I often have the need to optimise my strategy for people and groups from the pastoral counselling setting. These are a few of my thoughts for delivering a program for recovery. It’s a specific program, but I think I’d stick with these general ground rules:
Read the following as if you were taking part in the program:
It will be a trek to our hearts that are deeper as we know about ourselves and each other in gaining greater awareness and understanding about the challenges we face.
These are just a few of the factors to be aware of and to abide by as we do this work together.
I’m asking your confidence of me and of every other. Perhaps some of you don’t trust so well, and suppose you have valid reasons for holding back your confidence. But by you trusting principally in me as your guide, and by trusting on your peers , you will get the ability to be truthful about what takes courage to do. You are also a part of other people’s journeys that are here. As soon as we have trust in this group, the Spirit of God will flow and some healing will occur for us all. Needless to say, it goes likely without saying, but I will say it anyway, what’s said in this group should stay here. Is that understood and okay? Thank you.
Now to do number 1, you will need to be secure . I not only understand and respect that, but I want to let you know, I’m responsible for that. The aim of this program is to assist to bring you further on your journey of healing. If you’re unsafe at any point, or feel too vulnerable, please take courage to hold back and let me know when it’s appropriate for you to do this – either in the process or in a break.
Honesty. What I’m referring to here is you will be tempted to self-protect and to minimise the size of your problem/addiction and to externalise, which means to discuss anything else other than your stuff. We all do this. Don’t think you are any weaker than any of us. But in regards to your stuff, your sin, I encourage you to own it. Stay in this place when you’re sharing. If you minimise anything, minimise the responsibility that you give over to others for the things only you can do. In psychology, there is the expression”internal locus of control,” so we only change when we have what only we can control – our own stuff. The moment we begin believing our stuff is somebody else’s fault, we give away the sole power for change we have. Let’s agree not to do that here. Yes?
Space to talk. Please trust me to the extent that you allow me to facilitate. The word”facilitate” in French means”to make easy”. Help me to make this process as simple as it possibly can be, hard and as transformative as it will be, given the nature of the material we’ll be discussing and pondering. I will direct and divert conversation. Don’t worry, you’ll have ample time to share, but I do need to guarantee everybody gets an equitable opportunity, which is not necessarily”equivalent” chance, because at certain times one person needs additional time. We need to allow for that. I’ll also see things you can not, as you are in the procedure, and sometimes I’ll want to home in on key moments as I discern them. Please be patient with this and trust my discernment. Thank you. Additionally, there will be parts of teaching that I’ll deliver. I love it when we can stay on track and keep the momentum moving forward. Thank you.
Calling time to process test . Sometimes if we go off track or, worse, if someone starts to behave inappropriately, especially when others feel unsafe, I will call a procedure check, kind of like a time-out. We’ll have to deal with that moment before we move ahead. I may need to decide on the fate of one person for the interest of this group, given that I am responsible for keeping us safe. Is that okay? Thank you.