Our experiential small groups are the heart of our workshops where participants observe themselves in the process of being in a group and though not designed to be a therapy or discussion group, therapeutic experiences tend to happen and lead people to want to come back. The topic of the conference often can surface or come to light in the group process.
Experiential learning of group process
is centered in the individual being a member of a group in which the primary task is for the group to study itself. This means that each person is as responsible as the next for what happens, or does not happen, in that group. The consultant to the group offers comments as to themes, elements, and dynamics in the group as it works to develop itself. The leader does not lead in a traditional sense of setting an agenda or telling people what to do. How the group unfolds, how group norms are set for members, who and how leadership in the group emerges, what different roles members take up,etc. are all part of the study of group process. It is a unique opportunity for individuals to study not only how a group works, but also, to learn about one’s own experience within an unfolding group, what roles are taken up or are given to you by a group, and how one’s behavior and attitudes impact others in a group. In no other everyday group (i.e. work groups, friend groups, religious groups, recreational groups…) is the focus upon learning about the process of the group itself and your role as a member in it.
For these reasons, participants are asked to be present for all of the small group meetings to the extent that is humanly possible.