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What are some tips for facilitating a support group?

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Quick Answer

Some tips for facilitating a support group include having a positive environment, letting everyone introduce themselves, and only having people talk when they feel comfortable, says Brown University. The facilitator should help to come up with topics for each session and help keep conversations respectful and moving in a positive direction.

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Full Answer

At the beginning of the support group meeting, let each person introduce themselves if they feel comfortable, says Brown University. Let the intentions be known upfront, and introduce topics of discussion. While it is good to have some structure, it is also good to let participants share stories and things they are currently experiencing. It is also important that everyone get the opportunity to talk, not just the people that tend to dominate conversations.

When it comes to discussions in the meeting, keep the conversations positive helpful, recommends Brown University. Don’t rush people who want to share personal experiences, but also keep the topic on-task if certain things need to be discussed. When conversation is functioning, step back and let the participants carry on with their conversations. When someone doesn’t speak up often, try to encourage them by asking questions, even if just asking how they have been doing. If arguments occur, the facilitator should be a neutral party similar to a mediator. This means the person helps to get back to the topic at hand and try to put a stop to the arguments.

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