About Interactive Process Groups…

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

– Helen Keller


Process groups offer a forum in which people can connect in novel ways with themselves and others. They provide a venue for developing relationship skills that influence every area of life, from the personal to the professional.

Human well-being depends on having a network of supportive, authentic, emotionally meaningful relationships in one’s life. Such relationships are characterized by openness, mutual support, respect, and integrity; they provide a sense of connection, well-being, security, and purpose.

The conditions that allow such relationships to develop aren’t generally found in school or at work. Process groups provide a unique environment in which people can learn valuable skills which they then carry into their outside lives.

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During group, we pursue two primary goals:

  • Honing our ability to carefully notice our own internal experience while in relationship with others
  • Honing our ability to honestly articulate and make skillful use of our internal experience in service of establishing, deepening, and sustaining mutually nourishing relationships

Each of us develops habitual patterns of relating and attempting to get what we need from others. Many of these patterns serve us well; others leave us feeling stuck, frustrated, hurt, resentful, and/or lonely. Process groups help members develop new and effective ways of relating to other people. Over time, you become more familiar with your usual habits and patterns of relating. You discover the ones that work well, and the ones that no longer serve you. And you can experiment with changing outdated patterns in a safe, supportive setting.


What makes this kind of group different from other groups?

A process group can have immense therapeutic benefit, but it is not a therapy group. Members don’t come in order to heal from some diagnosable condition.  They come to learn, grow, and practice being exceptionally open with one another. It’s a collaboration in which members agree to express the thoughts and feelings they have towards one another in real time. In the process, members not only develop deeply intimate relationships but they build relational & emotional skills that influence every area of life.

Another difference between process groups and therapy groups is that process groups have no pre-determined “topic.” People are free to talk about whatever they like, but the most important topic is one’s immediate experience, as it arises in the moment, while interacting with other group members. Paying careful attention to one’s-own-experience-while-in-relationship is the engine that drives the group.

Lastly, in most “therapy groups” groups, members are discouraged from knowing one another or having contact with one another outside of group. A process group is more like real life in that people sometimes know one another from other settings, and all members are free to associate with each other – or not – in whatever ways they choose. Within the confines of the group meeting, however, everyone strives to relate to one another with an unusually high level of candor, vulnerability, and emotional honesty.


Process Groups can help you:

  • Deepen your capacity for intimacy
  • Become more assertive & take more risks
  • Express your needs, feelings, hopes, and fears
  • Feel more comfortable connecting in a group of people
  • Speak your truth and develop a sense of inner authenticity
  • Learn how to deal with anger and conflict constructively
  • Change stuck patterns in your relationships
  • Grow more outgoing and socially comfortable
  • Learn more about the part you play in relationships that remain stuck or unsatisfying
  • Develop relationships and become part of a community


You’ll develop relationship skills such as:

  • Being in touch with your feelings and reactions, and expressing them effectively
  • Understanding other points of view
  • Summoning the courage to bring up challenging issues
  • Letting others know you and understand you
  • Empathizing & listening
  • Becoming more aware of your own blind spots
  • Establishing boundaries & setting limits
  • Allowing yourself to be more open and vulnerable
  • Building trust, responding to breaches of trust, and rebuilding trust
  • Identifying your needs, desires, hopes, and fears

What happens in a Process Group?

  • A strong sense of support and community develops. Members join in order to deepen their connections with other people, to work on themselves, to support each other, and to learn about their own and others’ patterns of relating.
  • The group is far more than a time to talk about problems and get advice. When the group meets, we look at the ways we respond to one another, the strategies we use in relationships, and the choices we make. We look at how these affect us as well as those around us. We explore the places where new understandings and growth can happen
  • At your own pace, you’ll gradually learn to risk showing the group more of who you are. When members of a group take the risk of opening up, they often discover that they are not only accepted but appreciated for their courage and trust
  • You’ll identify patterns of relating that don’t work for you so that you can change them, and you’ll identify patterns of relating that do work for you, so you can expand on them
  • You’ll get direct, honest, feedback about how you affect others, and why they’re responding to you the way they are. This process is immensely clarifying and helpful in your life outside the group
  • In learning more about how your behavior affects other people, you’ll also learn how others’ responses to your behavior influences your image of yourself
  • You’ll learn how to identify your feelings, and the subtle emotional responses people have when interacting with one another
  • You’ll see other people struggling with issues that may be similar to yours, and through this you’ll learn about yourself as well as others
  • You’ll have the opportunity to try out new behaviors in a safe setting

For more information, please contact me at (401) 709-4295 or ARoberts@archieroberts.net


 Related documents:

Preparing for a Process Group

Getting the Most out of Interactive Process Groups

Process Group Agreement

Process Group Application