The Polite And The Not So Polite

I have the fortune or misfortune, depending on your perspective, to work with primarily very nice and gracious clients. However, that is not always an enviable position when trying to facilitate a group of highly passive and respectful adults in a psychodynamic psychotherapeutic group. The issues arise on how to encourage them to confront one another with honest feedback; how to ask for honest feedback and expect to get it; how to practice new behaviors like assertiveness or even some of their lifelorigforbidden emotions like anger; or how to get them to become fully integrated personalities that encompass the polite and the not so polite.

This intervention is a safe way to start that process, especially for clients who are not comfortable with negative or hostile emotions. This will be particularly important as the group moves from the second stage to the third stage in the development of the group. According to Yalom (1995, p. 303) "the group embrace will seem ritualistic unless differentiation and conflict in the group are permitted ... [and] . . .when all affects can be expressed and constructively worked through ... does the group become a mature work group

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