Ground Rules for Support Groups
The following ground rules facilitate the development of trust in the group and enable us to share our thoughts and feelings with each other.
1. Because confidentiality is essential, we expect that each person will respect and maintain the confidentiality of the group. What is said in the group is not to be repeated or discussed at any other time or place.
2. We are here to share our own feelings and experiences; we try not to give advice.
3. We each share the responsibility for making this group work.
4. We try to accept people, just as they are, and we avoid making judgments.
5. We try to give everyone an opportunity to share.
6. We have the right to speak and the right to remain silent.
7. We give supportive attention to the person who is speaking and avoid side conversations.
8. We avoid interrupting. If we do break in, we return the conversation to the person who was speaking.
9. We have the right to ask questions and the right to refuse to answer.
10. We try to be aware of our own feelings and talk about what is present to us now, rather than what life was like for us in the past.
11. We do not discuss group members who are not present.
12. We begin and end our meetings on time.
Note: Even though our goal is to support each person, this particular group may not meet your needs. Before deciding this group is not for you, however, we hope you will attend at least two meetings.
Permission was given to print "Ground Rules for Support Groups" by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. For information to purchase the Student Manual for Peer Support Group Facilitator Training, write to Sr. Adaire Lassonde, SSND, 1276 University Ave., St. Paul, MN, 55107, or call 651-603-0251, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.