2015 Institute of Group Leaders' Conference -

Nature and Nurture: The new era for group work

Friday and Saturday, 9-10 October 2015

Wesley Conference Centre - 220 Pitt St, Sydney

Sponsored by:


The IGL Conference explored the following themes:

  • Building resilience using group work
  • Neurobiological approaches and how they can be applied in group work
  • Trauma informed group work
  • Interpersonal neurobiology and use of group connections
  • Motor-sensory and multi-sensory approaches
  • Mindfulness in group work
  • Empowering people for change.

An emerging field in the study of resilience is the neurobiological basis of trauma.  We are all born with our own unique genetic make-up (nature).  Our early life experiences (nurture) significantly influences how our genetic potential is expressed or not.  We have also come to understand that our brain and mind can learn, unlearn and relearn well past our childhood years.

 The new era for group work requires group leaders who work with vulnerable communities, to utilise the expanding knowledge of neurobiology.  Understanding  and applying knowledge about how the brain develops emotional intelligence and the interplay of the brain’s amygdala, limbic system, epigenetics, pre-frontal cortex  helps us become more proficient in developing a group work environment (nurture) that enhances connection, formation of relationships and learning.

Mindfulness, motor-sensory and multi-sensory approaches as well as the talking therapies can all play a part in developing group work practice that incorporates this knowledge. Group work requires group leaders to respond to the challenges experienced in vulnerable communities. Often this involves focusing on emotional regulation, where brain integration is enhanced (involving our awareness, thoughts and actions) instead of participants reacting in more chaotic ways (flooding of emotion or being over whelmed) or responding with rigidity (shutting down, isolation). This process involves noticing, recognising, modulating and expressing. When people experience trauma there is a change in the brain’s fibres and interconnections. If the brain is not given a task, it adopts a default mode. This leads to differentiated responses when people respond out of habit. When differentiated areas are linked it creates health. If they are not linked they create disorders (Siegel, 2010). Group work promotes the interconnection between people and the linking of these experiences. This allows us to exchange, share information and learn new responses rather than reinforce old habits.  

Day 1 Friday 9th October 2015

8.15am-9.00am

Registration

9.00am-9.15am

Welcome and Acknowledge of Country

9.15am – 10.15am

Keynote Facilitator: Howard Bath - How understanding adversity and trauma transforms the work of group leaders - Click here for an overview of the session

10.15am-10.45am

Morning Tea

10.45am-11.45pm

Keynote Facilitator: Cathy Kezelman AM - Exploring how prior trauma can impact group interactions and dynamics - Click here for an overview of the session

 

11.45am-12.30pm

Panel  & Launch of the Groupwork In Australia Book

12.30pm - 1.30pm

Lunch & displays

1.30pm - 3.00pm

Paper Session & Workshops 1,2,3,4

3.00pm-3.30pm

Afternoon tea

3.30pm - 5.00pm

Workshops 5,6,7,8

5.00pm – 6.30pm

Nibbles and networking at the ArtHouse Hotel, 275 Pitt St, Sydney NSW, 2000 (self-purchased drinks)

Day 2 Saturday 10th October 2015

9.00am - 9.15am

Welcome and Acknowledge of Country

9.15am - 10.15am

Keynote Facilitator: Susan Elvery - Working with the many traumas of domestic and family violence - Click here for an overview of the session

10.15am-10.30am

Launch of the IGL Endorsed Programs

10.30am -11.00am

Morning Tea

11.00am -12.30pm

Workshops 9,10,11,12

12.30pm –1.30pm

Lunch & displays

1.30pm – 2.30pm

Session – Trevor Armitage

2.30pm-3.30pm

Keynote Facilitator - Jane Caro - Engaging communities - Click here for an overview of the session

3.30pm

Close

Feedback Report for IGL Conference 2015

Key outcomes

  • 97% of participants thought their experience conference was very good to excellent.
  • 95% of participants reported the conference was useful to very useful to their work.
  • 90% of participants reported the location of the conference was good to great.  
  • 100% of participants reported the quality of the conference administration was good to great.

Feedback from the end of course evaluation form

 

 

Course feedback

 

Percentage

Attended

Friday

3

7%

 

Saturday

1

3%

 

Fri & Sat

35

90%

Experience of the conference

Excellent

22

61%

 

Very good

13

36%

 

Average

1

3%

 

Poor

0

0%

Usefulness – Not useful

1

0

0%

 

2

0

0%

Okay

3

2

5%

 

4

12

32%

Very useful

5

24

63%

Location - Poor

1

0

0%

 

2

0

0%

Okay

3

4

10%

 

4

16

40%

Great

5

20

50%

Quality of admin - Poor

1

0

0%

 

2

0

0%

Okay

3

0

0%

 

4

16

40%

Great

5

24

60%