The Personal development group I believe is to learn about yourself and be able to discuss with others and share ideas and advice; for me, i guess the assumption of individuality point out really many important concepts, which has made me indentify many issues within myself. I now realise that many experiences, which I had been through in life have been important in shaping my character. The exercises to increase myself awareness have extremely challenged the way I feel, think and respond to others; for example where I may not have given someone a chance previously due to the way they present themselves, I have now learned not to judge based on first impressionsto the extent that for my personal development to grow I needed to gain further insight of myself to understand my responses.
Communication plays an important part in a learning experience. I believe we can communicate through words and body language. Within the group sometimes i felt and sense hostility in a level where, at times when I felt like some comment weren’t appropriate or misunderstood I felt powerless to speak my mind.
Robinson et al (2005) states that “status can cause distress within the team; in the group, members have different skills, experience and opinions, which we were always expected to respect”.
From the start of the PD group, I didn’t feel that my arguments were listened to by some of the group members. I felt like people were inconsiderate and difficult in their responses and feedbacks however, my stubbornness and persistence in the group strengthened me and enabling my involvement in the group to grow considerable in the topic discussed regardless as the weeks went by. Also my listening skills and the use of silence improved because these were the counseling skills areas that I was finding difficult to use.
I have learn to open myself to others and allowed them to give me feedbacks which mean I did put myself sometimes in a vulnerable position.To illustrate this I felt betrayed by a friend in a personal issue during this course. My immediate reaction would have been for that person not to be part of my study life but due to skills I’ve learned from this course such as active listening, reflecting, self challenge of my behaviours and responses this did not happen. This means that because I allowed someone to show me my blind self, my unknown self became smaller. I accepted the person’s criticisms about me but do not feel responsible for that person’s behaviour.
What I have learnt during this course alongside further reading is a more competent understanding of the signals. I now feel more secure in my interpretations and acknowledgment of my body language. I feel these skills that I’ve learned and body language are beneficial to the extent that I can keep myself safe by noticing my own intimacy and interpretating it for what it shows.
Due to my initial difficulties settling into the first personal development group, I used meditation often for relaxation prior to attending the group; a benefiting skill l have acquired during the course of my studies which has helped me in continuing and focusing on this course. My approach to teaching meditation to prisoners was to treatthese men the way l personally would like to be treated regardless of my crime that is, to regard them first as human beings and individual, then as clients which l tried to share with the group. One reasonfor this success is based on my approach to backgrounds.
When communicating within the group I have learnt over the period to rephrase my sentences and asked questions to make better understanding of what have been said. I felt taking turns when giving feedback was beneficial and it had prepared me for my placement practice in improved communication. I have gain better understanding of my experience in my group; I have not only recalled my experience but made decision on what I am going to do to improve my interprofessional skills.
During my time in the group, I have gain better understanding of what group work is about. Through my experience, I feel that I have learned how to relate better to other members and how to respond in a professional manner.
I now feel that the facilitator was attentive and easy to communicate with. She was quite observant of what was happening in the group. I am happier as I believe the group has moved forward and I have learnt so much. As being from African ethnicity fluent in French language rather than English, I have since living the UK, grown in an environment where people are treated differently. The PD group as I saw it was a diverse group; we all come from different backgrounds with different beliefs and values; I have over the years and in the course of my studies experience different types of treatment and discrimination to say the least. I have always been fully aware of people’s individuality and treated it with respect as I know how this feels.
Throughout this course I have challenged my behaviour and responses in professional and personal relationships and I have raised myself awareness and will continue with this learning process. These skills I have gained will be the roots of further learning in any other counselling courses I embark on and also in life as whole.
RESPONSE TO PEER APPRAISAL OF KATHRYN AND LISA
Kathryn mentioned in her peer appraisal that I don’t take feedback; I disagree. I have always been able to take constructive feedback not feedback based on my person but on my contributions in the group regardless of my limitations. I might appear to take my feedback wrongly; this is due to lack of clarification and misunderstanding in communication from me and the group. Everyone in the group had noticed and mentioned changes and improvement in me. It is a pity that there was a personality conflict within the group, but this If I may allow myself to believe, has brought some positive changes within each and every one of us in this group.
Robinson M. and Cottrell D. (2005) Health professionals in multi-disciplinary and multi-agency teams: changing professional practice. Journal of Interprofessional Care. Vol 19(6) p547-560