Conducting Large Groups
Making Sense of Being a Stranger in a Foreign Land
When a conductor steps in to conduct a large group she steps into a singular place: a nodal point, that carries with it many unconscious expectations that need decoding in order to understand what is happening. This paper gives an impression of my experience of conducting large groups in Finland. It has been written in close cooperation with Aila Kauranen, a Finnish group psychotherapist. I paid 10 visits to Finland: one to the Arctic Circle and nine to Helsinki. On two occasions, after a regular pattern of visiting every six months, the expected return invitation did not arrive. Both times this break occurred I felt it as a painful shock. It led me into some deep thinking about why this had happened. After studying Finland’s history and connecting my experience to the events both in and around the group, I realised that the unexpected and sudden breaks in continuity were perhaps the only way in which those associated with the workshops could let me know something of the deep social trauma they carried.
Inā hīkoi he kaitaki ki te taki ropū matarahi, ka hīkoi ia ki tētahi tūnga takitahi: he pūpeka, kawenga wawata o te mano mauri moe e mate pukuana kia mōhio ai he aha te aha. Mai i tēnei tuhinga ka hoatu he hāraunga o aku wheako taki rōpū matarahi i Hinerangi. He mea tuhi i raro i te mahitahitanga ki a Aila Kauranen, he kaiwhakaora hinengaro rōpū Hinerangi. Tekau ngā wāhanga i haere au ki Hinerangi: kotahi ki te Awhio Raki e iwa ki Heretiniki. E rua ngā wā, i muri mai o te haerenga ia ono marama, kāre i puta mai te pōhiri hoki atu. Ia wā i whātia, tino kaha te taunga hihiko pōuri ki ahua. Ka huri ki te whaiwhakaaro hōhōnu mō tēnei take. I te mutunga o te whai mātauranga mō te whakapapa o Hinerangi me te whakahāngaitanga atu i aku wheako i waenga i te rōpū, ka kite au ko ngā whatinga whakahaere ohotata, ohorere hoki, te momo whakamōhio mai a ngā tāngata o nga rōpū awheawhe rā i te taumaha o te mamae e maua ana e rātou.
Copyright (c) 2014 Ata: Journal of Psychotherapy Aotearoa New Zealand
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