There are five guidelines that ensure that each open share / small group is a safe place for those who participate.
1: Keep your sharing focused on your own thoughts and feelings
Not your spouse’s, boyfriend’s, or your family members’ hurts and hang-ups, but your own. Focusing on yourself will benefit your recover as well as the ones around you. Stick to “I” or “me” statements, not “you” or “we” statements.
Limit your sharing to 3-5 minutes, so that everyone has an opportunity to share; and to ensure that one person does not dominate the group sharing time.
2: There is NO cross talk. Cross talk is when two people engage in conversation excluding all others. Each person is free to express his or her feelings without interruption.
Cross talk is also making distracting comments or questions while someone is sharing, speaking to another member of the group while someone is sharing or responding to what someone has shared during his or her time of sharing. Additional types of cross talk would be handing a tissue or tissue box to someone who is crying during their time of sharing. This interrupts feelings. Remember, there is healing in the tears!
3: We are here to support one another, not “fix” one another. This keeps us focused on our own issues.
We do not give advice or solve someone’s problem in our time of sharing or offer book referrals or counselor referrals!
We are not licensed counselors, psychologists, or therapists, nor are the group members. Celebrate Recovery groups are not designed for this. It is up to the participants to include outside counseling to their program when they are ready.
4: Anonymity and confidentiality are basic requirements. What is shared in the group stays in the group. The only exception is when someone threatens to injure themselves or others.
We are not share information with our spouses/family/coworkers. This also means no discussing what is shared in the group among group members. This is called gossip.
Please be advised, if anyone threatens to hurt themselves or others, the Small Group Leader has the responsibility to report it to Celebrate Recovery Ministry Leader.
5: Offensive language has no place in a Christ-centered recovery group.
Therefore, we ask that you please watch your language. The main issue here is that the Lord’s name is not used inappropriately.
We also avoid graphic descriptions. If anyone feels uncomfortable with how explicitly a speaker is sharing regarding his/her behaviors, then you may indicate so by simply raising your hand. The speaker will then respect your boundaries by being less specific in his/her description. This will avoid potential triggers that could cause a person to act out.
The Group Sharing Guidelines should stay intact as participant’s fellowship with each other after the meeting.