PPD: vehicle for self realisation or torture?

The concept of Personal and Professional Development Group (PPD) was not entirely new to me when I first started this course. I had a similar experience back then when studying for my masters, although that was for a shorter period of time each week. The PPD group I’m in now is for 1 and half hour and as far as I know, it seems like PsychD courses in other universities have similar groups although it may be smaller in terms of number of people in the group. For those who are uncertain what a PPD group is, basically, it’s a group where you are free to say whatever you want and bring whatever issues that you want to address, in a group that is. The idea is that the dynamics in a group is different from say one to one and obviously the people in the group are individuals in their own right with their own ideals and expectations. Therefore what you may get to experience is an array of responses to what you bring and hopefully that will help you in your personal and professional development.

Sounds pretty straightforward right?

Easier said than done.

Without compromising the confidentiality of the group I am currently in, the only thing I can say is that, be prepared to be challenged- at a personal level. Scary, but I suppose better out than in. It’s a good place to experiment your responses as well.

A thought though, why is a group needed if a challenge is to be made at a personal level to a specific someone? Is there a cultural difference where social niceties are more prevalent here and therefore a boundaried space is needed to say things that you wouldn’t normally say due to social constraints? Thinking about where I come from, I suppose we have been known as ‘rude’, because one just address things in a more direct manner between peers.

M

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