Who benefits from the Congogram Counseling Process?
The Congogram Process is for congregations of any faith or denomination. It was tested on congregations from three different traditions.
Though the process can be beneficial for any congregation (see outcomes section), it is generally used for congregations experiencing:
- Transition, for example, leadership change, or physical move
- Serious conflict between groups or leaders
- Preparation for a new challenge
- Trauma in past or present, for example, sexual abuse by leader, sudden death of a pastor, tragedy in congregation
- Strong negative energy, for example, conflictual, stagnant, indecisive….
During this process the counselor spends six weekends (or mid-week times) spread over an approximate six month period followed by an evening meeting and phone calls as needed.
Outcomes a congregation can expect from the Congogram process:
- Official and unofficial leaders of the congregation begin the process, then the whole congregation becomes engaged.
- The congregation shares perspectives on key events in the history of the congregation and reflects on these from an emotional systems perspective.
- The congregational counselor prepares a detailed set of Congogram diagrams and a detailed analysis of emotional systems patterns throughout the history of the congregation.
- The congregation comes to understand the ways in which current patterns often have deep roots in the past history of the congregation. This includes healthy patterns as well as destructive ones.
- Participants reflect on their own roles in the system and learn skills for continuing this reflection on an ongoing basis.
- The congregation evaluates which system patterns have served them well and are worth continuing and enhancing, and which patterns have been problematic and could benefit from change.
- The congregation forms an Emotional Process Action Plan including short and long term goals. This action plan focuses on patterns of relationship and styles of interaction, not on programming, materials or facility.
The Congogram Counseling Process is a participatory and experiential process, not an intellectual exercise. Self-reflection is gently and persistently fostered throughout the process. Even if only a quarter of the congregation fully engages in the exercises, significant growth and change becomes possible.
The Congogram Counseling Process requires a significant commitment of time and money, but the outcomes will last for decades to come.