Mini groups provide an alternative to individual therapy. 3 clients and I meet for two hours at the same time every week for six weeks in order to explore a certain shared objective or theme. Examples of themes could be: self confidence, sexual confidence, family healing, spirituality, business success, healing trauma, releasing emotions, exploring masculinity, exploring femininity. We sit in a circle and group members take it in turns to be the focus of the session.
Some of the benefits of attending a mini group are:
- Experience the power of shared intention in a supportive group situation
- Small group means lots of individual face time
- Learn from other people’s experiences … know you are not alone
- Potential to develop a support network that continues to meet after the group has disbanded
- More easily affordable than individual therapy
What happens in a mini group
Every week the group starts with an opening circle in which we take hands and speak our intension for the session.
The first session
The first thing we do is agree our ground rules. These may be added to or altered by the group but my start point is:
- I agree to meet at [time] every [day of the week] from [date] until [date]
- I am physically and psychologically fit to enter into a group work situation
- I will respect the confidentiality of the group and agree not to talk about other people’s experiences or stories. I am free to talk about my own experiences.
- In the event that I or someone else is late for the opening circle then [agreement].
- For the duration of the mini groups I will not talk about the group members, therapist or group process with other group members. I will direct all questions to the therapist, I will direct all sharing to the whole group.
- I am responsible for my own emotions … even when they are being triggered by someone else.
- I own my communications (verbal and non-verbal) and speak for myself.
- I will let other members think, feel and speak for themselves.
- I will let the therapist know if I am concerned about anything.
- I understand that everything that happens in the group or between sessions is part of the work.
Once we have a shared understanding we begin with introductions. Participants share something of their current experience and what they are hoping to get out of the group.
We are now ready to move into the cycle of noticing, expressing, and learning.
The work: noticing, expressing, learning
The main work of the group cycles between individual focus sessions and group sharing.
For the focus sessions the group member opposite the therapist is the focus client and the members on either side of the therapist are observers. For a certain amount of time (or until a natural break point) I give all my attention to the focus client and work with them on whatever issue most greatly supports their desired outcome. While I am doing this the other members observe what is going on for the focus client and for themselves.
At the end of the focus time we move into sharing. Starting with the focus client I invite each group member to share any observations or ask me any questions arising from the last focus session. I take this opportunity to introduce any theory, work through any exercises, or teach any techniques that seem relevant.
At the end of the learning phase the group members move around a place and a new client takes their place in the chair opposite me.
At the end of each session there is another circle in which we take hands once more, reflect on what we have learned, come back to ourselves and prepare to go our separate ways for the next week.
At the end of the set number of mini groups we prepare to go our separate ways. It is acceptable but not expected that group members exchange contact details and stay in touch. Group members are free to decide to stay together for another set of mini groups or to join a new group.
If you are interested in being part of a mini group please let me know your preferred shared objective(s), days and times you are free.
I will take a deposit from you and post your proposed group on my site. When 2 more people are interested in joining you (you are welcome to do your own recruitment too!) I will ask for full payment and the group will begin.