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Awareness In Action- Self- Awareness And Group Process

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A truly inspirational, user friendly book…

Title: Awareness In Action- Self- Awareness And Group Process

Authors: Phylis J Philipson & Juneau Mahan Gray

Publisher: University Press America 

Reviewer: Claire McGuigan, practice education coordinator for Nursing & Midwifery, Northern Health & Social Care Trust. Northern Ireland

What was it like? 

A truly inspirational, user friendly book written with a genuine desire to gently guide each reader to self-examine how they affect others and examine how others affect them in their personal and professional relationships.

What were the highlights?

The book is divided into 10 chapters, is extremely tightly written – there are no spare words, no filler paragraphs. It is relevant as a textbook; more useful as a workbook. It has been designed for those pursing mental health degrees and other human relations professions; nursing, medicine, public administration and business. It is a welcome addition to all such curricula but could also be used in any workplace to assist individual, group or team self- awareness. This is a must for lecturers, team leaders, managers or group facilitators in any organisation. The book has two clear purposes

1. To assist individuals to become self-aware about how we impact others so our influence may become intentional and result in positive outcomes.

2. To articulate and strengthen the role structured group experiences have on individuals and culture.

Strengths & Weaknesses?

Self-reflection/awareness is not new and many resources already exist. If you read this book you will find that you will think differently about much of what you currently do; in fact you will think about the way you think, the language you use and the behaviours you choose and begin to see a new way of being. The authors help you think in ways that you may not have done previously and support your development through a range of engaging practical exercises.

You are asked to select the most appropriate resources and interventions that best match your personality, lifestyle and interpersonal goals. Complete the simple exercises and gain an awareness of your current style of interactions; assess the limitations of your style and try out new effective strategies. Action plans for consolidation of learning and skill development are included as well as useful tools to debrief and support.

Focus is applied to awareness of self, group process, group leadership, creativity and humour, identity and human indifference, thoughts, feelings and actions that lead to behavioural changes and wellness. The entire book is a valuable resource. The section on – “Self- awareness, identity and human differences”, is particularly useful; offering eight exercises to allow individuals or groups to appreciate the full range of human differences. Nurse education and practice would be enhanced by employing these exercises.

Who should read it?

This book is a great teaching and development aid, suited to the classroom or the workplace; short exercises could be used for lesson planning or personal development plans. The book is sensitively written; at the end of each chapter there are two boxes one is “A moment to reflect” and the other “A moment of humour”, with some extraordinarily pertinent quotes that are charming. This is a modern tool box of resources which can help you to refine your skill and enhance your awareness of yourself and others.

awareness in action

awareness in action




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