Summary and review of social GGRRAAACCEEESSS
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Nigel Glaze - Counselling and Relationship Therapy (Individuals & Couples)
22nd August, 2017
Summary and review of social GGRRAAACCEEESSS as a useful tool in supervision
John Burnham and colleagues developed the acronym 'social graces' to represent aspects of difference in beliefs, power and lifestyle, visible and invisible, voiced and unvoiced, to which we might pay attention in therapy and in supervision. The 'social graces' have grown since their original development and currently represent: gender, geography, race, religion, age, ability, appearance, class, culture, ethnicity, education, employment, sexuality, sexual orientation, spirituality though the acronym can be more than a list.
The original process of creating understandings of distinctions with people about difference and diversity can be lost when practitioners view the framework as a “this is the named distinctions I know about” idea. The process of creating through language and being together in interaction can be fluid and hard to grasp this struggling together allows a greater awareness of the uniqueness of the otherness of people. This theraputic 'posturing', 'dance', 'positioning', 'relating' etc.. are all aspects of therapy and supervisory practice that are so important to the artfulness of therepaueic interaction.
Having said this the list like qualities also are useful in reminding and making named, some of the possible unique differences to be considered about ‘otherness’. This list thereby becomes a framework for considering further aspects of difference.
Separating into parts allows people to explore more fully the influence of particular aspects of lives that may have dominant presence or, alternatively, may be invisible or unnoticed.
Asking the question such as; "which of the social ggrrraaacceeessss grabs you the most" and reflecting on this, or, "what aspects do you least comprehend?" These are both helpful explorative questions within supervision allowing practitioners to consider further there familiarity with distinctions or otherwise.
References and acknowledgements:
Articles: Burnham, J. (2013). Developments in Social GGRRAAACCEEESSS: visible-invisible, voiced-unvoiced. In I. Krause (Ed.), Cultural Reflexivity. London: Karnac.
Divac, A., & Heaphy, G. (2005). Space for GRRAACCES: training for cultural competence in supervision. Journal of Family Therapy, 27: 280–284. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6427.2005.00318.x
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