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and ensure to not hide behind their professional role. An extension of the facilitators authenticity within person-centered group therapy is the potential for spontaneous facilitator contact with group participants, when it feels appropriate and genuine (Rogers, 1970). Process of the Person-Centered GroupThe facilitator’s approach is non-directive and emphasizes an equalization of power amongst all group members; they don’t so much lead as they create an accepting atmosphere andassist members to express themselves (Bohart & Watson, 2011). The group facilitator leaves sessions unstructured, and allows the group to spend the sessions as they wish (Rogers, 1971). This allows for members to demonstrate their typical interpersonal styles within the group without a sense of authority impacting members authenticity (Corey, 2014). Despite the lack of
6THE PERSON-CENTERED APPROACH TO GROUPSplanning and structure, Rogers(1970) was able to delineate 15 process patterns, or “observable clusters of behavior” (Fatout, 1992, p. 45) that he witnessed within his person-centered therapy groups. The sequence of these process patterns varies substantially from group to group, and each one may not necessarily occur within each group (Rogers, 1970). The following will be a review of these trends.1. Milling around. Without an authoritative leader of the group, the group tends to feel lost and confused in the beginning of the group process, resulting in frustration (Rogers, 1970). When this phase occurs, group members look to the facilitator for guidance and leadership, asking questions such as “who is responsible here” and “what are we supposed to be doing” (Corey, 2014, p. 269).2. Resistance to personal expression or exploration. Naturally, at the start of the group process, members present with facades of how they believe they should behave within the context of the group (Corey, 2014). Participants in this phase are resistant to sharing their private selves with the group. The resistance of group members can be experienced as ambivalence or defensiveness (Fatout, 1992). 3. Description of past feelings. Group discussion about feelings begins to dominate more of the group’s time together (Rogers, 1970). However, the ‘here and now’ is dominated by the past in this phase (Motschnig & Nykl, 2014); personal feelings are disclosed however they deal with events outside of the group, and are described in a “there and then fashion” (Corey, 2014, p. 270). 4. Expression of negative feelings. Expression of here and now feelings emerge for the first time, most often as attacks towards the group facilitator for not providing ‘proper’ leadership and guidance to the group (Corey, 2014). This also marks the beginning of members’
7THE PERSON-CENTERED APPROACH TO GROUPSassertion of personal boundaries as well as the establishment of group behavioral norms (Fatout, 1992). 5. Expression and exploration of personally meaningful material. Members begin to take risks by disclosing personal material (Rogers, 1970). The development of a sufficiently trusting environment is key to this occurring. Some participants will naturally open up quicker, which creates ambivalence among others in the group (Fatout, 1992). Earlier resistance and