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Write down the problem. Identify why you think this is happening. Why is this difficult dynamic happening? What or who is the cause? One way in which the teaching function appears to differ from the counseling function, as we now see it, is that the teacher may be useful to the group's exploration of purposes by indicating some of the possible resources which members may use. In a course in adjustment counseling, for example, students were told of a variety of ways in which they might implement their purposes -- through class discussion, through lectures if they desired, through reading of published material and unpublished cases, through observing play therapy sessions, through visiting counselors on the job, through listening to recorded counseling interviews, and so on. They would probably have been unaware of a number of these resources if the instructor had not mentioned them. But suppose they choose to have only lectures? This will test rather deeply the instructor's philosophy. If the group asks him to do something which is basically counter to his own ethical principles -- such as requesting him to arrange for them to listen to a counseling interview without the client's permission -- then in justice to himself as a person he will wish to refuse. But if the group differs with him as to what is effective in learning, and wishes him to give lectures, he may find it most consistent with his deeper views to acquiesce. A lecture which is given at the request of the class is quite a different experience for all concerned than one which is imposed upon the group. The instructor would still have the responsibility of checking from time to time as to whether he is meeting the current purposes of the group, since it is the immediate perception of purpose, not the perception as it existed three weeks ago, which is the basis of such a course. We may say the aim of the instructor is continually to assist in eliciting the contradictory and vaguely formulated individual purposes which gradually combine into a group purpose or purposes. Connection isn't just being nice. It's the wholesome flipside of addiction: it both stimulates our biological reward systems and makes for a kinder, more loving world. THE COUNTERINTUITIVE WISDOM OF DISORDERS AND DISEASES When we think of coping, our thoughts usually go to behaviors as opposed to psychological and physiological (as if we can really separate the two! We don't usually think of disease as a way to cope, particularly diseases we identify as physical, like diabetes or cardiovascular disease, yet disease can act like a drug or a bad habit in that it's a way you respond to and try to deal with stress. The difference may be that your body imposes disease with less conscious control or participation from you.

Consider type 2 diabetes, in which insulin resistance limits the body's intake of glucose (sugar) by the muscle and instead stores it as fat, which can be deposited on the liver. It can wreak havoc and make people really sick, and yet it evolved for a reason, serving an adaptive purpose. During cycles of feast and famine, when early humans couldn't be sure of their next meal, these sugar-rich fat cells could help people survive. This thrifty genotype hypothesis, proposed by geneticist James Neel in 1962, still holds sway in the scientific community. Go with whatever the immediate thought is that comes into your head. It doesn't have to just be one cause; Write them down. Let's say your answers are: He never listens to what I'm telling him and He's incompetent. Notice any Always or Everything causes in your answers, and circle them. While these could be real causes of your problem, they will lead you to a problem-solving dead end. Clearly, He never listens to what I'm telling him is an Always cause, and He's incompetent is an Everything cause, because it's a character indictment that extends way beyond this particular situation. Now come up with as many Not Always and Not Everything causes as you can for the problem. The goal here is to generate as many possible changeable causes as possible. The table below lists some common Always and Everything explanations and their counterparts to give you some ideas. He will participate in furthering these purposes by pointing out resources of which the students may be unaware, and will either clearly accept or clearly reject the roles assigned to him by the group in furtherance of their own purposes. The Changing Role of the Leader As we have tried to find the most effective means of releasing the capacities of students in the educational situation, we have experimented with this procedure and that. If the leader deals with the group by responding solely to the emotionalized attitudes and feelings expressed, voicing a clarification or an understanding of these without any structuring comments, the group experience tends toward becoming pure group therapy. The leader's responses have tended to focus attention upon these emotional aspects. If the leader structures the initial session around the purposes of the course, that tends to be the framework within which the group experience takes place, and most of the feelings expressed have to do with the subject of the course.

