Comparing Group Processes Between an Intensive Verbal Personal Development Group and an Intensive Dance Movement Personal Development Group
The study aimed to identify and understand the phenomenon of group processes comparing two Personal Development (PD) group modalities. One group mainly used verbalisation and the other mainly used movement for interaction and self-expression. Group processes were expressed through the analysis of the participant’s non-verbal movements and the verbal expressions of their experience in the group. The thesis of this study was that group processes can be expressed and identified through movement and verbal expressions. This study built on previous studies that have explored group processes in both Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) and in Verbal Group Psychotherapy fields in relation to PD groups. Two theoretical frameworks that underpinned this study were: DMP as group work and Group Psychotherapy with the primary focus on group processes in PD groups. These theories were selected for their pertinence to the understanding of group processes and PD groups. The comparison between the groups intended to answer the study’s question: which group processes as expressed verbally and non-verbally in movement can be identified in a dance movement PD group compared with a verbal PD group? Qualitative hermeneutic phenomenology methodology was employed in this study in order to answer the above question using two collection and analysis methods: movement observation using Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) and a thematic analysis of participants’ verbal reflections in semi-structured interviews. The findings of the study have shown which group process developed in each of the PD groups identified through the two collections methods. For instance, they were conflict, rivalry, trust, intimacy and cohesion. The analysis of the DM PD group has shown differences in findings between that which the movement observation identified and that which participants described in the interviews. The study aimed to contribute to the body of knowledge regarding group processes in DMP and group psychotherapy theory and research. Exploring group processes through the use of movement and verbalisation adds to the professional development and training in both fields. The study outcome offers an original contribution to practice, through the development of a group work guide for facilitators, derived from the group processes conceptual model. It represents a new way of understanding group processes and dynamics through the observation of a group’s movements and verbal reflections by participants. This guide is aimed at supporting facilitators of PD groups when considering interventions both when leading groups and when reflecting on the groups’ processes.
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