Group business brainstorming session.

Working with and facilitating groups

Blending theory, practice and experiential learning, Working with and facilitating groups offers participants the opportunity to explore the processes and skills involved in planning, leading and reviewing a group – building understanding and confidence.

Course leads Stephanie Segal and Peter Griffiths tell us more.

This course aims to provide participants with an understanding of the processes and dynamics involved in working with groups – drawing on a range of key psychodynamic and therapeutic concepts to examine what’s going on above and below the surface of group life.

Crucially, it also addresses the practical logistics of establishing and running a group – “taking on board the context, the setting, whether it’s on Zoom or whether it’s in person, how long the group is for, what’s the task of the group, who’s coming to it”, says Peter.

The course typically attracts participants from a wide range of sectors and settings: “We’ve had people from every single background you can think”, says Stephanie, “Arts, Science, Technology, as well as the more practical psychologists, nurses, mental health workers”. And this variety enriches the learning experience, as participants are encouraged to learn from one another, as well as from the course facilitators.

There is absolutely no similar course anywhere”, she adds, “and I think that’s one of the reasons why we’re getting applicants from all over the place, including internationally”.

What does it involve?

The course is structured over 10 weeks, with each half-day session made up of three elements, within a “rich matrix of learning”:

Why now?

While there’s always been a need for support in this area, the course feels particularly timely at the moment. Peter describes “a sort of economy of scale” in health, education and social care settings, where professionals are being asked to run groups without training or supervision, and with “little understanding of some of the issues and dynamics that occur”.

For those professionals, the course can offer “a template” for thinking about and approaching the process: “We hope that the course will enrich their knowledge and also give people the confidence to run groups on their own, if they haven’t done so before”, adds Stephanie.

Both Stephanie and Peter highlight the far-reaching impact of the training. There are immediate benefits to the individual participants: “We know from the feedback that we’ve had […] how much use they make, even within this short space of time, of the learning that they do”, says Peter. But organisations also feel the benefit. By bringing the learning back to their places of work, participants are able to actively strengthen the baseline of knowledge and skills in their organisation, and make a positive difference to its culture.

“Ten weeks is quite tight to fit everything in that we need to do”, admits Stephanie, “but we manage it, we think we manage it well”.

Want to deepen your knowledge of group processes?

Group business brainstorming session.

Working with and facilitating groups examines all aspects of group processes, dynamics and roles. It is suitable for experienced group facilitators, and for those wishing to run a group for the first time.

This multi disciplinary course is open to professionals from across all disciplines and sectors – including healthcare, social work and social care, education settings, the voluntary sector and beyond.

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