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Peer groups, Cumbria spring group – third morning: emotional closeness, green issues, & dancing

Third morning.  It's after 7.00am.  Yesterday I wrote on "Authenticity & feedback".  The group seems to be "speeding up" now.  That's partly because I've got less time this morning.  Fairly typically at home, I try to have my light off by 10.15pm and get up by 5.15am.  Last night we were dancing till about midnight.  Brilliant.  Such great fun, but not a big encouragement to be up only a few hours later.  And partly the group feels it's speeding up because, like being away on a few days holiday, experiences start to blur together.  And partly I feel it's because the river of emotion and openness is running more strongly.  As happens so often, many of us - me included - seem more fluid, more easily touched by strong feeling, more easily "triggered" by the depth of what others express.

Interpersonal group work

This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.  Polonius in Hamlet

- Shakespeare

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.

Different kinds of group, different kinds of friendship

I'm a member of three different groups, all of which meet occasionally in the evening.  Since two of the groups only get together about every six weeks, it's unusual for all three group meetings to occur in the same seven days.  In fact I can't remember it happening before.  It's happening this week though - hence the trigger for this blog post "Different kinds of group, different kinds of friendship". 

The group that meets pretty much every week is probably the most straightforward.  We've been getting together for many years to play badminton for a couple of hours.  It's great.  I hugely enjoy it.  It's warm too - we're friendly and we joke a lot.  We encourage each other and we're very competitive as well.  However with most of these guys, I hardly meet them except to play badminton.  I could tell you very little about how their lives are going, or about how they're usually feeling.

Recent research: three studies on sex, three on couples, and one on both!

I recently asked a computer-literate friend how I could encourage more people to visit this blog (thank you to all who already do!).  He said "Write more about sex and violence."  Ouch.  I replied, rather self-righteously, that I wasn't just interested in increasing website traffic for its own sake - that the primary purpose of this blog is to be helpful.  Well here I go - some good research studies on sex (and couples) that I hope are helpful!

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