The Fundamentals of Facilitation

One day introductory programme

One day introductory programme

Fusion proposes holding a day long workshop to explore the basic elements of facilitation -what the role is, what basic skills and qualities it requires, some of the key underlying theory, some of the ethical responsibilities. One of the principal aims of the trainer (Gerard Fitzpatrick) will be to immerse the participants in a facilitated group, where he elicits views and opinions from them, so that they experience what it is like to be in a facilitated group rather than simply talk about it in the abstract.

Proposed content

We explore groups through examining a number of essential points of theory by leading figures in the field. The workshop will be discussion based and is not a lecture.

Starting a group

Most groups start shy, awkward and cold (J Benson).

What to expect at the start of a group, how to respond to this.


a group becomes a group when people choose to belong to it (M Ringer).

We can only be facilitators if the group chooses to work with us; there is a high level of interdependency in a group between the facilitator and the group participants.


Those working on the development of others ought to be in an ongoing process of development themselves (Carl Rogers).

What do we do to ensure and attend to our own growth? Why is it important to do so?

The fundamentals

Cohesion is the bedrock of all group work (M Ringer).

How do we build cohesion, what advantages/benefits follow its establishment.

The participant

Stranger anxiety is common (Yalom).

What’s it like for a participant to enter a group for the first time? How can we support them? What skills help us to support them become a productive member of the group?

Benefits of groups

We are social and relational beings (N Diamond).
We get our sense of ourselves through our interactions with others (R May).

What are the benefits of groups?

Group norms and culture

when we put in place certain core conditions, people invariably develop the capacity to resolve their own issues for themselves (C. Rogers).

What are these ‘core conditions’, how do we establish them??


Cost of the one day programme per participant is €85. For an in-house group of up to 12 participants, the course is available for €795.


Gerard Fitzpatrick has worked as a group facilitator for fifteen years, and has extensive experience of working with the public and private sector. He holds an MA in Group Facilitation and a Postgraduate Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy. He is certified in Reality Therapy. He also possesses an M.Phil in History, a BA (Hons) and a graduate diploma in Training & Development. Along with working as a facilitator in a broad range of settings, Gerard lectures in Counselling, Psychotherapy and Facilitation at third level. Gerard has recently completed his second book on group facilitation.

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