Being a former theatre kid group work is the usual. Collaboration is not only the expectation but it is the rule; a rule I have shifted easily into my understanding of my role as a counsellor. This collaboration is particularly evident in group counselling dynamics.
My experience within the group therapy class was easily the most significant learning experience of my entire MC (outside of my practicum). Through the experience of creating and presenting a model of group therapy I developed skills not only in group therapy, but honed a deep and passionate area of personal commitment to social justice - access to care for fat clients. Even more specifically access to care for fat, queer women and femmes.
Below are some information and intake sheets I created to advertise this group. FYI: This group is not in existence yet but it will be… soon!
I would do one thing VERY differently though: I would not ask for legal name on the intake form. Legal names don’t matter, and are often very triggering for trans and non-binary folks.
The true gift of this group was the support of my classmates and instructor and because of this support I got up the confidence to apply for, and subsequently present at the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy (CCPA) Conference in Winnipeg, MB in May 2018; and the American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA) Annual Meeting in Austin. TX, also in May of 2018.
My mom and I traveled together to Winnipeg during the playoffs! Here’s a little slide show of our time in Winnipeg. Click on the picture for the next one.
When I got to Austin I realised all the stars of Narrative Therapy were there so I totally changed my presentation. I knew I couldn’t recite their work back to them so instead I took the opportunity to have a conversation with my colleagues about how to make their practices accessible to fat clients.
I have never been so terrified in my whole life but the conversation was wonderful, radical, and created a lot of questions. The conference as a whole was a complete recharge and I felt so honoured to be included in a space that honoured diversity and inclusion so totally. I bet you want to read my speech right? Here