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 healing. It’s a specific program, but I think I’d stick by these general ground rules:
Read the following as if you were taking part in the program:
It’ll be a trek into 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 considerations to be aware of and to abide by as we do this work together.
I am requesting your confidence of me and of every other. Perhaps some of you do not trust so well, and assume 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 gain the ability to be honest about what takes courage to do. You’re also a 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 some recovery will occur for us all. Of course, it goes likely without saying, but I will say it anyway, what’s stated in this group should remain here. Is that known 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 intention of this program is to help to bring you further on your journey of recovery. If you are unsafe at any point, or feel too vulnerable, please take courage to hold back and let me know when it is appropriate for you to do so – either in the process or in a break. Together, you and I, will handle it from there. I alluded to it in point one. 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 talk about anything else besides your stuff. We all do this. Don’t think you are any poorer than any of us. But when it comes to your stuff, your own sin, I encourage you to own it. Stay in this place when you are sharing. If you minimise anything, reevaluate the responsibility 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 we can control – our own stuff. The moment we begin believing our stuff is someone else’s fault, we give away the only power for change we have. Let’s agree not to do that here. Yes?
Room to talk. Please trust me to the extent that you allow me to facilitate. The word”ease” 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 guarantee everyone gets an equitable opportunity, which is not necessarily”equal” chance, because at certain times one person needs more time. We need to allow for that. I will also see things you can not, because you are in the process, and sometimes I’ll want to home in on key moments as I distinguish them. Please be patient with this and trust my discernment. Thank you. Additionally, there will be portions of teaching that I’ll deliver. I love it when we can stay on track and keep the momentum going forward. If you interject, please stay on stage. Thank you.
Calling time to process test . Sometimes if we go off track or, worse, if a person starts to behave inappropriately, particularly when others feel unsafe, I will call a procedure check, kind of like a time-out. We will have to deal with that moment before we proceed. I might need to choose the fate of one person for the interest of the group, given that I’m responsible for keeping us all safe. Is that okay? Thank you.
Now, with your permission on these points, we should now proceed.