Transforming Through Group Process
STAGE IV: COMPLETION, THE END
When the purpose of the group has been achieved, or if the time for the group has expired, the group is faced with transforming. Transforming can take one of two paths. Redefinition, establishment of a new purpose or structure; or disengagement, termination, or death. The group must decide on its future or it will proceed down a frustrating, unfulfilling path.
The natural tendency for any group that has successfully achieved a full cycle is to attempt to remain together in some form in the future. The shared experience, with all of its pain and joy, its meaning and insight, bonds the members of the group together.
When the purpose has changed or the time has elapsed, however, the group must disengage. Groups often attempt to define ways of retaining contact after separation through letters or planned reunions in an effort to escape the pain of disengagement. Failure to disengage, to recognize that the life of the group, as its members have experienced it, has come to an end, will only lead to a unfinished feeling in the future. Even if the members remain in contact, or if a reunion were to occur (which seldom happens), the experience will never be the same as the context of each of the members will have changed. So as the person must face the inevitability of leaving this life, members must realize that groups too must die. But if nourished, the spirit or experience can live on
- Experience the joy of your time together.
- Complete the cycle?
- Share good-byes without sorrow.
- Treasure the uniqueness of your experience!
- Open yourself to the possibility that having learned here you may facilitate similar experiences elsewhere, equally unique.
REFERENCE:Â Â Â Â Â Â The NTL Publication: NTL Reading Book for Human Relations Training, 1982, Article by Richard weber, The Group: A Cycle from Birth to Death.