Interpersonal relationships are experienced in these groups just like the daily life relationships. Students are given the opportunity to be their own self and interactions with members are similar to those in social places. This setting helps a person to experience interpersonal patterns which promote or destroy personal growth and development. As a result there is a corrective experience which comes with such suitable environments for effecting change and personal modeling. In therapy groups experiential learning usually occur in two forms for instance by solely focusing on here-and-now as a powerful change agent. This agent simply means that the past and the future are not with us and that is why great emphasis is on the present. Therefore in experiential learning a lot of emphasis is not put on the things which are not meaningful at that particular time (Schapira, 2000: 118).
Therapy groups are all about active experiential process therefore all of its members are encouraged to share their experiences through personal contact at the given moment. This is because the main focus is always in the now and here experiences. This helps an individual to realize the personal hindrance which must be overcome before making the needed progress. Besides that an individual is encouraged to take more risks in order to learn more about self and the interventions that must be taken. This experience places a student on the right platform for learning how development of emotional intimacy occurs and when such things should never be allowed to occur. At the same time one learns how to create interpersonal connectivity as well as being responsible of the ways they use in meeting personal needs. One of the most influential parts of this learning is the utilization of internal resources as opposed to relying on external factors for accomplishing you needs and goals.
Healing process is only achieved when one develops the habit or gains the ability of living in the present through the guidance of here and now model. Therefore one crucial step in the healing process of experiential group therapy members is the clear separation between there and then and here and now. When a person starts adapting to living in the present they also gain a clear perception of the things which used to hinder them. Besides that a person is enabled to identify some of the conflicts which were a major hindrance to living in the present. Conflicts are never well resolved when they have not been identified therefore this progress give way for healthy resolutions. When one begins to identify the unresolved conflicts and the major hindrances to the desired lifestyle the important issues which had been unsolved for a very long time also starts emerging.
The basic assumption which is greatly emphasized in experiential group learning is identification of unresolved past matters which may be hindering the present growth and development and effectively solving them. This is because unresolved past matters may greatly temper with the here and now accomplishment. Much stress and depression besides the feeling of hopelessness always occur because of the past circumstances which might have been very detrimental and painful. Therefore effective and complete healing can only occur when one takes time and identify the hidden conflicts followed by proper resolution of those issues. The opportunity to re-experience former unresolved conflicts gives a student the opportunity to expand individual awareness which may occur explosively or gradually. The new self awareness enables one to recognize, integrate and face that fragmented past which had been denied for a very long time. This process helps one to become complete and uniform in all relevant angles and aspects.
Another agenda which is mainly used in experiential learning is exploration of the individual or interpersonal world of every member of the group. This is one aspect which is very instrumental as far as personal growth and development is concerned. This strategy is employed because of a number of facts for instance a person is naturally a social being and therefore it is natural to seek relationships and place of belonging. For example there is much safety which comes with finding a place of belonging because one will always feel accepted and important. The well being of a person is only complete when an individual’s relational emotional needs have been catered for. Another reason why the above strategy is used is because personal life is always characterized by enduring recurrent interpersonal pattern. Therefore this strategy is important in understanding of self and your individual capabilities.
Exploration of interpersonal world also occurs because psychological and emotional well being cannot occur in absence of a pivotal criterion of emotional intimacy. Therefore emotional closeness with other group members is instrumental for emotional wellness. On addition to that isolation and personal avoidance is considered as psychological dysfunction. On the other hand interpersonal avoidance is a clear indication of harbored pain, bitterness and even loneliness. By exploring interpersonal world unhealthy habits like self protection, fear, avoidance and control can be broken. The above unhealthy patterns usually develop as a result of chaos, fear, turmoil, addiction, shame and blame. Disordered interpersonal habits are clearly indicated by poor relationships. One important aspects that has lead in successful modeling and transformation which have been seen in this group is that people are allowed to be what they really are and as a result the recreation of the group experience is a clear indication of who someone will be elsewhere.
Experiential learning gives a student the opportunity to experience the things which brought their downfall at some time in life. Therefore by participating in the group activities one learn strategies which will prevent him from falling in the same holes or issues. This experience gives an individual an opportunity to develop the needed strategies in overcoming the underlying issues. For instance one learns to pass by the issues which lead to their many problems on addition to that they learn how to avoid repetition of that mistake in the near future. This learning strategy is easily experienced than explained using words and it is the most effective way of learning and making the necessary changes and reforms. Students greatly benefit from this process because they are able to learn through personal experience and this is the best strategy for mastering skills and knowledge required in daily functioning. One is able to gain a great understanding and awareness of self besides that core listening skills are developed. The experience gained through experiential group therapy is enormous and applicable to daily life (Vilder, 1999: par 1).