I am so passionate about the power of groupwork. It is a wonderful forum for learning new techniques and strategies where group members ask questions and contribute their ideas creating a fertile ground for change. Hearing your story come out of the mouth of another person can be incredibly validating. Having the chance to voice your experience to others and getting those nods of appreciation and understanding is invaluable.
I come to the group with the framework. The participants arrive with the experience.I ask questions that have no right or wrong answers. It is simply about gathering the knowledge in the room in a way that can take our understanding to a whole new level. It is an environment where we all have the opportunity to learn in a supportive, non-judgmental setting.
The framework used for working with groups spans over 8 sessions. It takes the format of deconstructing and then reconstructing the narrative, whilst introducing new ideas and concepts.
- Setting the Scene– Tree of Life. This is a look at strengths and challenges a person is currently facing or has faced in relation to pursuing a healthy lifestyle. It is about creating awareness of their uniqueness within the group but also the togetherness the next eight weeks can bring. Other creative activities are also used in this session with the same objective.
- Strategies and their Effects: Mapping any strategies that work and don’t work by looking at the way particular actions have affected their lives. It opens up questions and fosters decision making in a way that develops coping skills and healthy lifestyles. It is the introduction of the impact of their belief system.
- Inner Voice Work: A deeper life changing look at the way our inner voice works and the ways it uses emotional states and the craftiness of language to trick us into actions we take.
- Emotional Awareness: Another kind of tree that will illustrate how thoughts can affect our emotions adding to the already growing bank of strategies to cope.
- Relationships: Family trees and the impact of role playing in families. This looks at introducing systems ideas aimed at being aware of stressors and developing a stronger sense of self in relation to their reactivity to others and associated stressful events.
- Relationships and building a sense of self: Building on last week’s work to look more deeply at emotional processes in all relationships and ways of strengthening self.
- Balance: Pulling it all together, the aim is now to understand the relationship between inner and outer awareness and ways of creating mindfulness and balance in our lives.
- Creating a new story and Making a commitment: Drawing the wisdom of the group together in the creation of a group story that can continue to motivate and inspire them on their journey towards awareness and their commitment to live fully.
Opportunities for group work
A general group on Awareness and Calm is available as a core group whenever a group of participants express interest.
‘Fertility and Awareness’ and ‘Eating Mindfully and Awareness’ are too specialised groups that have been put together using the awareness and calm framework. I am interested in working alongside any established organisations to present these groups.
This group can take on a more specified format using any issue including depression, anxiety, anger, grief and loss, post-traumatic stress, stress management, domestic violence and addiction. It has already been trialled in a variety of settings within the community and education sectors successfully.
Should you be interested in accessing a different kind of group work for clients of your service or students at your school feel free to contact Kelli Bradicich on 0435 942 899