Gertrude Wilson

(1895-1984). Social worker. Professor of Social Work.
Interview with Gertrude Wilson, a pivotal figure in the development of theory and practice of social group work at the Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups in Arlington, TX in November 1980.

Interview Summary
Interviewer: Ruth Middleman, PhD, University of Louisville
Date: November 1980
An interview with Dr. Gertrude Wilson as she discusses group work, social work education, and her experiences in the social work profession. Length of interview: 44 minutes

Interview Topics
(01:05) – Introduction by Ruth Middleman, former student of Professor Wilson. (01:35) – Wilson talks about her students. (04:12) – Beginning the use of records in group social work. (05:10) – Writing with Gladys Ryland about group work. (07:55) – “Case Work and Group Work” publication at The University of Chicago. (10:55) –Building Pittsburg School of Social Work,  getting experience as a social work educator. (18:33) – Case work and group work; different methods in social work. (22:00) – “The most important thing if you’re going to help people, is to love them and limit them, and to help them achieve.” –Ruth Smalley. (25:15) – Thanksgiving Dinners for students. (26:30) – Importance of personal relationships, rules of professionalism. (33:30) – UC Berkeley training county employees. (31:05) – The Arlington Conference. (35:30) – Intraprofessional competition.  (37:30) – Trend towards “generic” models in social work. (38:04) – Sigmund and Anna Freud anecdotes. (41:00) – Age and life history.

Additional Materials

  • Obituary from NASW California News. 
  • NASW-Los Angeles Area Chapter release about Institute on Group Work's Contribution to Family Work, with Gertrude Wilson. 
  • Newspaper articles re career and accomplishments of Gertrude Wilson in area of group work. 
  •  Undated black and white photographs with unidentified persons (other than Gertrude Wilson); sizes range from 3.5 x 2.5 in. to 10 x 8 in.
  • 1 Videocassette