Group Facilitation

Group Facilitation Training May – November 2019

Applications are now being taken for this training

We are all social beings shaped profoundly through our group experiences, starting with our family of origin, and then other groupings throughout life. Being part of a group, whatever its aims and objectives will evoke some of these early experiences, and effective group facilitation requires being able to make sense of, and work with the resulting dynamics. This programme will provide participants with foundational skills in being able to hold a group, make sense of key group processes and develop strategies to foster growth in groups. Using the Re-Vision ‘Cycle of Transformation’ model as the integrating frame, the course will provide a framework for engaging the life and dynamics of a group, as well as practical coaching in the design and leading of groups.

Group work offers unique opportunities to explore the social dimension of relating within the context of therapeutic holding. Groups offer a ‘process in action’ opportunity to learn new ways of being and to develop awareness about personal blind spots through feedback from other group members. They offer an accelerated and powerful insight into relational dynamics and can provide opportunities for corrective experiences. The foundational requirement that enables this process is a facilitator who can provide a holding environment within which group members can make sense of their experiences.

Part 1 consists of six weekends over seven months. The focus will be on the how rather than the what of leading. Coaching will be used to balance learning and to develop an imaginative and empowering context in the practical competences of skilful group facilitation.

The practical aims of this training are to enable participants to:
• understand and work with group dynamics
• contain and catalyse unconscious process
• assess their facilitating strengths and weaknesses
• increase their range of group facilitation skills
• have practical knowledge of how to organise a group, including assessment of potential group members
• use embodied sensations as a gateway to group processes
• understand their own patterns / roles within groups.

This training is for: counsellors, psychotherapists, coaches, trainers and those who have group work experience and are facilitating or planning to facilitate workshops and training courses. It is suitable both for those who wish to incorporate a facilitation element in their work and for experienced trainers who wish to refine their skills.

Method
The learning method will combine theory and experience to foster ‘inside-out’ learning in which participants’ understanding is intimately connected to experience. We will attempt to situate ourselves in the gap between experience and the language we use to describe or reflect on it. This gap is a liminal space that fosters empathic attunement and creative response.

Inside-out learning includes:
– The experience of being a group participant
– Facilitating group sessions with live feedback
– Integrating learning within the work situation

“I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason” Keats

Course Components
Saturday/Sunday 10am-5pm

1. Introduction to groups and the role of facilitator – Anthea Benjamin & Adam Kincel – 25-26 May 2019
There are many ideas of what groups are and how they need to be facilitated. In this weekend we will discuss different types of groups which participants may facilitate with a focus on styles of facilitation and group boundaries. The first weekend will attend to the important process of forming as a group We will reflect on the developmental processes of setting up a group and creating a containing environment for group participants to contribute consciously and unconsciously to the formation of the emerging group identity. During this weekend, we will study our own evolving behaviour and highlight the systemic and individual factors that contribute to the dynamic experience of becoming a group. Attention will be given to working with difference, and to the transformational effect of authentic engagement. Participants will be invited to experiment with their own preferences, both as a group participant and their style of leadership in running a group.

2. Group development and levels of group interventions – Adam Kincel – 15-16 June 2019
The aim of this weekend is to broaden awareness of whole group processes and to find practical ways of approaching them when working with groups. A practical and theoretical introduction to stage related interventions will be offered with an emphasis on the group formation, early development and working with conflict. Participants will experiment with various levels of group intervention such as whole-group, subgroup, interpersonal and intrapersonal and using their own countertransference to sense the field of the group.

3, Anti-group processes in groups – Anthea Benjamin- 20-21 July 2019
During this weekend we will explore group dynamics. Starting with the exploration of safety and norms in groups, we will move on to explore distribution of roles within groups, shame dynamics and the support which the group may need to explore disagreements and conflicts. Within this we will look at the role of the facilitator and their capacity ‘to sit with the explosion’ as it emerges in the group, how to survive attacks toward the group facilitator and make use of this to understand the group communication.

4. Vulnerability and embodied resonance – Adam Kincel – 28-29 September 2019
The vulnerability of the facilitator is the place of connection to the group and its members, but how to cultivate the vulnerability in often heated moments of the group life? ‘Sitting in the fire’ (Mindell) is just the beginning but feeling and empathising in the fire brings it to another level. In this weekend we will deepen the awareness of embodied sensitivity and find ways of restoring it in the moments when facilitators feel challenged. We will look at groups from the perspective of embodied and spacial awareness, focusing on movement and experimentation.

5. Group as microcosm of society –Working with difference within the group matrix – Anthea Benjamin – 26-27 October 2019
This workshop explores the interrelationship between individual and collective shadow and identifies the factors that contribute to unspoken processes within groups. We will explore how shame can become a dominant factor in these conversations and how to work with the group shame to enable open dialogue, which is often painful and conflictual. We will explore the need to engage with shadow material and how to work with projections into marginalized identities. We will explore the need for facilitators to be able to engage in these socio-political themes and the skills needed to enable them to stay with the difficulty and trust the group.

6. The end is a new beginning: Integration – Anthea Benjamin & Adam Kincel – 23-24 November 2019
The final weekend will focus on participants’ learning through leading the group and debriefing their experience in relation to conscious and unconscious processes in their facilitation. We will reflect on the 6-month group training and consolidate learning throughout the certificate programme. We will review participants’ learning, both as group members and as facilitators leading groups.. We will explore ending in groups and the means to enable groups to have an experience of ‘good enough’ endings. We will vision together about taking facilitation skills into the world as group facilitators and how participants will integrate learning in work with groups, with a focus on future development and practice.

Assessment and awards

Those students who complete Part 1 of the programme with satisfactory feedback from their peers will receive a Certificate of Group Facilitation. For the award of the Diploma, students will need to complete a case study of 6,000 words while undertaking a further six months of facilitating groups supervised by a member of the training team. Details of Part II are below.

Part II Diploma in Group Facilitation

Some participants will find part 1 adequate for their needs, but others will want to continue to Part 2, the Diploma in Group Facilitation.This extension course, which starts in 2020, is open only to those who have completed Part one. Details are in development but essentially it will consist of:
1. Six monthly Friday evening supervision of group work groups
2. Six monthly Saturdays including:
a) Course Design: the principles of course design in relation to different stages of group life and the balance between conscious planning and the space for flexibility.
b) Group Leading: a practical group led by participants to deepen understanding of unconscious processes in groups and offer coaching in relevant methods
3. A final group assessment day debriefing case studies and trainer feedback.

Fees: Part I: £1,325 Part II: to be confirmed
Application

Please give details of your training, relevant qualifications and field of experience, and your response to the following questions:

Why do you want to do this training?
How do you intend to use it?

Send your answers together with details of your name, occupation, contact address, telephone number and email address to Re-Vision with a non-returnable application fee of £50. Some bursaries are available – details on request.

Training Team

Adam Kincel, PhD, UKCP is a relational gestalt psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer. Adam has completed a PhD in psychotherapy looking at large groups and social identity. He currently offers psychotherapy and supervision in London, trains at Re-Vision and other psychotherapy training centres in England, Bulgaria, Georgia and Poland.

Anthea Benjamin is a UKCP registered Integrative Arts Psychotherapist, Supervisor & Group Analyst trained in Humanistic, Integrative and Psychoanalytic approaches. Anthea has worked in arrange of settings such as NHS, private and community setting for over 15 years. Anthea trained at the Institute for Arts and Therapy in Education (IATE) where she also worked since 2010 as a group process facilitators and trainer. Anthea continues to run groups in a range of organisations and has a private practice working with individuals, couples, groups and supervisees. She is the co-ordinator for this course.