This was day one of three for the Group Facilitation course run by Yorkshire Counselling Training. As a volunteer for Leeds Mind (Inkwell) I was offered the opportunity to attend this short course at a very discounted rate, so I signed up!
I was a little concerned that the course would be very counselling heavy because the Yorkshire Counselling Training group were running it, however I knew that a greater understanding of facilitating any group would be really useful for me. Group facilitation is a great transferable skill that can be used whether working on a project at university, in a team for an employer, or running creative workshops – all areas of work I’m involved in.
Each session will be a full day and will run through the different stages of a Group – Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Norming (Tuckman, 1965). This first session explored Forming.
The key bits of learning from the day was establishing a contract with the group that everyone agrees with will be the best way to work together. I also got to participate in facilitating a group and a number of other group activities, which were really good for reinforcing learning, getting to know others in the group, and helping to get us relaxed. We mainly talked about the positives and negatives of participating in a group and understanding everyones point of view and how everyone could come together to achieve something.
Although many of the people attending the group were from counselling or mediation backgrounds, some people were like me and were offering craft and creative sessions to mental health clients and the community. There was something for everyone in the course and the counselling context meant that people were able to share some of the most challenging scenarios they have faced and we talked about how to deal with them – all situations that it will be unlikely for me to come across about leaning what to do made me more confident about other groups.