Sometimes unforeseen situations may occur within group. Although we want to prepare you for these situations as best we can, we also understand that each situation is unique. When handling a crisis, please remember that you are the Group Leader for a reason. The following are suggested steps when dealing with a crisis, but please feel free to adjust them according to your judgment and intuition.
#1 Ready the Safety Statement
Safety Statement: Let’s pause and make sure we all feel safe.
#2 Try a Grounding Exercise
Grounding exercises help participants remain in their present state and can help to de-escalate a potential crisis. Feel free to come up with your own grounding exercises within your group, or you can refer to one of the grounding exercises listed above.
#3 Dismiss the Group
First, offer the person of focus an opportunity to leave or remove themselves from the situation. If they refuse, dismiss the group to ensure the safety of the group and the individual.
#4 Call Emergency Number (911 in the US)
If you feel that you are not able to safely handle a crisis, please call the emergency number for your country and allow trained professionals to handle the situation at hand.
Once the crisis has been resolved, you may find that you are feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, or triggered. It’s important to take time to practice self-care. Give yourself the opportunity to process what has happened in a healthy way.
*Group Leaders are not required to go through all the steps in order. Circumstances may arise where leaders need to skip directly to Step #4.
In the US, to obtain community information, or to be referred to specific services, please call 211.