We have discovered that a very minute amount of structuring has a decided effect upon the nature of the group experience. Though the part played by the leader appears quantitatively small, if judged, for example, from a typescript of the class period, his behavior is highly important. The group may have made decided progress in feeling itself responsible for the course, but if the leader gives final answers to several questions directed toward him he is likely to find that he is again in the conventional role of the expert, and that the group is again dependent upon him. It has also come to be recognized that the leader role which is most necessary and most effective in developing a permissive classroom climate is not necessarily the role which the leader should play throughout the course. A consequence is that today's dieting behavior may encourage diabetes, because dieting mimics the historical famine experience--after all, your body may know it's being deprived of food energy but it can't guess at the cause. Think about that. Dieting, a commonly prescribed solution to diabetes, is actually part of its cause. It makes you wonder what other disorders we misunderstand by focusing too much on behavioral cause and effect at the expense of our bodies' (natural) fundamental needs. Framing disorders and disease as a response to experiences, rather than contextualizing them in specific organs in isolated human bodies, lets us understand suffering within a pathological environment and avoid the victim-blaming that often accompanies diagnosis. In other words, it's not your fault. Science has established that people's physiology belongs inextricably to the environment in which they live, work, and play. Typically, when we hear the word disorder or disease, we think of individuals who need treatment. We're going to reframe that to consider a troubled society needing transformation. Most illness is socially distributed, meaning certain social groups are more likely to develop the condition. For the situation with your employee, you might change your He never listens to He isn't listening to what I'm telling him about this project. He's incompetent could, instead, be seen as He's not strong in these particular areas. Can you see how you've now reframed them as solvable problems, rather than morasses of stuck-ness? Come up with new solution strategies aligned with your Not Always and Not Everything causes. For instance, with your employee a new strategy might be I will partner him with someone who is strong in this particular area, so they can work together to get the project done, and hopefully he can learn from this person for future projects. ALWAYS/EVERYTHING NOT ALWAYS/NOT EVERYTHING

She is irresponsible. She was careless in this situation. He doesn't care about me. He didn't ask me how my big presentation went today. Shedlin, from his experience, gives a good account of this changing role. At the formation and during the early stages of the group the activity of the leader should be largely one of acceptance of his students and understanding of their output. He should be nonjudgmental in his desire not to intrude upon the value systems of his students. This may be termed mood-setting action. It removes threat and consequent defensiveness. He functions as an emotional and ideational sounding board. His attitude is one of respect for and reliance upon the group members to plan activities and derive satisfaction and growth according to the needs and intents of each individual member. As the group develops and the atmosphere is a known, consistent quantity to the students, the actions of the leader should subtly change to match the altered relationship. He is then in a position to participate more freely on a this is how I feel about it basis without preventing continuing analysis and exploration by the members of the group. If he has been deeply sensitive to the changes in groupness, he should be able to do this successfully, with the attitude that the students are perceptive enough of the classroom atmosphere to freely accept or reject the leader's comments without feeling their own values under attack. Their vulnerability usually tracks differences in social class and opportunity, even when genetics has been accounted for. It's not that genetics or behavior don't matter in disease incidence, just that social determinants also play a role--and in most diseases, population-wide, often a much larger role. As an example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that social or societal factors contribute over 55 percent influence to population health, compared to about 5 percent genetic and biological contribution. DETERMINANTS OF POPULATION HEALTH12 Chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease are mislabeled lifestyle diseases, when in fact behaviors aren't the central problem. It's the difficult lives those behaviors are in that cause disease.

Marginalized people have worse health and worse health behaviors, yes, but their health problems don't come from those behaviors alone. Studies show that in the higher levels of illness among low-income people, only a small percentage comes from behaviors like smoking, poor nutrition, and lack of exercise. Those studies find that stress and the environment play by far the bigger role. We get sick, in other words, not predominately because we do or eat the wrong things, but because our lives are hard, our environments toxic, and the resources that would empower us are beyond our reach. She's not good with deadlines. She didn't meet this particular deadline. Everything is going wrong. I'm having difficulty with these specific things right now. FOR THE NOT ALWAYS/NOT EVERYTHING TYPES: If you tend to have a Not Always/Not Everything style, you'll likely have far fewer instances where you get stopped by Always/Everything thoughts. At the same time, if you're stuck on a problem, it means you're also likely not seeing all causes and hence solutions to it. It can be helpful for you to generate some Always and Everything causes to identify if there are factors over which you truly have no control and that you need to accept with grace or to work around. Learning to discriminate between solvable and unsolvable problems takes practice. But over time, you'll naturally start to see bright new solution possibilities for tired old problems. With this skill, you can untangle the knots in life that before seemed impossible. It should be emphasized that throughout the entire group life, while there may be subtle changes in methods or action, the attitude remains consistently one of democratic unity. Speaking of a particular course in which he was the instructor Shedlin continues in the description of his approach. The instructor attempted to conduct all sessions of the course in a consistently permissive, student-centered manner, allowing the initiation and direction of the discussion to be determined by the values and interests of the group. The role of the instructor may best be described didactically in two separate areas, although practically it is impossible to compartmentalize. The first is in terms of his activity as an individual in the group, and the second, his operative position as the leader of the group. The relationship which seemed to build as the course progressed indicated almost complete acceptance of the instructor by the group -- at least to the point that the students discarded all former concepts of the authoritarian rule vested in a leader and found no hesitancy in interrupting or disagreeing with the statements of the leader.