Learning from Action (LFA) is an application of the Group Relations Conference approach. It is based on a methodology devised 70 years ago by the Tavistock Clinic and targets mental health practitioners and all those who wish to try out the GRC model but prefer to incur a lesser cost and time commitment compared to a classic GRC.

The Italian training model was first conceived in 2000, arising from the encounter between Bob Hinshelwood and Enrico Pedriali. It has evolved over the years in a constant effort to engage the culture of therapeutic residential centres in a dialogue with the GRC culture.

The primary task of this working conference is to:

explore how unconscious and non-verbal communication and group dynamics influence decision-making processes, accountability, and other aspects of working together in this temporary learning community.

LFA is a training model that offers participants a direct learning opportunity via a short period of residential-style cohabitation. It is designed to develop the basic competence of those who work in any capacity in residential or semi-residential facilities and of mental health service practitioners by training them to:

  • observe and learn to understand the language of acting and doing
  • explore and become aware of interpersonal, intergroup, organizational, and institutional dynamics and of the manifest or latent factors that are activated in decision-making processes
  • learn to reflect at the moment when action is taking place, and to integrate the three components of doing, thinking, and learning, which are normally kept separate from one other.

Each participant-resident learns to explore both their own individual way of working and that of the group, with a particular focus being brought to bear on non-verbal actions and communications.

Delegates have the opportunity to make decisions and take on responsibility – in the context of everyday events at the conference and in their relationships with the other residents – and to learn from this experience.

Reflection groups, plenary and intergroup sessions, activity groups, and review and application groups are all used to stimulate reflection and learning.

Participants can avail of supervision/coaching from staff members: together they form A LEARNING COMMUNITY.

The conference programme provides delegates with opportunities to spend time together and to focus on addressing the challenges of managing the three-day conference, with all that this involves: making decisions and organizing daily activities, living with and sharing experiences with others, engaging in personal reflection, and processing experience and learning as a group.