Group Life Stages

Secular professional group workers also recognize several distinct phases of group life. These are called forming, storming, norming, performing and mourning/morning. I’ve added a preliminary phase, which I usually call “visioning,” although it’s really a bit more than that. On this site, I’m calling it “setting the course.” These phases are pretty easy to understand in groups which have definite starting and ending dates, like many classes. In working groups, which can go on for many years as the membership slowly changes, we cycle through these phases and sometimes even blend them. Still, without taking this phase model too literally, looking at each process separately can certainly help us understand what may be going on at any given moment of group life.

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by Judy Harrow, HPs, Proteus Coven
© 2006, by Judy Harrow

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