Supporting Parents. Fostering Change.

Finding Common Ground to Grow Together

Thinking about our current political quagmire through a group therapy lens. Like in any group, conflicts between members are natural and healthy. Without verbalized AND respectful conflict, things stagnate and nobody grows and changes. And, in an atmosphere of unmitigated anger, safety is lost. Opponents stop listening to each other and instead see each others’ words and behavior through a lens of stereotype and distortion. “My beliefs and actions are thoughtful and honorable while yours are crazy and evil.” The goal of a therapy group is to establish norms of mutual respect and trust. Even when group members disagree or don’t even like each other very much, they still see the group as an important place to solve problems and get needs met. Everyone in the group must be listened to and taken seriously or nobody will trust in the process. It is only AFTER people feel they are heard and understood that they may be willing to broaden their belief systems and then consider that there are multiple points of view and just as many ways to solve a problem.

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