There is something very special about being part of a healthy, well functioning group whether that is a work based team, a sports team or the family group which is the core group in most of our lives.

 A much loved part of my work is using groups for personal and/or professional development. These groups are managed using group analytic understandings.

Group analytic understanding is based on the view that people are fundamentally social and that each person is determined by the world they live in. The individual is thought to be a nodal point in a network of social processes. Symptoms of distress are as such thought to reflect blocked connection and communication with the group.

Every group has a matrix. That is to say every group has a particular net­work of communications made me up from all people within the group. The matrix is built up of (i) member’s cultural roots, (ii) habitual attitudes and roles well learned, (iii) unconscious projections and (iv) tribal and archa­ic elements. Group Analytic spaces are dedicated to developing understanding and exploration of what we communicate and a hope of encouraging better connection to our realities and the people around us. Through a group ‘s discussion, meeting our reactions, our connection to symbols, imagery and association along the way, we can enable each other to better understand ourselves, each other and some of the stories we all live.

It is quite a common concern to feel uneasy or embarrassed at the thought of sharing one's feelings with others, especially when first joining a group. It takes time for a sense of trust to develop, but this usually happens quite quickly, followed by a sense of relief at finding that one is not alone. The sense of closeness that develops can be immensely strengthening and supportive.

'The experience of belonging to a group over time can in itself be healing. To be oneself and to have a sense of belonging: these are valuable achievements in a pressurised, at times alienated existence.' Morris Nitsun

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