NAMI Family Support Group NAMI Family Support Group Facilitator Training Group Dynamics NAMI Family Support Group Why Do We Need A Model? • to help navigate around the predictable negative group dynamics which can torpedo a successful group process • a support group can operate much like a personality with a will of its own, and that collective group willfulness can pull even the most experienced facilitator off course NAMI Family Support Group Group Dynamics What is a group? Two or more people interacting with each other 2= Dyad 3= Trio 10-15 = Work Group 20-500 = Audience 200-1000 = Crowd NAMI Family Support Group Group Dynamics • NAMI Family Support Groups are peer working groups of 10-15 people • Support groups should be maintained at this size NAMI Family Support Group What are Group Dynamics? • Groups act and react as individuals do • Groups have many of the same dynamic (interactive) problems as individuals • If you understand how individuals react in certain circumstances, you can explain problems that arise in groups. NAMI Family Support Group Dynamic issues that concern groups • Leadership • Boundaries • Rules • Goals • Subject Matter NAMI Family Support Group Problems caused by negative group dynamics in support groups NAMI Family Support Group Problems in group dynamics • Related to leadership • Related to group boundaries • Related to observing group rules • Related to group goals • Related to our specific group subject – mental illness NAMI Family Support Group Problems related to Leadership NAMI Family Support Group Problems related to Group Boundaries NAMI Family Support Group Problems related to Observing Group Rules NAMI Family Support Group Problems related to Group Goals NAMI Family Support Group Problems related to the Group Subject – Mental Illness NAMI Family Support Group What is the remedy for these problems? • A Capable Leader • Clear Boundaries • Stating and Enforcing Rules of Relationship • Clarifying Goals and Purposes • Identifying the “Common Cause” in a Positive and Optimistic Manner NAMI Family Support Group Problem Dynamics • Challenges to leadership • Negative group dynamics start to rule NAMI Family Support Group Why do people go to a Support Group? To leave feeling better than when they came To feel that they contributed as well as they were supported To feel in a very real way that they have something in common with others. NAMI Family Support Group What do they want at a Support Group? • A safe place • To not be judged • Boundaries that are enforced • Capable Facilitators NAMI Family Support Group Encouraging a group to do its own work NAMI Family Support Group You are present to help the group meet its needs, not to have the group help you meet yours NAMI Family Support Group A well-functioning Support Group • Has a skilled Facilitator • Does its own work • Involves as many group members as possible • Encourages self-enforced observation of behavior guidelines NAMI Family Support Group A well-functioning support group • Allows group members to feel they have contributed • Provides strategies • Connects participants to resources and services • Makes members feel they have benefited from attending NAMI Family Support Group NAMI Family Support Group Strategies, Structures and Group Processes The model that ensures an effective support group meeting NAMI Family Support Group What Facilitators need to know • To recognize problems in group dynamics – there are cues that the Facilitator needs to transition the group • Know what structure or group process to use to remedy the problem • Have the skills to shift the group from where they are to where they need to go NAMI Family Support Group Cues and Remedies • Each Structure and Group Process exists to remedy a particular set of negative dynamics that commonly occur in support groups. • Strategies help to shift the group smoothly and naturally NAMI Family Support Group Identifying negative dynamics (cues) and possible remedies (structure or process) NAMI Family Support Group Dynamics and Remedies When you hear this Cue: • Someone taking too long during Opening Stories Move to this Structure: Agenda • 1-2 minute time limit for Opening Stories NAMI Family Support Group When you hear this Cue: • A “downer” meeting needs to be closed on a positive note Move to this Structure: Agenda • Closing NAMI Family Support Group When you hear this Cue: • People can’t stay in the present Move to this Structure: Group Guidelines • Keep it in the here and now NAMI Family Support Group When you hear this Cue: • Someone or the group is negative or hopeless Move to this Structure: Principles of Support A principle can represent something we can all strive for NAMI Family Support Group When you hear this Cue: Someone expresses intense feelings (emotional stage reactions of feeling overwhelmed, anger, grief) Move to this Structure: Emotional Stages Chart • Acknowledge that strong emotions fall within the predictable stages of emotional response NAMI Family Support Group When you hear this Cue: • Someone relates a traumatic event (violence, involuntary commitment, arrest, disappearance, suicide, or traumatic loss) Move to this Process: Hot Potatoes A step by step way to address traumatic events and close the discussion of the trauma on a positive note NAMI Family Support Group When you hear this Cue: A basic issue or question can be clarified by the group Move to this Process: Group Wisdom Provide basic information or helpful and constructive ideas to a group member, share coping suggestions NAMI Family Support Group When you hear this Cue: A discouraged person needs new options to solve a long-standing problem which they keep bringing back to the group and nothing suggested seems to work Move to this Process: Problem Solving Moves person away from what doesn’t work by offering new/different options to approach their problem NAMI Family Support Group NAMI Family Support Group Facilitators • “Take charge” when shifting the group and then step back to let the group do its own work • Shouldn’t sound or act like therapists • Provide a safe, nurturing place NAMI Family Support Group What is the PRIMARY DANGER for facilitators of a structured support group model? NAMI Family Support Group Not using the model Structures and Processes NAMI Family Support Group Remember, as a capable Facilitator: You are present to help the group meet its needs, not have the group help you meet yours.