As your confidence in your own abilities increases, you will be better equipped to handle any situation that may arise. The following sections will help you prepare yourself and strengthen your skills so that you can feel confident in your ability to be an effective Group Leader.
Maintain Healthy Boundaries
In order to maintain healthy boundaries and relationships with participants, please adhere to the following guidelines and consider setting your own personal boundaries as well.
- Encourage participants to attend meetings, introduce them to other women there, and stress the importance of the meeting guidelines and culture.
- Suggest keeping an open mind about the Finding Hope Support Groups and the time and effort it may take for participants to see progress.
- Make sure participants are aware of the 5 Strategies, Reclaim Hope book and workbook, and continually direct attention to these materials.
- Discourage dependency and encourage empowerment so you don’t run the risk of having participants dependent on you.
- Maintain healthy boundaries as it relates to money, employment, or any other domestic, vocational, or legal problems.
- Don’t attempt to offer or replace professional services (e.g., counseling, legal, medical), even if that’s your line of work.
- Don’t gossip, speak negatively, or complain about participants with others in or outside of group.
Prepare Yourself for Challenges
- Visualization. Visualize a challenging situation arising in group. Picture yourself using the grounding techniques, coping mechanisms, and skills you have practiced and prepared. Focus on having a successful solution and resolving the issue. Such visualization exercises will reaffirm your ability to manage any challenge that may come your way.
- Meditation. Practice meditation as often as possible. The exercises can be as simple as positive self-talk (e.g., “I am at peace.” “I am amazing.”) or focusing on your breathing. Meditation techniques will help improve your ability to self-regulate your emotions and remain calm in a challenging situation.
Calm Yourself in an Emergency
- Slow Down. Take a moment to stop and assess yourself and the situation.
- Breathe. Focus on gaining control of your breathing.
- Ground Yourself. Use a grounding technique (e.g., name five things you see).
- Remain Calm. Repeat any of the steps above to help yourself maintain (or regain) composure.