Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Goodbye group, we hardly knew ya

We do have one more class tomorrow, but today was the last meeting of my T-Group that has been part of the intensive three-week Group Dynamics class I have been taking at NYU. Over the nine meetings we had, I felt I was starting to get to know my group members, and I was a bit sad to see it come to an end. It was a very different experience than most the groups (we usually call them IPR, or interpersonal relations, seminars) I have been a part of in CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education).

The most salient difference was that there was a very specific primary goal for the group of using it to learnabout group dynamics (while that's certainly one goal for IPR in CPE, I, at least, have never witnessed a supervisor making it explicitly the main focus for IPR).

Another big difference is that the class was split into two groups. One would meet for an hour while the rest of the class observed, and then vice versa for another hour. I've never heard about anybody doing anything like that in a CPE program, but I can say it's an approach that has some merits. I certainly learned much from the experience of observing the other group, and then writing process reports about what I had observed and about how the theory we have been studying contributed to my observations.

I have a lot of reflecting to do about what I've really learned over these three weeks, but I'm sure that my practice as a facilitator of IPR groups will benefit from it. I'm grateful to my fellow students for sharing with me and for the professor's leadership.

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