Five (Plus) Things to Know about Dr. Lorraine J. Guth
Dr. Lorraine Guth, ASGW Past-President and Professor and Clinical Coordinator for Master’s Programs at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, has been involved in ASGW since 1990. As we get to know our leadership and members a bit better, we asked her a few questions about her experience working with groups and her involvement in ASGW.
- What motivated you to take on a leadership role within ASGW?
When I was a doctoral student, I was introduced to ASGW by my mentor, Dr. Rex Stockton. He encouraged me to join ASGW in 1990 and I have been actively involved with our organization since that time. ASGW is a welcoming community where I found my professional home. For many years, I loved serving as the Awards Committee Co-Chair, which involved interacting with numerous ASGW Presidents and award nominees. It was awesome to recognize ASGW members who demonstrated exemplary group work practice, scholarship, service, and/or study. I have also served in other leadership roles, such as Process Observer, Special Initiatives Committee Co-Chair, and President. Recently, I served as a guest co-editor for the JSGW Special Issue on Group Work Innovations in a Transforming World, and I co-lead the ASGW podcast/video series production. My work in these positions, as well as my amazing connections with the ASGW community have been very rewarding.
- What is the most important lesson that you have learned about working with groups?
The most important lesson I have learned about working with groups is to trust the process. As members come together and interact in meaningful ways, growth takes place. It is essential for group facilitators to trust the therapeutic factors that will emerge in the group as members move through the developmental stages together. I continually remind myself to trust the group process when I am involved in groups as a leader or as a member.
- What could ASGW members come to you for advice on or help with?
ASGW members can come to me to discuss ways that they can become more involved in our amazing organization. I am also happy to share our history, guiding documents, and anything else that is needed related to group work. I am very proud of my involvement with ASGW and hope that others are inspired to join our awesome community of group workers and leaders.
- What is your favorite memory of being involved with ASGW?
My favorite memories are connecting with fellow group workers at ASGW conferences. I have especially enjoyed the most recent gatherings that took place in Puerto Rico and Florida. As the leader/member of the Special Initiatives Committee, I engaged in three pre-conference service projects (Puerto Rico roof rebuilding and outreach to earthquake survivors; Florida LGBTQ+ outreach). These experiences were very meaningful, and I look forward to connecting with fellow members at the next ASGW conference being planned for February 2024.
- Why should others become involved in ASGW leadership?
Being involved in ASGW leadership positions can be very meaningful. There are opportunities to serve as an ASGW committee member and then move into key leadership positions over time. I encourage members to be involved in the many volunteer opportunities that are available within ASGW. There is a place for everyone to share their skills and make connections with fellow members. Involvement in ASGW can be very rewarding both personally and professionally. I know my ASGW involvement has been a career highlight and I value the meaningful connections made with fellow group workers.
+ What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen or experienced?
Besides the birth of my children, I love traveling and learning about other cultures. It was very meaningful for me to conduct service-learning projects in Bhutan, Malawi, Turkey, and Puerto Rico. The connections I have made with others have been life-changing.