Client Responses

Expect initial resistance to this type of intervention from some members who may be threatened by language such as "oppression" or "injustice" and/or believe this type of discussion conflicts with their personal and political views. Like discussions of sex, members may perceive dialogue about social and political processes as taboo.

Group leaders may avoid much of this resistance through using inclusive language such as "silencing" and "control" rather than "oppression" and "power." I find that an emphasis on promoting full person-hood and eradicating dehumanization in our personal, relational, and communal lives helps prevent defensiveness. Most have found the experience of exploring personal and social experiences of oppression and injustice illuminating, healing, and empowering. Once a group increases its awareness along these lines, it becomes equipped with another powerful resource of healing, growth, and action to complement other group methods such as psychodynamic, existential, relational, or cognitive-behavioral.

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