the occupational therapy profession. Using language from the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework and from the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, updated chapters detail aspects of occupation such as activity analysis, activity synthesis, and clinical reasoning and explore how to apply activity across various settings.

Group Roles

     Group work and group theory is required by all occupational therapy education programs due to its extensive use among occupational therapists. Charlotte Bellear, Daniel DiGiacomo, Louisa Farr, and Carissa Roca, along with their faculty advisor, Suzanne White, developed an educational video aimed at introducing the concept of group roles to occupational therapy students. Using research in the mental health field and in creating educational content, this video educates occupational therapy students in task, maintenance, and self-serving roles seen during group therapy. The video is comprised of four scenes allowing students to observe, score, and check their assessments of the characters and the roles that they play. Pauses in the video allow students and professors to discuss and prepare for the next scene.  

  • Scene 1 introduces the characters, explains the setting and activity, and has group role labels in order for students to orient themselves to the exercise

  • Scene 2 is a continuation of the group session, but does not have labels. Students are told to mark down the roles that each character portrays throughout the scene.

  • Scene 3 repeats Scene 2, this time with labels. Students can check their answers from Scene 2

  • Scene 4, with labels, wraps up the group session and displays how group roles and dynamics can change.

While watching the second scene, students use the following worksheet to mark down roles portrayed by each character.

     The video was presented to a group of first and second year occupational therapy students who completed a pre-test and post-test. Overall, participants were satisfied with the length of the video, believed that the video portrayed a realistic example of group roles, and believed that the video increased their understanding of group roles. 

MP_ Research Day Poster.png

To view the video link and worksheet:

Click here

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