I frequently have the need to customise my approach for people and groups in the pastoral counselling setting. These are a few of my ideas for delivering a program for recovery. It’s a specific program, but I think I would stick with these general ground rules:
Read the following as if you’re taking part in the program:
I need to welcome you here tonight as we embark on this journey together. It’ll be a trek to our hearts that are deeper as we learn about ourselves and each other in gaining greater awareness and understanding about the challenges we face.
These are simply a few of the considerations to be aware of and to abide by as we do this work together.
I’m asking your confidence of me and of each other. Perhaps some of you don’t trust so well, and assume you have valid reasons for holding back your confidence. But by you expecting principally in me as your guide, and by trusting on your peers here, you will get the ability to be honest about what takes guts to do. By trusting here, you give yourself to what God can do in you through this procedure. You’re also part of other people’s journeys who are here. As soon as we have trust in this group, the Spirit of God will flow and a few recovery will occur for us all. Needless to say, it goes probably without saying, but I will say it anyway, what’s stated in this group should stay here. Is that known and okay? Thank you.
Now to do number 1, you will need to be secure . I not only know and respect that, but I want to let you know, I’m responsible for that. The intention of this program is to assist to bring you further on your journey of healing. If you’re unsafe at any stage, or feel too vulnerable, please take courage to hold back and let me know when it’s proper for you to do so – either in the process or in a break. What I’m talking about here is you’ll 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. All of us do this. Don’t think you’re any weaker than some of us. But in regards to your stuff, your own sin, I encourage you to possess it. Stay in this place when you are sharing. If you minimise anything, minimise the responsibility you give over to others for the things only you can do. In psychology, there is the term”internal locus of control,” which means we only change when we have what only we can control – our own stuff. The moment we begin thinking our stuff is someone 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 easy as it possibly can be, hard and as transformative as it’ll 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 talk about, but I do need to ensure everybody gets an equitable opportunity, which isn’t necessarily”equal” chance, because at certain times one person needs more time. We need to allow for that. I’ll also see things you can’t, as you are in the procedure, and sometimes I will want to home in on key moments as I discern them. Thank you. Furthermore, there will be portions of teaching that I’ll deliver. I love it when we could stay on track and keep the momentum going forward. If you interject, please stay on point. Thank you.
Calling time to process test . Sometimes if we go off course or, worse, if someone starts to act inappropriately, especially when others feel unsafe, I will call a process check, kind of like a time-out. We will need to manage that moment before we move ahead. I may need to decide on the fate of a single person for the interest of the group, given that I’m responsible for keeping us safe. Thank you.