Large Groups in Teaching Counselling

Large experiential groups in teaching therapy

Using Large Experiential Groups in Teaching Counselling and Psychotherapy

presented at

Large groups in teaching counselling and psychotherapy


I believe there is only one place in the world which provides large experiential Gestalt groups in teaching counselling and psychotherapy. Each year in England a group of 70+ participants meets for five days to explore large group dynamics, build community and increase awareness of societal concerns and complexities. Patrick de Mare stated that large groups humanise the society rather than socialise an individual (1991). This presentation will include an introduction to his thinking along with other analytic and humanistic theories on working with large groups. Furthermore, it will outline some personal journeys collected through sets of relational centred phenomenological dialogues with students of the Gestalt Centre in London to show how large groups are being experienced and the effect they have on Gestalt trainees.


Agazarian, Y. M. (2004). Systems-Centered Therapy for Groups : Karnac Books.

Bunker, B. B., & Alban, B. T. (2012). The Handbook of Large Group Methods: Creating Systemic Change in Organizations and Communities: Wiley.

de Mare, P., Piper, R., & Thompson, S. (1991). Koinonia: From Hate Through Dialogue to Culture in the Larger Group: Karnac Books.

Finlay, L., & Evans, K. (2009). Relational-centred Research for Psychotherapists Meanings and Experience: Wiley-Blackwell.

Gadamer, H.-G. (2012). Truth and Method. New York, London: Continuum.

Hycner, R. H., & Jacobs, L. (1995). The Healing Relationship in Gestalt Therapy: A Dialogic – Self-Psychology Approach : Gestalt Journal Press.

Island, T. K. (2003). The Large Group and Leadership Challenges in a Group Analytic Training Community. In S. Schneider & H. Weinberg (Eds.), The Large Group Re-Visited: The Herd, Primal Horde, Crowds and Masses(pp. 201-213). London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Kreeger, L. (1975). The Large Group: Dynamics and Therapy : Karnac Books.

Lewin, K. (1952). Field Theory in Social Science : Tavistock Publications.

Mindell, A. (1995). Sitting In The Fire: Large Group Transformation Using Conflict and Diversity . Portland, Oregon: Lao Tse Press.


Comments are closed.