10 November 2011

Group work fun at Chandos House

Charlotte and I were asked to run the group sessions at Chandos House, the holistic addictions recovery centre, yesterday. So, what did we do? Well we kicked off with a 15 minutes grounding/meditation exercise. I would have meticulously prepared it, once upon a time, and stressed out about the delivery of it. Nowadays I am more more relaxed about this kind of thing. I appreciate that it's not everybody's bag but if some of the group can get something out of it then great. Briefly, it involved a bodyscan, an invitation to bring awareness to the different aspects of one's body, internal and external. There was an appreciation of our uniqueness as complex, living organisms, then an invitation to bring awareness outside of one's self to the group as an entity. Feedback was largely positive, wiht many reporting feeling relaxed and comments ranging from "I don't do meditation" to "I felt angry about myself today but now I see that I am a living, walking miracle, even by just being alive".

Next off Charlotte ran a facials session, which saw 6 of the men wholeheartedly joining in - giving each other facials with Indian head massage. There was a lovely atmosphere and it was great fun. As the demo model, I got to have 2 facials - thanks Charlotte.

The final session of the morning was a group exercise  called a "body sculpture". We invited the group members to imagine the group as a body and to identify which part of the body they were and to position themselves on the floor accordingly, thus creating a living sculpture. We then asked exploratory questions about why they had chosen that part and which other parts they felt connected to. We were apprehensive that this might be a bit too weird and out there for some but actually, everybody there ending up participating. We had a head, shoulders, belly, heart, liver, hand, legs, foot and a willy. Charlotte and I were so impressed with the gutsy participation and the support the men showed to one another. The exercise was done with humour, compassion and solidarity.

I have a lot of respect for the organisation and the residents of Chandos House. Thanks James for allowing us this opportunity.

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