Mutual-Aid Practice with Open-Ended Groups
Open-ended groups can be found in a variety of settings and formed to meet a variety of needs. Because of turnover, patient or family support groups in inpatient medical or psychiatric settings or post-discharge outpatient groups, for example, are frequently open ended. Residential treatment groups are often open ended as residents come and go. Many psychoeducational groups with cyclically planned agendas are open ended, inviting members to
enter and leave the group as they feel they have received “enough.” Mandated juvenilejustice groups may be open ended as members enter and leave that system. Bereavement groups, hospice groups, and support groups for people with chronic illness or their caregivers are frequently open ended, for example, as are abstinence-support groups, school groups, and groups in other settings where attendance is more changeable than stable.