Università degli Studi di Palermo (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 505-509
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
The current undergraduates Psychology programs, at least in Italy, usually aim to provide the student a synoptic view of the disciplines that are the main basis of psychological knowledge, affording a wide array of theories and models and presenting some of the techniques and practices. Nevertheless, the dilemmatic question, in the case of Psychology courses, is that the choice of pointing out the traditional training methods could imply an implicit distrust in the university context as a professionalising context, leaving the acquisition of technical skills and practices to direct experience.

In our opinion, the ability to listen to ourselves and others, and the ability to internalize a rigorous but flexible work setting, and to manage ourselves in the relation with users or in general with each other (that are the core competencies of a Psychologist) are challenges that involve self-awareness and relationship skills. We propose a conception of learning as a product of experience. From this point of view, the capacity to learn is more effective when the whole individual is engaged (e.g., its thinking, feeling, and behaviors) in a intersubjective setting.

The present work proposes a group-analytic, experiential and non-directive training model, based on median and large group settings, that focuses to provide a valuable knowledge by engaging students in their involvement and implication and in the integration of their thoughts, feelings, attitudes. The proposed model is inspired with the group-analytical principles originally developed by Foulkes. From a group-analytic perspective, the group is conceived as an organic entity and the trainer takes a less intrusive role (non-directive technique of conduction).

The main objective of our group-analytic experiential training model is to allow the participants to experience their selves in the encounter with others, being aware of their feelings, as well as those of others, to understand when it is appropriate to give expression to them, when to work on them and when to contain them. During the training process, participants experience "in vivo" the effectiveness of a model training program through the group setting. This setting is characterized by the suspension of all actions; work sessions do not have any specific goal to be followed, except the participation itself. It represents an highly implicative situation in which the known emotional and cognitive parameters development are not readily available to the participant who confronts himself with a potentially anxiety-inducing situation, dictated by a sense of loss of control on context variables.

The learning outcomes that may be obtained with this group model are here outlined and briefly exemplified through the content analysis of verbalizations of students who participated in a three-years experimentation of this experiential group setting.

The results confirm the usefulness of the group-analytic experiential training model, highlighting the construction of a professional self-awareness through exploring own relationship modalities in an intersubjective context experience.
Group-analysis, experiential training model, undergraduates psychology programs.