We (Allan, Aida, Susan and Terry) are a ‘group’ who’ve joined forces to provide training in group therapy. Group is a passion we share.
As we navigate this global pandemic our conversations have been a source of validation and support ... a safe space to process and make meaning of this unprecedented experience. We’ve never been more certain that turning to each other matters. We understand that our small group is a microcosm of the larger system and for that reason felt some of our reflections and resources might be helpful to you. We believe in the power of belonging.
On that note, the following paper by Baumiester and Leary has been immensely helpful to us in articulating the universal need to belong.
HOW ARE YOU?
We’ve noticed a subtle yet important shift in the way we ask the familiar question, “How are you?” from a standard greeting that really doesn’t expect or require an honest response, to a genuine heartfelt query that more closely reflects the notion,
“I care about you”.
Perhaps as we transition back from this time of social distancing to a new normal, we will shift from a handshake greeting to a bow, or motion of hand over heart, or palms together to signify this recognition and respect for each other. The meaning of the word Namaste suggests: the light in me recognizes the light in you…
REFLECTING ON OUR COLLECTIVE RESPONSES
“We are One” captures the universality of our shared experiences navigating this time of great uncertainty and turbulence. Our survival responses, fight-flight, freeze, collapse help us manage a complex emotional landscape marked by anxiety, grief and the existential threat posed by this pandemic. Our need for connection and our interdependence has taken centre stage in our global fight for survival.
Our moments of meeting in our small group remind us of the healing power of connection as we process our survival responses with each other and notice our group shift from survival into a working group marked by mutuality, reciprocity and cohesiveness.
We found the following article, by Scott Berinato, published in The Harvard Business Review on March 23, 2020, extremely helpful in naming one aspect of our collective response.
THE VALUE OF CONNECTION
In this time of turmoil and fear many of us have worked hard to maintain connection with one another. Increased use of online platforms, social distance street greetings, and an increase in various community and faith-based group attendance through online participation, all speak to our hunger for engagement. More than ever before we acknowledge our collective inter-dependence. As a society we have had to figure out how to be ‘separate’ and ‘together’. And we are!
As an example, please enjoy this beautiful video of the Rotterdam Orchestra playing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony from their homes... separately... yet together.
We invite you to share your thoughts and ideas about this start of our conversation with you.
We look forward to connecting with you in the next few weeks with another edition of our newsletter.
**BTW...we've just released the dates and fees for our 2020-2021 training program in Group Facilitation and Group Therapy. Detailed information about our program and how to apply can be found online at:
We welcome your feedback and any inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org
Aida Cabencinha, Allan Sheps, Susan Farrow and Terry Simonik