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Hums/206 - Mid Term Assignment

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Open Group Reflection


October 23, 2015


I was allowed to sit in on a women’s empowerment group at Daysprings Women Center in Valparaiso.  This group only contained women who are considered to be homeless. The women ranged in age, from 30-60 years old.  There were a total of 5 women who were participating in this group session.  The thing with this group was they all came from different backgrounds.  One woman may have been abused by her husband or boyfriend either mentally or physically, another may have had or does have a substance abuse problem, then there may have been the one who just had nowhere else to go, so she chose to use Daysprings services throughout the day.  The main reason they were in group was because in order for them to utilize the services of Daysprings they must attend the weekly group meeting.  In these group meetings I got to witness some great things, and I am happy I was able to attend because it made me realize that regardless of what their situation happened to be, they all got something out of the group, and that was support.

The day I sat in on this meeting, I went in thinking that we were all going to sit around in a circle and listen to every one talk about their problems, but once the group started, it was anything but that.  It was nothing like what I thought it was going to be.  Everyone came and sat down on the couches that are in the area where they hold the group, and the leader of the group introduced herself, even though everyone already knew who she was, she felt that I as a sit in, needed to know her backstory.  This was something I was not expecting, but it was nice to hear about the leader of the group because it made me feel a little bit more comfortable amongst these women whom I did not know.  She also explained to everyone what the group was going to talk about, which was good because it gave them a moment collect themselves and to think about what they could say after the meeting.  She also had a couple handouts that she gave to everyone, including me, that way we could read together what she would be talking about.  A lot of the information was to do with spirituality and ways it can help you overcome feelings you may be having during your crisis.  She also explained that change does not happen overnight, but it takes baby steps to reach your goal.  She then asked if anyone had any questions about the handouts, and if they did she sat quietly and listened to their questions and she then answered them the best that she could.  

The leader then went around to each individual and asked them how they were feeling, most of them answered with an “I’m feeling ok today” answer, and there were those who answered without a response.  The ones who answered with the “I’m feeling ok today”, did go into more detail about why they were only feeling ok instead of that they were feeling great, but she calmly listened to them and if they had a problem she brought up some suggestions while letting others in the group give their suggestions.  I did notice a couple key moments during this time, and that was all the women gave their full support of other members, they trusted the group leader enough to ask their questions or to talk about themselves and above all, they trusted each other. By the end of the session, I did notice that each and every member of that group walked with their shoulders held higher than when they walked in.  When they first walked in they appeared to have the “I don’t want to be here” attitude, but when it was over, I could tell that they were glad that they attended the group.



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