How Oona Metz Discovered Group is a Lasagna

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 9:09 AM | Melissa Kelly


Today we are beginning our series featuring the presenters and facilitators for the Annual 2016 NSGP Conference June 10-12th at Simmons College in Boston.  Our presenter today is Oona Metz, LICSW who is running the workshop  “This Group is a Lasagna”: The Group Leader’s Use of Metaphor and Images in Group Psychotherapy" on Saturday June 11th.  Here's Oona sharing an experience we've all had as group leaders, and how it sparked her inspiration for her workshop topic this year:

The last time I led an Experience Group at NSGP, the group got off to a slow start. There were a variety of factors that contributed to the slow start including a couple of participants who arrived late. As the leader, I felt like it was difficult getting the group to flow.  I remember feeling a bit hopeless when we returned from lunch and the cohesion I had hoped for was still missing. 

Finally, near the end of the day, the group became a group, the members trusted each other, laughed and cried, fought and made up and I breathed a deep sigh of relief. During the hour long didactic at the end of the day, I described the group in this way: 

“This group was a lasagna.  You know when you throw a dinner party and you have a frozen lasagna and your dinner guests are coming at 7 so you put the lasagna in the oven at 6 and then your guests arrive and you check the lasagna and it is frozen pretty much solid? So you serve your guests some wine and cheese and by 8 pm you think it must be done, and you put your finger in the lasagna and it’s no longer frozen, but it's still cold. You start to panic, wonder if you should just order take-out, but your guests seem happy. You give them more wine and more cheese and finally at 9 pm, you check the lasagna and it is perfect. Nice and hot in the middle, with the cheese all brown and bubbling on the top. You serve it up and it is the most delicious lasagna you’ve ever had, even though you are eating two hours later than you planned. While you were worrying the whole night, your guests were enjoying the ride, making the best of what was there, happy to be fed along the way, and delighted to dig in to a nice hot lasagna when it arrived.”  

That image seemed so apt at the time, and in describing it to the group I was able to let them in on my experience of the group and to give them a compliment as well.  That was the moment I started to think about doing a workshop on the group leader’s use of metaphor in group

Thanks Oona for sharing your source of inspiration for your workshop!  

Oona Metz is a licensed clinical social worker with offices in Brookline and Arlington, MA.  She has been in practice for over 20 years and works with adults, couples, groups as well as provides supervision, consultation and training to clinicians on group therapy and a variety of other topics.  

To register for this workshop, and all the other great offerings this year, click here!


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