It feels amazing to see what happens when you combine 2 coordinators, 8 training professionals and 16 young people who have something in common and a lots of fun, games, art materials and heart.
The last couple of days I have been running workshops (with a great team) in my role at as Arts Therapist at Paediatric Palliative Care. It is really hard to explain the feeling in being able to provide a space for people to explore themselves especially at such a vulnerable and influential time of their lives. It makes me feel full of gratitude, meaning and love for what I do. I certainly get that buzzy feeling of being exactly where I need to be and sharing my purpose in life – to facilitate people expressing life and all that it brings.
Its also had a timely reminder of group work and the wonder of the shared experience and how participants can feel less alone and learn from one another in this therapeutic context. I have been reflecting upon group work today as I get ready for next weeks Fac-il-i-tate workshop, no matter the type of group being run there is a few things we need to be mindful of, here are some off the top of my head…
People can take time to feel comfortable, they need time to suss it all out and see how it all runs before they jump in for themselves. We need to provide opportunities for them to connect to what’s happening and there are lots of things we can do to help with this
Sometimes doing ‘nothing’ is doing everything. As a facilitator we need to give participants space and opportunities to share – if we talk too much (or butt in on experiential stuff) we interrupt the potential learning/sharing for them and that is a massive shame.
Even if someone isn’t talking as long as they in the same room absorbing what others are saying they are learning and reflecting.
Every person in the room may need something different and we need to cater to different ways of communicating, feeling and experiencing
Get used to things not necessarily going to plan – its all about being flexible and continuously dipping into the toolbox to ‘fix’ things. How you navigate the unexpected can determine how successful the group is.
I could actually go on forever about this, but will leave it there for now. There are so many factors that make a group successful and most of it is about being aware of what’s happening and what needs to continue or change. Gee group work is brilliant but can also be a bloody scary place to be when you don’t really know what to do so feel free to be in touch if you want to know more.