The fragmented feelings that I had sometimes experienced in that room were something that I was keen to explore more. I needed to allow myself ‘to be’ rather than try to explain, as the latter was the result of some cognitive responses.
The absence of Paul on the second Friday gave a different dynamic to the group. While some people felt unregulated, others expressed more liberating feelings. I personally felt that his absence did allow everyone in the room to have a more relaxed attitude, and this was confirmed when he returned the following week. During the Friday that Paul was away, ideas around the meaning of the group and its use resurfaced during various conversations. I reiterated to the group my views about it by saying that for me it was not something for us to make or give meaning to it, but was something to experience. In other words, a place where I could question some of my feelings, attitudes, and way of being, either towards the other members of the group or outside of it.
For the following week when Paul returned, we shared our thoughts on how different the group was. this was something that I also felt. However, this was somehow expected, as the absence of anyone in the group changes the dynamics of it. But this time his absence made a bigger impact, as the group started to wonder about what Paul signified to the group and what his contribution was if any. Ideas around power and authority came into play, and some members of the group felt freer in his absence because that authority or power was not there. I was trying to understand if I also saw Paul as an authoritative figure that influenced the way I expressed myself or when I made a comment. Did his presence influence me? Yes, of course, it did, although he was the moderator of the group. As far as I was concerned, he was a figure that helped to dictate peoples’ feelings. .