Description Of Intervention

Unlike most techniques or exercises, this intervention is not distinct in appearance nor does it have a unique stage in group process. Instead, it occurs as if nothing different was occurring. At a critical juncture, the group leader may simply share a reflection that, on the surface, seems to be more there-and-then than here-and-now oriented. The reflection by the leader involves interceding in the discussion with a metaphor or with a short story that at some unconscious level is connected to the ongoing group process or as a response to an individual's personal sharing.

Using standard descriptions of a four-phase group trajectory: preparation, transition, working, and termination (Shapiro, Peltz & Bern-adett-Shapiro, 1998), this procedure is one that is best suited to the third or working (also known as treatment or therapy) phase. It is designed to increase intrapsychic depth, once the group trust is sufficiently strong to support such enhanced levels of affect. However, it may be employed judiciously in the transition phase, while the group is testing the leadership, or in termination with a focus on transfer of training.

Step 1

Allow the normal group discussion to progress until something gets stuck.

Step 2

Focus on process including reflecting on the lack of movement, etc.

Step 3

Slip into a storytelling mode of speech and tell a short story or metaphor along with "therapeutic amazement" (i.e., "/ don't know why I would he thinking about this at this time" or "This reminds me of a fellow I once met").

Step 4

Allow the group members time to respond to the story, including any confusion they may experience.

Step 5

Continue as if nothing different or unusual had occurred. Examples

During the treatment phase of a group of health care professionals, two members (Jake and Sally) were describing their "sandwich generation" dilemma, while other members of the group listened intently. Each of the members described feeling overburdened and trapped by simultaneous responsibilities to aging parents, school-aged children, and to their personal retirement. After sharing their experiences and feelings and hearing empathic feedback from other members, the group seemed to experience a lack of energy, described by Jake as a "sense that my own life is over."

Focusing on his experience of a loss of energy, I responded, to Jake, the forty-five-year-old male in the group. My initial response was empathy for his situation; then I began defocusing into a short story. "Jake, your situation seems so difficult and you seem trapped by the very real responsibilities to your family." Slowing my pace as if reminiscing, I said, "I don't know why I am thinking of this, but as you were talking, I was hearing that little speech that accompanies eveiy commercial airline flight. You know, the one that tells us if there's a drop in cabin pressure and the oxygen masks drop. If you are traveling with a minor child you are to put on your mask first."

The client seemed confused by the story. As he began to respond slowly, he asked, "What does that have to do with how demanding my mother is?" I replied, "I am not sure. I was listening to you very closely and that is what came into my mind." At that point, Sally, the female "sandwicher" said, almost as if in a trance. "I think he means that we aren't stopping to breathe and need a break for some oxygen, or else our kids, parents and, yes, we will all fail." Jake said, "I do feel like I am almost out of breath, but I need to care for two aging parents and three children. There is no way out that I can see."

• I responded, "I am not questioning your commitment or loyalty, I think I am focused on the other end of the equation—to look at how you will be able to care for them long term."

• This led to a metaphor, "Jake, Sally, I don 't know about this but you both seem like sprinters and you are in a marathon. To run the best race, we need to figure out how you can best train and best conserve your strength. Nobody can sprint for twenty-six miles."

Later in the same group as termination had begun, another member began to opine that she would "get my time when my children are grown." Other members began to argue with her that she would be close to sixty and that her parents might still need her. Several group members told her that she needed to have some time to herself while she was young enough to enjoy it. She claimed that her husband and kids all felt that she was too overprotective and stifled them. She replied that her husband and children told her that all the time. After about fifteen minutes of struggling with that, my co-leader turned to me and asked, "What are you thinking?" When I responded, "Kenny's Cubs cap," all eyes in the group turned to me. After a pause, I continued,

• "I knew this guy, who, when he was a young boy wanted nothing as much as a brand new Chicago Cubs baseball cap. When he was nine, his older brother bought one for him. It was the greatest gift he could imagine. He held it, touched it, smelled it, put it on his dresser. He looked at it every night before he went to bed. However, he would never wear it for fear of losing it or getting it dirty. Regardless of his personal wish and his brother's encouragement that he wear it to school or to the ballpark, he was too afraid. That went on for five years. When he finally got to the point where he dared to wear it, he was fourteen and sadly it was too small."

A week later in the next session, she told the group that she had asked her husband to do the childcare on Wednesday nights, while she went to a dance class "just for me." She reported that he said yes without a second thought.

Power Of Positive Thoughts In The Post Modern Age

Power Of Positive Thoughts In The Post Modern Age

The Power Of Positive Thinking In The Post Modern Age Manifest Positive Thoughts In This Fast Pace Age. Positive thinking is an attitude that admits into the brain thoughts, words and pictures that are conductive to development, expansion and success.

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