CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GROUP
The person-centered group may meet weekly for about 2 hours for an unspeci-
ﬁ ed number of meetings. Another format consists of a personal growth workshop that meets for a weekend, a week, or longer. The residential aspect of
Such small personal growth groups affords members opportunities to become
a community as a group.
There are few rules or procedures for the selection of members when organizing and conducting a person-centered group. If both the facilitator and
the group participant agree that a group experience would be beneﬁ cial, the
person is included. When the group initially meets, the facilitator does not
present ground rules by which members must abide or provide a great deal
of information or orientation. It is up to the group members to formulate the
rules for their sessions and to establish norms that they agree will assist them
in reaching their goals.
UNFOLDING OF THE GROUP PROCESS
On the basis of his experience with numerous groups, Rogers (1970) delineated 15 process patterns that occur in groups that employ the person-centered
approach. These process patterns, or trends, do not occur in a clear-cut sequence, and they may vary considerably from group to group.
1. Milling around. The lack of leader direction inevitably results in some initial
confusion, frustration, and “milling around”—either actually or verbally.
Questions such as “Who is responsible here?” or “What are we supposed to
be doing?” are characteristic and reﬂ ect the concern felt at this stage.
2. Resistance to personal expression or exploration. Members initially present a
public self—one they think will be acceptable to the group. They are fearful
of and resistant to revealing their private selves.
3. Description of past feelings. Despite doubts about the trustworthiness of the
group and the risk of exposing oneself, disclosure of personal feelings does
begin—however hesitantly and ambivalently. Generally, this...