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TitleComparing group processes between an intensive verbal personal development group and an ...
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Comparing group processes between an intensive verbal personal development

group and an intensive dance movement personal development group


Submitted to the University of Hertfordshire in partial fulfilment of the requirements of

the degree of Doctor of Education (EdD)

MARCH 2017

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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

-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.

hich 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

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.

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constantly all the time in the same status. So there was some, there was some reference

to it. He was like a part of the group, but wasn't.

11.2 As a parent

Participant E said:

And participant A put the finger on her seductive place. She knows whether it's in front

of the leader or in front of her dad and also in front of the group in the techniques she

uses. W

where it was also a bit of seductive relationship, and there's also some transformation in

the relationship and I think it's interesting how you see the parallelism between the

personal story and the encounter with the leader. And you'll see that everyone is talking

about dad. I talked about dad and participant I talked about dad and Participant A talked

about dad and it's because The leader is a man.

The following table represents a summary of the main findings of themes and sub themes of

the Verbal Group.

Table 6 - To represent the main themes and sub themes emerging from the Verbal


Main themes Sub themes

1. Conflict 1.1 Rivalry

1.2 Aggression

1.3 Seduction

1.4 Jealousy/Envy

1.5 Anxiety

2. Cohesion 2.1 Empathy

2.2 Containment

2.3 Support

3. Intimacy 3.1 Trust and safety

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3.2 Sharing and feedback

4. Group Climate

5. Roles

6. Sub groups

7. Group Format 7.1 The

7.2 Composition of the group

7.3 The role of the camera

8. Group metaphors

9. The Participant 9.1 Physical Sensations

9.2 Self awareness

9.3 The professional

10. Attitudes towards the group


10.1 As a professional

10.2 As a parent

In summary, t demonstrated they were

able to address issues within the group, such as anxiety, aggression, seduction, rivalry and

envy. These feelings once dealt with and resolved enabled empathy, intimacy and cohesion to

develop into relationships through sharing personal issues and feedback between participants.

Themes of roles and subgroups that developed in the group were discussed as well as the


Participants acknowledged their physical bodily sensations in relation to feelings of anxiety,

. They developed self-awareness

through self-exploration and personal insight to attitudes, feelings, behaviours and ways of

establishing their relationships. Participants expressed their attitudes towards the duality of

their roles being a participant and a professional in the PD group. Further analysis of

will be developed in the discussion chapter to


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Quick/Accelerating a fighting approach to timing or pacing occurring in a process of

change that progressively accelerates or more abruptly quickens all or part of a movement. It

condenses the amount of time allowed for a movement or action to progress.

Sustained/Decelerating a yielding approach to timing or pacing occurring in a process of

change that progressively decelerates or elongates all or part of a movement. It expands the

amount of time allowed for an a movement or action to progress.

Space Effort the presence of Space Effort reflects a qualitative focusing of attention and

investigating in the space/environment that may or may not include a strictly visual focus.

Direct a fighting approach to attention in space creating a single-pointed, narrowly focused

awareness or investigation, making distinctions by probing for information.

Indirect an expanding approach to attention in space creating a multi-focused, flexible

awareness or investigation, making connections and groupings between objects of attention.

Flow Effort The presence of Flow Effort reflects identifying or engagement with others

(Lamb). It is seen as degree of emphasis in tension or release created in opposing muscle

groups as change during movement, described in a continuum of control and release of felt

expression through muscular tension.

Bound Flow a fighting approach to movement which creates more controlled, restrained,

precise, careful movement that can be stopped in discrete units at points in the movement

sequence. It contains more control of expression in movement action than Free Flow.

Free Flow a yielding approach to movement which creates more fluid, on-going,

unrestrained, continuous movement that cannot be controlled or stopped in discrete units at

points in the movement sequence. It contains less control of expression in movement action

than Bound Flow.

Space Category

The space category is an abstract construction that includes the personal space around the

body (kinesphere), and the general space beyond the personal space in which we move. It

includes forms created in space indicating where the mover is which can infer thinking.

General Space engagement in and awareness of the larger space occupied by group

members, including how the personal space is brought into the shared group space, including

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centre, middle, and peripheral zones of the movement space and pathways (straight, circular,

or meandering).

Group formation How the group forms: as rows, files, circles, randomly or in various


Group proximity How group members position themselves relative to each other: close,

middle, far close distance creates the need for more relating because of the possibility of

making physical contact, middle is a safe and neutral distance allowing for individual

experience, far offers less opportunity for physical contact. Going towards or going away

from one another or from particular zones of the room, reflects the desire to join with or

separate from others.

Shape Category

The category of Shape identifies the body shape forms created in movement as ways of

changing an orientation or relationship with the environment. It identifies ways of creating

perspective or positioning in relation to something or someone else. It includes changes in the

body itself; for example, closed inward shape which occurs in response to both inner and

outer stimulus. It also identifies changes in body shape towards others or objects such as

spreading movements in establishing relationships with self and others.

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