Personal development groups in post graduate movement psychotherapy training : A study examining the contribution to practice
There has been little research into the value of personal development (PD) groups in arts therapies/counselling/psychotherapy training, particularly in relation to trainees developing practice, despite a number of studies evaluating personal outcomes for trainees. Programmes assume trainees will benefit, however, how (or indeed if) the experience contributes to their actual practice has yet to be explored. This paper highlights findings from an analysis of the follow up data six months after the end of a weekly, 1.5 h, DMT PD group for DMT trainees with reference to their reflections of the experience in relation to post-qualifying practice. The study was over three years, an intensive single cohort study which used qualitative methodology within a collaborative framework. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken (N = 38) with trainees on a nationally validated, post graduate programme in dance movement therapy (DMT – now termed dance movement psychotherapy/DMP in the UK) in higher education. The aim is to stimulate debate and research on this aspect of training in body psychotherapy, arts therapies and counselling/psychotherapy, all of which appear to use groupwork for self-awareness/personal development.