Some people love being in a group, for others it may be rather daunting. However most of us spend a lot of time in groups whether this is at work, at home or socially. You may be wanting to feel more comfortable in a group, feel puzzled by what happens in the groups you are in or may be interested in facilitating a group in a different and perhaps more fruitful way.
What are the benefits of joining a Gestalt group?
Joining a facilitated group can provide some illumination on the complex dynamics of how groups work as well as discovering more about yourself as an individual. You may find others share your experience and perspective or express other aspects of yourself that may be rather hidden or less developed. This can provide opportunities for experimenting with managing yourself differently in a group in a safe and supported environment.
What is a Gestalt Group?
Gestalt groups are holistic – we pay attention to physical sensation and expression, emotions and meaning-making. I also like to pay attention to energy – not just the interactive energy of the group but also our individual and joint energy in our electro-magnetic field.
Groups are present-centred. We attend to the “here and now” – what is happening in the group. Although there may be some actions that are not acceptable to the group – e.g. physical assault – on the whole nothing that happens is wrong – it simply is and provides great opportunity for exploring other perspectives and individual as well as group experiences and reactions. We pay attention to what is being said, what is not being said, and our responses to each other verbally, non-verbally, emotionally and to what we make of it. In this way we develop our awareness of how we are in a group, how we might inhibit ourselves or take risks, how we impact. We may experience a new sense of ourselves and expand our potential for relating to others in a more mutually beneficial way.
I have been in groups where my awareness and understanding has been expected to come from what I understand from my experience. I have not found this particularly helpful and I believe that it is important that what is happening in the group is explicit and known to the group. Initially I expect to lead in facilitating this but welcome group members joining in with facilitation or enquiring about what I may say or the choices of focus I make. Questioning my choices may lead to some helpful focus on something important to which I have not paid attention!
Monthly Experiential Gestalt Group
There are vacancies in this group which started in October 2015.
The group is for those wanting to discover more of how they manage themselves in a group, whether in their personal or work lives. This group is also suitable for practitioners running groups or wanting to expand their knowledge of running groups. There will be opportunities to look at what is happening in the group and to consider interventions whether by group members or by myself.
The group will meet monthly on the second Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. This may seem a big commitment but in order to generate energy and depth of interaction in the group it is important to meet regularly. Since this group meets only monthly we need to meet for a few hours each time in order to get to know each other and develop a sense of sufficient security and support for participants to express themselves, manage difference and perhaps to experiment with new ways of being in a group.
The group is ongoing. It is open and new participants may join if there are vacancies. It is limited to a maximum of 8 participants.
New groups beginning in the New Year
Evening Experiential Gestalt Group
This group is similar to the above but will meet 2 evenings a month on a Wednesday evening.
Monthly Social Workers Group
Social work is very demanding. This group will explore self-support in this environment. The group will meet monthly on a Wednesday evening.
If you are interested in any of the groups please contact me here.