Six Dimensions of Facilitator Style: an overview

© 1977 John Heron

I provide here a brief summary of the six dimensions, and then proceed to analyse each one in terms of different types of intervention that fall under it.

Directive - nondirective: F (the facilitator) takes responsibility for deciding what the group does; or delegates this responsibility to the group.

Interpretative - noninterpretative: F conceptualises and gives meaning to what is going on in the group; or at most indicates behavioural phenomena in the group and leaves conceptualising them open to the group.

Confronting - nonconfronting: F supportively but directly challenges defensive and distorted behaviour in the group; or creates a climate in which the participant confronts herself from within.

Cathartic - noncathartic: F actively elicits cathartic release in the group through laughter, sobbing, trembling, storming; or creates a climate of tension-reduction without catharsis.

Structurinq - unstructuring: F structures the group process in one or more of a variety of ways in order to provide specific types of experiential learning and self-discovery; or provides the type of experiential learning that is consequent on no such structuring.

Disclosing - nondisclosing: F shares her own feelings, thoughts and responses with the group, or is present to the group in silent ways.

The above correspond, respectively, to the prescriptive, informative, confronting, cathartic, catalytic and supportive interventions in my six category intervention analysis.

© 1977 John Heron

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