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Group Facilitation as Hermeneutic Practice


Walsh, K and Andersen, P, Group Facilitation as Hermeneutic Practice, Group Facilitation: a research & application journal, 12 pp. 15-20. ISSN 1534-5653 (2013) [Refereed Article]


This paper will be of interest to experienced and novice facilitators. It explores group facilitation and hermeneutic processes and presents a framework for the interpretation of behaviour in groups. The framework, which the authors have called the Group Interpretive Framework (GIF) is based on the concepts of the philosophers Martin Heidegger (1962) and Hans Georg Gadamer (1975). It aims to assist facilitators to develop skills in interpreting meaning in the group context. Such interpretation is necessary in order to understand group behaviours and intervene when necessary to improve the effectiveness of the group in meeting its goals. This paper takes as its premise that while there are frameworks that provide direction to facilitators in what to interpret (such as behaviour in groups including body language, tone of voice, facial expressions and levels of interaction), there are few which assist with "how" to interpret these behaviours. While the examples of the use of GIF in this paper are from healthcare settings, the framework is potentially applicable to any setting where group facilitation takes place.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:group facilitation, facilitation, hermeneutics, group dynamics, interpretation
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Social and personality psychology
Research Field:Social psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Walsh, K (Professor Kenneth Walsh)
ID Code:94912
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Health Sciences B
Deposited On:2014-09-19
Last Modified:2014-09-19

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