Facilitator Training

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A course on Group Facilitation: Working with autonomy and homonomy.
With Dot Clark, Colin Lago and John Wilson.

Location: 38 Bates Street, Sheffield.

Duration: This course will be held over 10 study days, (5 modules of 2 days each) and successful completion will lead to the award of a Temenos Certificate in Group Facilitation.

18-19 October, 2018 15-16th November, 2018. 13-14th December, 2018. 14-15th March, 2019. 16-17th May, 2019.

Overall Cost: £1450 (To be fully paid by September 30th, 2018.) A 20% deposit of £290 is to be sent with your application form. Please use the button below to pay your deposit

Introduction: What are our personal questions concerning group facilitation? Through an experiential discursive process we hope to co- create a learning environment in which we can mobilise all our questions as a methodology for pursuing our knowledge about the facilitation of group process. Following the first three modules of two days, we have scheduled a slightly longer gap of about two and a half months and in that time we hope that colleagues will be able to create or engage in the facilitation of a group process, thus providing more hands-on direct experience, and perhaps even more personal questions to address in the remaining two modules. A piece of writing will also be required for those wishing to be considered for the Certificate in Group Facilitation. There will also be a Continuing Professional Development Certificate of Attendance available for participants who do not wish to complete the writing.

Background Context: Dot, Colin and John have each worked as counsellors/psychotherapists for many years. Their early professional training and subsequent work was and continues to be significantly influenced by the theoretical and therapeutic practice developed originally by Carl Rogers and colleagues, now popularly known as the Person Centred Approach. Contrary to some commonly held assumptions and myths about the approach that it has focussed only upon individual development, i.e. the development of autonomy, these three colleagues are committed to supporting and developing an appreciation of the homonymous aspects (our relations with others) included in Rogers’ original hypotheses detailed in his 1959 paper.

We recognise, of course, the long tradition of working with and through group process within the Approach, from training of counsellors through to conducting large group experiences. However, this ‘working tradition’ has not resulted in any significant expansion of literature and theory development that we see has occurred within the counselling/ psychotherapy field. For example, the recent section on Person- Centered Therapies published in the Oxford Universities Bibliographies(2017) (online researcher resource) notes that, with reference to the book by Lago and MacMillan; “Surprisingly, this is the first and only book published on Person Centered Group work (since Rogers, 1970) that we know of and provides an edited collection of chapters from authors in several countries reflecting on examples of: small and large group work programs, efficacy of Person Centered group therapy, diversity issues, and group work in professional counselor training”.

Nevertheless, there have been important articles and chapters published over many years by different practitioners around the world. Of particular note we consider that the various chapters written on small and large groups contained in John K. Wood’s seminal book (2008) are worthy of note. He notes, amongst other things, that: the effect of group causes change in thinking processes; that exceptional states of consciousness can emerge within groups; and how important it is to understand groups as their own phenomenon (groups are not merely Person- Centred therapy with additional people present!).

Towards the end of his life Carl delivered a challenging address to the annual convention of the American Psychology Association, (Rogers, 1973). In that address, amongst other things, he asked the question: as therapists, dare we come out of our interviewing room and work in other arenas within society? Lago (2015) re-addressed these challenging questions for the contemporary era and more specifically to this subject, he explored the radical need for us to work more with groups, large and small, within community settings. (Lago 1994)

However, we are aware that there is a common assumption or myth that seems to be held within the profession that training as a counsellor/ psychotherapist, by implication, equips and qualifies you to become a group worker. Whilst not wishing to denigrate the very valuable experiences gained both within professional training and perhaps later group work practice, we hope to offer participants, through this course, an opportunity to experience, explore, review and enhance their skills, knowledge and confidence in their group work practices.

Lago, C. (1994) “The Need for Connectedness: Therapy for a Masturbatory Society”. Counselling, Rugby May.
Lago, C. & MacMillan, M. (1996.) Experiences in relatedness. Group work and the person-centered approach. PCCS Books. Ross-on-Wye.
Lago, C. (2015) New challenges to the Helping Professions forty years after Carl Rogers. Self and Society. Vol. 41, No. 2, Winter. Pp25-32.
Lago, C., Behr, M., Charura, D., Murphy, D. & Stumm, G. (2017) Person Centred Therapies. In Oxford Universities Bibliographies. New York. (Available online only- a resource for researchers in the psychological therapies.)
Rogers, C. R. (1959) A theory of therapy, personality and interpersonal relationsips as developed in the Client-Centered framework. In: S. Koch, (Ed.) Psychology: A study of a science. Study 1. Volume 3. Formulations of the person and the social context. McGraw-Hill. Pp. 184-256.
Rogers, C.R. (1970) Carl Rogers on Encounter Groups. New York: Harper and Row.
Rogers, C. (1973) Some New Challenges. American Psychologist. May. Pp 379-387.
Wood, J. K. (2008) Carl Rogers’ Person-Centered Approach: Towards an understanding of its implications. Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books.