What is an Encounter Group?
Generally speaking, an Encounter Group is a gathering of people who meet to gain psychological benefit through close contact with one another. Encounter Groups can vary from open-ended, unstructured process groups (that major in sharing and giving/receiving feedback regarding here-and-now life issues) to time-specific, special interest groups (that major in topic-guided material and interaction).
Patrick structures Encounter Groups as a blend of special interest explorations and here-and-now interaction. Encounter Group members learn to share openly and respond authentically to others as each individual wrestles with deep, psychological dynamics that are affecting his or her life presently.
Current Encounter Group Offerings
Below are the titles and descriptions of active Encounter Groups:
Healing Our Soul Wounds, a Belief-focused EMDR approach
According to the ancient Meso-American healing traditions, every human is thought to be born with the following "soul wounds": REJECTION. ABANDONMENT. HUMILIATION. BETRAYAL. INJUSTICE. Once these wounds have received the salve of loving awareness and communal support, it is believed that a human is then free to bring forth the gifts they were born to share with the world.
This Khingswood encounter group provides space to honor an individual's unique experience of each soul wound in the context of social empathy. Group members will work to identify core negative beliefs stemming from each soul wound; Patrick will utilize existential group therapy and EMDR-based treatment tools to aid in the remediation of soul wound symptoms (e.g. phobias, anxiety, depression, "stuckness", perfectionism, etc).
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much does it cost to participate in an Encounter Group?
A: Encounter Groups cost $30 per 90-minute session.
Q: How often does an Encounter Group meet? Where are they held?
A: Encounter Groups may meet at Tabor Space in S.E. Portland or at Patrick's East Portland office location. Specific room assignments are updated weekly and will be communicated accordingly
Q: How long will Encounter Groups meet together? Do I have to commit to a certain number of meetings?
A: The longevity of each Encounter Group will depend largely upon (1) the commitment of group members to the Encounter Group process and (2) the degree of interest and appreciation in the text utilized for that group. Encounter Group participants will be asked to make an initial commitment to attend six consecutive Encounter Group sessions (once a week) to establish a cohesive, working group. After this initial commitment, groups will evaluate their ability/desire to continue meeting together.
Q: What if I need to miss a week? (or, What if I don't feel like coming... ?)
A: Unforeseen shifts in responsibility are a part of all of our lives. Should you find it necessary to miss a weekly session due to personal issues, do so. However, committing to show up each week is integral to your and your group's psychological growth. If you begin to feel resistant to coming to a group session you have willingly committed to attending, this is likely an important dynamic to accept and make conscious within the group setting. Some of the greatest "ah-ha" moments of life occur when we push through our own resistance and develop the courage to be authentic with ourselves and others about the struggles we are experiencing.