Early In The Groups Life

When a group is forming there is a lot of anxiety about whether the group is a safe place (Tuchman, 1965). Among the fears each member brings with him or her are those that have to do with what could happen if there is conflict. Will I be damaged? Will 1 damage someone else? Will it just be too scary or uncomfortable? Will the group fall apart? The therapist will share in this experience.

Since we each learn about conflict early in our lives, mostly in our original families, that is the experience we bring into the group. If we grew up in a painfully conflictual environment, this is what we will anticipate when conflict arises in the group. If we grew up in a con-flict-avoidant environment we received two messages: conflict is scary and/or useless, and we are better off not dealing with it. Often, in the family of origin, when there was conflict there was always a "winner" and a "loser" with no experience of a mutually beneficial result. Regardless of the dysfunctional style, when these families were in conflict they were incapable of being nurturing and secure.

Major questions then arise about the group itself. When there is conflict, how durable is the group-will it survive? How safe is the group-can I survive? How durable is the leader-will he or she be okay enough to take care of me?

The first step in establishing the safety, security, and efficacy of a group is the experience of the therapist as being durable and safe. In dealing with a confrontation will he or she retaliate? Punish? Fall apart? Avoid the issue? Or will he or she deal with the conflict non-defensively and in a way that leads to understanding and growth?

So at this stage, the therapist must be ready to hold each member individually as needed. When there is conflict, one way to do this is to redirect the anger away from the group member and onto the therapist.

How To Reduce Acne Scarring

How To Reduce Acne Scarring

Acne is a name that is famous in its own right, but for all of the wrong reasons. Most teenagers know, and dread, the very word, as it so prevalently wrecks havoc on their faces throughout their adolescent years.

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