Use of the Labyrinth in Mutual-Aid Group work
Labyrinth walking is a centuries old practice that has been used by many diverse cultural groups for spiritual growth and self-awareness. In the last few decades, labyrinths have been used in hospitals, schools, prisons, and churches for psychotherapeutic purposes. Today social workers and mental health practitioners, to aid in individual and family counseling, use the finger labyrinth, wherein participants use the index finger to trace within lines of a paper labyrinth. The purpose of this article is to introduce the use of the finger labyrinth in mutual aid group work, because it offers a dynamic approach to problem solving and enhances cognitive, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of group work. The auditory, visual, and kinesthetic nature of finger walking the labyrinth allows group members to use all the senses when working through a range of issues. This article discusses and demonstrates how the finger labyrinth can be utilized in mutual aid group work. An example of a 7-week mutual aid group using the finger labyrinth technique is presented. Group workers are encouraged to incorporate the finger walking labyrinth techniques into mutual aid groups in a variety of settings.
Keywords: group work, labyrinth, finger labyrinth, problem solving, mutual aid groups
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