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Opening up group, sixth session

Yesterday evening was the sixth session of the "Opening up" group.  It had been a longer gap than usual - ten days since our full day meeting at the fifth session.  As we often do, we began with a round of "checking in"; an opportunity for all of us to say briefly how we were feeling.  Like two or three others, I had been particulary busy in the preceding few days.  Great how present-time, honest interaction with a group of others brings me out of all that brain-busyness into being more here-and-now.

Interpersonal group work

“ Everything is, and almost bursts with being so. ” - Anonymous

Here are a set of handouts and questionnaires that I often use when I'm running interpersonal process groups.  Also on the left of this page you'll find links to a session-by-session description of one such group.  As the "Group therapy, background information" leaflet (see below) comments: "Group therapy simply means that therapeutic work is done in groups rather than one-to-one. Many different types of therapy have been tried in group format. Rather than construct a long list of such therapies, it may be more helpful to divide the many types of therapy group into two general categories - structured groups and process groups. Structured group therapy often involves the transfer of skills and knowledge. It may feel a bit like a classroom situation. Frequently, structured groups are used as a cost-effective way of delivering similar forms of therapy to individual one-to-one work.

Interpersonal group work 2

See the earlier blog post "Interpersonal group work 1" for comments and handouts particularly orientated to pre-group assessment.  It's usually time very well spent, orientating would-be participants to what interpersonal process groups are likely to involve.  This both speeds up the time it takes new group members to start engaging helpfully in group interactions, and reduces drop-out rates.  Participants who know roughly what the group is going to be like, why the experience is relevant to what they want to change in their lives, and how they can best engage with the group to gain most benefit, are likely to be participants who get most from the group experience.  Below I've listed various handouts that can be relevant in this orientation process.

Training in group facilitation

I'm facilitating a group today on "Relationships & emotional intelligence".  When explaining why someone might want to come to the group, the initial publicity leaflet reads "It's worth taking the time to look at our relationships because they are such a huge part of our lives.  Past relationships deeply affect how we feel about ourselves and how we interact with others.  Current relationships can be a great source of joy, warmth and support, or of loneliness, frustration and unhappiness.  Human beings are social animals.  In many ways we are the sum of our relationships.  As adults, we don't have to just accept how we learned to relate when we were younger.  We can look at our interpersonal style and  how we connect with our emotions.  We can get feedback from others.  We can decide what patterns we are happy with

Self disclosure by health professionals

Blogging about my mum's illness and my reactions to it led me to think again about self disclosure by health professionals.  Our job is to be helpful for our clients - it's what we're about.  Self disclosure by health professionals is a mixed bag.  It can sometimes be helpful and sometimes damaging.  Different schools of therapy and different styles of doctor have strong opinions about what's right and wrong in this area.  Strong opinions without research back-up tend to generate more heat than light.  As has been so delightfully stated "The plural of anecdote is not data".  This post is not at all intended to be exhaustive about research on health professional self disclosure.  It is intended to shine a light on some interesting facts and to raise some questions.

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