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Group Facilitation Skills

A 2 day workshop

The ability to deliver effective patient education in a group setting has never been more important than in the current climate. This course will equip you with the skills to use sound adult learning theory to plan and deliver courses which will harness ‘active’ rather than passive learning opportunities. The focus will be on helping you develop the skills of creating a comfortable learning environment that helps motivate clients to consider change. We examine group dynamics and how to handle more challenging group situations so that your confidence to both prevent and manage these positively will increase.

Course Aim

To allow participants to design and deliver effective and enjoyable patient-centred group programmes relevant to their own setting. The course will encourage participants to reflect on and improve their group work facilitation skills.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course each participant will be able to:

  • Identify the factors that create a positive learning experience.
  • Discuss how group dynamics can influence participants learning experience
  • Feel more confident when dealing with difficult group situations.
  • Match training methods with design and outcomes.
  • Reflect on their facilitation skills and be aware of their own personal style.
  • Recognise their own strengths and areas for development
  • Transfer the learning from the training environment back into their working context.

Course Summary

The course is delivered in a relaxed yet focused style. It is very practical in nature and built on sound adult learning theory and principles. Participants will have opportunities to design and deliver typical sessions and will receive individual constructive peer and trainer feedback. The course will allow participants to develop their skills in a safe and supportive environment thereby increasing confidence in their ability to lead a group. Participants will receive a course booklet that contains background reading and supportive activities to help the transfer of knowledge and skills back to the workplace.

Course Content

  • Adult learning theory and practice
  • Learning styles
  • The group planning cycle –aims; objectives; methods and evaluation
  • Identifying the factors the affect the success of group work.
  • Planning and delivering short sessions and obtaining valuable feedback.
  • How to manage more challenging group situations

Teaching Methods

The development of greater self-empowerment underlies the whole of the group work skills course; this calls for learning methods consistent with that philosophy. Self-empowered learning means that people take responsibility for their own learning; it is a shared activity where everyone has something to teach and something to learn; it focuses on building on existing strengths and on the experience of the learner. For these philosophical reasons, the activities in this course are all based on experiential learning methods.

Prerequisites – None

This course is suitable for all professionals working with groups to include: doctors, nurses, dietitians, psychologists, physiotherapists, exercise specialist and non-clinical practitioners.

About Instructor

Karan Thomas

Karan Thomas BSc (Hons)

Karan has more than 20 years’ experience in Health Promotion and Public Health practice as an independent consultant. Her specialist areas are physical activity, obesity management and behaviour change. After graduating from Loughborough University her early career saw her teaching physical education in a large Community College before joining health promotion as a physical activity specialist where she became involved with GP referral schemes. Since becoming freelance in 1985 she has been fortunate to be involved in many National Health Promotion campaigns e.g. Helping People Change, Active for Life, 5 A DAY. Her interest in behaviour change was born out of frustration with the traditional ‘advice giving’ approaches and she sought to find a more effective way at supporting professionals in helping patients to make lifestyle changes. She is an Honorary Fellow at Manchester University school of Epidemiology and Population Health and until recently was a trustee of the National Obesity Forum with specific responsibility for physical activity. She delivers training, conducts research and develops learning materials.

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