Equality In Human Relations

For many individuals, group therapy provides special skills to deal with problems in social situations. Among the difficulties experienced by clients is the inability to ask for acknowledgment of their personal rights and needs. The foundation of this problem may be a resistance to express both positive and negative feelings, a lack of confidence to be direct, and a judgment that their requests are unreasonable and unacceptable to others. Alberti and Emmons (1990) suggest that "Assertive behavior promotes equality in human relationships, enabling us to act in our own interests, and to stand up for ourselves without undue anxiety, to express honest feelings comfortably and to exercise personal rights without denying the rights of others" (p. 7).

The group experience provides for clients a forum for which they can reflect upon others' responses to their words and actions. It creates an opportunity to see themselves through the eyes of their group brethren and allows them to respond to their issues in ways that disclose their feelings and promote more direct responses. As a confidence builder, group therapy provides a safe environment wherein an insecure individual can practice intimidating interactions and learn various perspectives from others in similar situations. Support and reassurance from the group can be very empowering.

As a therapist now dealing with clients reluctant to advocate for their personal rights and feelings, I am reminded and often reflect on an intervention suggested to me while 1 was a member in group therapy many years ago.

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Pruning The Elements Of Death

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