I braved a visit to a local ProcessWork group as I’m always keen to learn new ways of facilitating discussion, and helping groups find ways of working and communicating together. Even looking back at that sentence I’m not sure if it might already be a little bit wanky. Anyway.
“.. a dynamic orientation and method of working with the challenges of your inner life and outer life events. Its methods are also useful for facilitating organisations and communities dealing with conflict, recovery and social change” taken from ProcessWork.org.uk ‘What is ProcessWork?’
So, I don’t know, I was up for it. I like creative facilitation using things like forum theatre and I think it’s important to acknowledge and include the emotional baggage we’re bringing to the table in group work, even if just to know it’s there and try to put it to one side, for the moment. Again, I’m second guessing myself for evidence of wanky language and it’s really hard to not be a bit wanky about this topic – maybe groupthink isn’t such a problem as groupwank when it comes to navel gazing approaches to facilitation. It’s all getting a bit meta.
So, I joined the group and tried to be super, super open minded and all non-judgy and aware and accepting and all the things. The minute the facilitator started talking to explain what ProcessWork was, and her co-facilitator responded with a feeling statement about being grateful that we were all present, I could feel myself getting completely uptight about how wanky I was finding it already – but this was my response and I was trying to own it. I did own up to it, at any rate.
I’m glad I went – our discussion about whether we had met our expectations, what our expectations were and whether we could let go of having to achieve something every time we did something, if we could put down our desire for measurable outcomes and just do, was interesting and completely wanky at the same time, but was worth the admission fee alone. And as much as I sometimes think this reinventing of language to match a new arena of discourse (such as this arena and the need for people to be always ‘resonating’ or ‘showing up’ with a particular ‘energy’ and being ‘present’) can make it harder to communicate, not easier, maybe it is an important part of working out how we related in groups. And why do I hate it and always go back for more? It’s like a dreadful co-dependent relationship from my twenties – do I never learn?