When participants find it difficult to distance themselves from evaluating their personal emotional experience of an exercise

Some people will need more time to “conclude” the process of emotional investment in an experiential exercise. Feeling unsettled is most often tied to being reminded of real life experiences, and this can completely prevent participants from moving to the rational level and appraising what actually happened. It is important to assess/check how many people feel this way. If it’s only a few, then you can continue with the analysis; but if there are more, then this indicates a need for more time to emotionally come out of the experiential exercise. Working in small groups can be a good way to come out of the exercise, because it allows everyone to speak more freely than some people are able to do in plenary. It is important that the training team takes into account the processing of emotions in experiential exercises, both from the ethical point of view – in terms of giving people respect – and from the point of view of the trust that needs to be fostered between the group and the team.