Differences in Groups: Heterogeneity and Homogeneity
We often think about a group of people in terms of what they have in common; their differences, however, can also be important, especially those with an obvious social significance. In a therapy group we have to go beyond a legalistic or politically correct way of looking at racial, gender and other differences. We have looked in detail at the ways in which the group conductor strives to make the group a safe space where a wide variety of feelings can be explored without being enacted. Group members also need to be able to explore their differences in the knowledge that that there will be no active reprisals. The group conductor must develop her own personal awareness to make full use of her counter-transference just as she does in other emotionally significant areas. She will, for example, need to explore her own responses to disability, and also be clear about how the group’s boundaries will make exploration of this theme safe. Looking at the differences between people can be a difficult and painful process; it is important to understand the origin of such difficulties. It is only through looking at what actually happens in groups that the necessity of confronting differences becomes apparent.
KeywordsBlack Woman Eating Disorder Therapy Group Homogeneous Group Black People
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