Principles of Peer Discussion

The following are read at all support groups:

Share the Air

Each of us receives three to ten minutes of sharing and feedback time according to our individual need. When the facilitator indicates that our time is up, we graciously stop. If we do not wish to share, we can simply say so.

One person speaks at a time

Each person should be allowed to speak free from interruption and side conversations. There shall be no giving of advice, personal attacks, or making negative references directly or indirectly to another’s share or comments during the meeting. As a courtesy to others, please silence all electronic devices. If you must take a call or text during the meeting, please take it outside.

If you want feedback, you must ask for it.

And this means no comments or questions unless the person has indicated that he or she is open to feedback.

What is said here stays here

This is the essential principle of confidentiality and MUST be respected by all except when there is a clear danger to self or others.

Differences of opinion are OK

We are ALL entitled to our own point of view. To maintain goodwill towards one another, however, we avoid talking about controversial issues. We trust the experience and insight of the facilitator on these matters and stop when asked to drop the subject.

We are all equal

We accept differences of culture, language, social background, spirituality, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, national origin, and race as part of the essential and precious character of each person.

Use “I” language

Because we do not participate in discussion as credentialed professionals, NO ONE CAN INSTRUCT. We can, however, share from our personal experiences. As an example, we do not say “you should do X.” We do say “When I was faced with that problem I did X.” Always put things in the context of your own experience.

It’s everybody’s responsibility to make the discussion groups a safe place to share
Honor confidentiality, treat each other with respect and kindness, and show compassion.

If you feel uncomfortable with the course of the meeting, please raise your hand.
If you didn’t get enough time to share your problem or get questions answered, please find someone to discuss them with after the meeting. We encourage you to lighten your load by calling or meeting with someone else in the group before or after the meeting or during the week between meetings.

Remember, we are here for you and for everyone.