Experiential Group – further thoughts
17 November, 2006
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The Experiential Group earlier this week has led me to further thoughts as to keeping this on-line “journal”. Last week I sent an email to the group with a link to this blog, requesting any comments. Three people replied by email, two saying if it works for me go ahead. One not commenting either way, but asking a question about an entry regarding empathy. Then, in this weeks group a few people were openly against it, though most didn’t seem to mind. The ones who did mind were concerned that the “Experiential Group” boundaries of confidentiality might be being breached. Partly as names were mentioned (though only Christian ones) but also the on-line nature made some people feel uncomfortable. It was mentioned that maybe this was a way of getting my feeling out in the open easier. Paradoxically it was also mentioned that some of it is not that “feeling” based but more on my thoughts, when the journal should be on feeling. I think I see all points? So what do I do? Carry on or stop? Well, after much consideration, definitely will not stop the journal, but may consider changing it’s emphasis, putting more about the experiential group into a private journal for my eyes only. But even that I’m not completely sure about. I’m struggling to fully understand the idea of congruence. If I am fully congruent, shouldn’t my outward self be the same as my inward self? If that is so, then what I put here should be the same as I put in a private place? Or is that taking the concept too far? But then this is not really a public place – well, it is public, but not in the sense that the general public who may visit will know me, unless I have told them specifically about the blog. One change made, is that as some were worried that their christian names might be revealing, have now reduced all names to just he initial, apart from my own.
At the end of the group time, the leader P, mentioned that in her opinion the group was not performing as it should. That left a lot to think about. Thinking again instead of feeling 🙂 The one thought I have is that the group is not challenging enough? In Dave Mearns book (mentioned below – Developing Person-Centred Counselling” in the chapter titled “Using the large unstructured group to develop congruence in person-centred training) it talks of how such a group is not a therapy group, as we have been told here, but a place for the trainee counsellors to get to know themselves better. One way that occurs is for the members to challenge each other on different things. This made me recall my feeling about the facilitators voice. She speaks very slowly and deliberately – which I guess she might do so the wrong things are not said. But it has at times caused me a little irritation. Maybe I should raise this as a small challenge, next week, as an example of what she might mean for us to do? I would hope with her experience as a facilitator she would be able to cope with that and either agree that is right way to go or tell me that is not the right thing to do. Her voice I find not so irritating now – have been examining myself to try and figure out why it was a bit irritating at first and not so much now. Am I just getting used to it?