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Guidelines for Support Groups

1. Confidentiality - everything shared in the group is confidential and is not to leave the room. The group needs to develop this trust.

2. Don't Give Advice - the group is to share feelings and experiences but it is not an opportunity to share unsolicited advice except in a problem solving exercise.

3. Responsibility - all members share the responsibility to make the group work.

4. Acceptance - the group accepts members just as they are, and avoids making judgments.

5. One Speaker At A Time - groups are most beneficial when all participants have the opportunity to share and discuss individual issues or concerns. Members must be mindful of limited time and give each person enough time to speak without interruptions.

6. Giving Attention - members will give supportive attention to the person who is speaking and avoid side conversations.

7. Avoid Interruptions - if an interruption is necessary, return the conversation to the person who was speaking.

8. Sharing - sharing is encouraged, but not required.

9. Questions - group members have the right to ask questions and the right to refuse to answer.

10. Be In The Present - members try to be aware of their own feelings and talk about what is present now, rather than what life was like in the past.

11. Discussion - the group does not discuss group members who are not present.

12. Begin And End On Time - meeting will begin and end on time

Last Revised: July 12, 2010