Group process

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Water drop

Water drop (Photo credit: rxp90)


It occurs to me that I haven’t spoken much about the things i do and don’t like about training, so here’s a post on what I do like (undecided as to whether to do one about what I don’t, as yet!)

My training format is a three or four day weekend one week in six (on average). I travel up the night before (I am here currently) and stay in a room (which is beautiful) from Thurs-Sun, to save on travel. the M1 is never fun, and twice a day would be a nightmare.

My favourite part of the day is generally group process. My cohort is small. It was small at the start of the first year, and people have left, so now it’s smaller still. In many ways we seem quite close-knit, certainly within pockets we are, and so by and large group process is interesting.

I find it interesting that as a group we can coalesce on a subject and then move away from it. We can delve into something, or we can leave it. I am reminded of the Rogers story where he tells a group they can do whatever they like, and they gravitate to ‘chit-chat’ and he leaves. I think that that can and does happen within our group (and certainly we aren’t alone in that, I’ve been in other ‘group process’ type things where the exact same thing has happened), but I also think that we can and do stay with a subject even when that becomes big and hard and scary. We push, we receive, we pull. We run away, we come back. We dip a toe into the water, and go haring into the sea. We look away. We cry. We comfort and are comforted.


There are times when we are left alone, or feel left alone, or just ‘left’ within the group. Sometimes it takes weeks of meeting before we can see that that is the thing that has happened here. There is a feeling of ‘something’ in the air, but ethereal and we cant quite grasp it. For those of us more somatic, sometimes it can be concretely felt, but for those less so, there is a vagueness that infuriates, and we feel ourselves react to something that we cannot understand because we have no name for it. And then suddenly, for someone, it will crystallise, and there, THERE is that thing that we did not know we did not know. And it is staring us in the face and how could we have been so blind?


And we talk abut it. We feel it, we discuss. We relax and we hear. Sometimes we rage. We weep. We are stoic, yet our faces betray us. That one drop; that tiny thing that seemed almost ‘nothing’ can threaten to engulf us. But of course, if we can see the ripples that that tiny drop makes, we can defend by deconstructing. We can take the power out of the waves that are happening, and stop the forces that surround us. The water, eventually, becomes calm. And though it may take more than one day, more than one weekend, we walk away knowing that somehow, we are ‘more’ than when we came, although we don’t know quite how that happened.


And that’s what I love about group process.



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3 thoughts on “Group process

  1. Remember this when you start doing groups with clients. All of the things you mention are really effective to give feedback on and evoke when doing groups.

  2. Thank you for sharing this … I am about to embark on a project where I will be a co-facilitator of a therapeutic group and your piece helped to get me back in touch with my feelings as a group member years ago.

    it is a beautifully written piece that speaks to the heart

  3. Thanks – this blog hits home in so many ways 🙂

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