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Differences in Groups: Heterogeneity and Homogeneity

  • Bill Barnes
  • Sheila Ernst
  • Keith Hyde
Part of the Basic Texts in Counselling and Psychotherapy book series (BTCP)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Black Woman Eating Disorder Therapy Group Homogeneous Group Black People 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The Estate of Bill Barnes, Sheila Ernst and Keith Hyde 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bill Barnes
  • Sheila Ernst
  • Keith Hyde

There are no affiliations available

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