Helpful Guidelines for Support Groups

1. Aim for honesty and openness - with yourself and with others.
2. Change "I think" to "I feel" = express feelings.
3. Change "I have to" to "I choose to" and "I can't" to "I won't"...take responsibility for your life.
4. Don't say "we" when you should say "I".
5. Stay with the now rather than with the past.
6. Don't ask questions that hide feelings.
7. Sit straight and attentive.
8. If you have trouble expressing something verbally, do it physically.
9. If you are afraid to speak, do it.
10. Listen to feelings - "you're saying you're afraid, but you sound puzzled."
11. No universalisms - "everybody knows..."
12. Rmember that you are responsible - when you say "you make me feel" be sure you mean "I get this feeling from you" not "you are responsible for my feelings."
13. Breathe through the abdomen, not the chest - especially if you are tense.

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