This group is a place to fellowship and get support from people who have faced similar situations in their lives, openly discuss issues that are important to you, share your experience, ask questions, learn something new and meet new people.
How does this work?
We sit in a circle so we can all see one another. We start with a round of introductions. All you need to say is your name (or pseudonym). You can also say how you feel, express your expectations from this group or voice something that you want to share.
After the round of introductions we pool the topics which the participants would like to discuss. Anyone can suggest a topic for discussion. The facilitators write down all the topics and then we vote for the topic to be discussed at that particular meeting based on what sparks the most interest. The person whose topic is chosen then elaborates on it so everyone gets a better understanding of why this subject is so significant for that person.
Then we start our discussion. We share our experience, our emotions and thoughts. As a result, the topic comes alive and becomes multifaceted and complex. The facilitator makes sure the participants follow the rules, so that every voice is heard. If you don’t want to speak, you can just listen – listening is a form of participation, too.
At the end of the discussion the person who proposed the topic talks about what they felt and how they feel about the topic now. Alternatively, the person can just thank everyone for the discussion.
Then there is a final round where participants can share what this discussion meant to them, what thoughts and emotions they are taking with them.
We show respect by:
— Using first-person statements when talking about our experience, feelings and thoughts
— Raising your hand when we want to say something and not interrupting the person who is speaking
— Abstaining from evaluative judgement
— Abstaining from giving advice
— Abstaining from teaching others how to live their lives
— Abstaining from trying to cure or diagnose someone (even if we are psychologists or doctors)
— Speaking to the whole group and not engaging in a two-person dialogue
— Switching off our mobile phones or putting them into silent mode
Come and share our atmosphere of safety and trust.
Peer support groups: