This exercise is designed to build cohesion by pointing out commonalities. Obviously, trust is the key factor in getting individuals to open up in group. Remember, the group decided on the norm of “consistent participation including sharing…” This might help members challenge themselves because they committed to the norm. However, I think individuals are still worried about being rejected in this stage, so by encouraging members to use I-statements, and to fill in missing parts of their share might help them to express themselves more clearly and deeply.
We could suggest that members try to address five issues in their share: 1.what am/was I seeing hearing or otherwise, 2. What emotions am/were I feeling, 3.what thought or memory is/was supporting that emotion, 4. What action do/did I want from the listener, 5. What positive reactions to my statements do/did I want to occur. Hence, an expression might sound like this: “I heard my partner yell at me for contracting HIV and I felt ashamed and angry because I knew I had unprotected sex with another person. Please know that I am embarrassed and I hurt and I need someone to understand me” This gives structure to help men challenge themselves to communicate more effectively. The original statement could have originally been “I am mad at my partner for yelling at me.” This would be a group activity to teach them to expand upon their thoughts and