In the meeting that I went to It was a group that helps people who have eating disorder. I went to one “open” meeting. I was able to attend and observe how the 11 therapeutic characteristics can be evident and beneficial in the meetings. Just like any mental disorder, eating disorders involves recognizing how people shows a problem in eating too less or too much or other type of eating disorders that can be generally called as bulimia or anorexia. Moreover, eating disorder is not a problem mainly about weight or food but a problem that deals with stress- and emotionally-related issues. Just like any other mental disorder, this particular problem is not that easy to change but meetings such as this one have been recognized to be really helpful in supporting the people who are suffering from it.
My assumptions about the program prior to attending involves how they imagine the different types of people who would be present in the meetings. I believe that the majority of the participants of the meeting would be women who have carried some issues about their weight and eventually resulting to an eating disorder. Another of my assumptions was that the participants would be young adults who are experiencing too much stress in life. Moreover, that the meeting would be dramatic or how there would be a lot of crying or patience to give for every participant who is suffering from the said problem.
When the meeting took place, I saw that the majority of the participants were female young adults, approximately aged 18-35 years old. There were four men, aged approximately 25-35 years old, who were also part of the meeting. There were 18 participants in the meeting, the coordinator of the meeting was a mature-looking woman who looked very friendly and approachable. I believe the way the coordinator of the meeting presented herself has helped the majority of the participants to open up freely about their struggles. When it comes to analyzing the characteristics of leadership styles observed in the meeting, the coordinator was able to lead effectively with some of these leadership styles, which helped the participants to effectively do the same and effectively gain the help they needed.
One of the characteristics of leadership styles shown during the meetings was effective communication. Indeed, the coordinator or the leader of the meeting was an excellent communicator, which is considered to be an essential characteristic. When someone knows when to speak, ask questions and give praise is considered to be as significant as knowing when to listen to others, which has been a very effective tool that the leader has used during the meeting. It can be observed how the leader was able to clearly communicate the goal of the meeting and her pure desire to help one another to face their problems.
Another leadership style that has been relevant and evident during the meeting was honesty. The leader was able to effectively show this by being honest herself about how she also had an eating disorder in the past. The leader was able to inspire the participants because of her credibility and one that came from being truthful about herself. Moreover, she was able to highlight honesty in herself and what her team was able to follow effectively. Another characteristics of leadership styles that the leader was able to portray during the meeting was her positivity. With the way she remained positive but also empathetic with the participants, she was able to motivate the group to give their best in helping themselves while they were at it. In view of this, the participants indeed became successful in helping themselves to fight their eating disorders.
I was able to identify some of the 11 therapeutic characteristics that were evident in the meeting, which includes the instillation of hope, universality, altruism, group and cohesiveness. The instillation of hope and universality are the most evident therapeutic characteristics that can was observed during the meeting knowing that the group who were part of the meetings were people who were suffering from eating disorders. Considering that they are facing the same issue, it is easy to recognize how they are inspired to help themselves and not just isolate themselves. With the help of this type of meeting, even by just being present at one of these, can already instill hope to anyone especially when the coordinator or the leader who leads the meetings is effective and capable of creating an atmosphere that helps everyone to be participative in every activity needed for them to really reach their goal of helping themselves fight or win the problem that they are facing.
Altruism was another therapeutic characteristic that has been observed during and after the meeting. Altruism involves helping others when they are in trouble, which was evident in the meeting that I joined as to how the leader herself and some of the participants were aggressive enough to offer a specific help to some participants, such as how they would give their time in a week just to meet with one of them to have someone who would help them with their issue. Group cohesiveness was another therapeutic characteristic observed as to how majority of the participants discussed how they were able to feel that they belong when they became a part of this group, and which helped them survive with the problem that they were facing.
Overall, the meeting that I attended revealed how the therapeutic characteristics, with the help of the effective contribution and performance of the leader or coordinator, were very effective in helping the participants with eating disorders. After the meeting, the participants, as well as the leader, were really intimate when it comes to helping one another with their issue such as how there are some who even prayed for their friends or new-found accountability partners in helping themselves with their problem. The overall experience was able to help me realize the importance of one another especially the role of having the capability of being a good communicator and becoming a supportive individual.
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