Exploring Encounters. How the Group Leader Can Facilitate Moments of Meeting
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This study was based on videotaped material from sessions in a self-development group. The purpose was to examine how the group leader can use words, body language, positioning and touch to create and handle encounters with the group members in ways that are optimal for achieving desirable changes. The main theoretical framework is Stern’s work on the present moment. The study also draws heavily on family theoretical work like that of Michael White and Salvador Minuchin. Encounters from the videotaped material were analyzed in detail, then the findings were related to five key aspects of facilitating change in a group setting: authenticity, trust, extracting information and moving the process ahead, challenging while maintaining sufficient security and finally the stage of integration/closure. The study clearly shows the importance of mastering these tools – individually and in combination. They are intrinsic components of communication and will necessarily affect any relation or process. Moving from an intuitive grasp to a higher level of awareness is an important step towards mastering the role of a group leader.