SUPPORT GROUP GUIDELINES

  • Each person’s grief is unique. While you may share some commonalities in your experiences, no two of you are exactly alike. Consequently, respect and accept both what you have in common with others and what is unique to each of you.
  • Grief is not a disease, and no “quick-fix” exists for what you are feeling. Don’t set a specific timetable for how long it should take you or others to heal.
  • There is a difference between actively listening to what another person is saying and expressing your own grief. Make every effort not to interrupt when someone else is speaking.
  • Thoughts, feelings and experiences shared in this group will stay in this group. Respect others’ right to confidentiality. Do not use names of fellow participants in discussions outside the group.
  • Allow each person equal time to express himself or herself so a few people don’t monopolize the group’s time.
  • Attend each group meeting and be on time.
  • Avoid “advice giving” unless it is specifically requested by a group member. If advice is not solicited, don’t give it.
  • If a group member poses a question, share ideas that helped you if you experienced a similar situation.
  • Recognize that thoughts and feelings are neither right nor wrong. Enter into the thoughts and feelings of other group members without trying to change them.
  • Create an atmosphere of willing, invited sharing. If you feel pressured to talk but don’t want to, say so. Your right to quiet contemplation will be respected by the group.