|dc.description.abstract||The aim with this research was to determine how cancer patients (the inner group) and
non-cancer patients (the listening group) experience the listening group technique. A
qualitative research design was utilised.
The reasons for undertaking this research were the following:
Experience has indicated that the listening group technique may be an effective
method to help individuals discover alternative life stories besides the dominant
stories that direct their lives. Some authors have expressed the need for therapists
to do research on the listening group technique to ascertain its effectiveness as a
The reason for focusing specifically on cancer patients is the high incidence of
cancer and the accompanying medical and psychological effects it has for the
individual. Psychological interventions appear to have positive results for cancer
The project was announced to cancer patients and their supporters, as well as in the
postgraduate Psychology classes. Six cancer patients, five supporters and ten students
participated on a voluntarily basis - twelve as members of the inner group (cancer patients
and supporters) and nine as members of the listening group. Eight members of the inner
group were female and four were male. Their ages varied from twenty - two to sixty - two.
The listening group consisted of six female and three male students, of whom seven were
honours students and two were masters students. Their ages varied from twenty - one to
twenty - two.
The study leader and the researcher acted as facilitators during the sessions. The process
covered five evenings. After the introductory session, the first two sessions were held in
the first week, while the last two sessions took place during the subsequent two weeks.
Each session lasted approximately two hours.
The way the participants experienced the technique was determined by means of semi-structured
interviews. The following five themes came to the fore on analysing the data:
other perspectives that developed and growth that took place during sessions, it was a
learning experience, the participants' experience of the process, the participants'
experience of the procedures and application of the technique, and suggestions that the
participants made. The results indicated that the listening group technique can be applied
to obtain beneficial outcomes for the participants. It can, inter aha, help them to develop
new perspectives about their personal dilemmas and stimulate personal growth.||