Support Group Format

This is an easy way to both learn supportive skills and increases the amount of support in organisations and the wider society. In these groups, of three to six people, each person has equal time to have a ‘turn’. In this, the person (the ‘talker’) talks to one other person (the ‘listener’). The ‘listener’ listens, encourages, asks questions and helps the client think about the issue and decide what to do about it. The other participants observe. After a brief period of discussion of the process the roles rotate. The process discussion helps everyone learn and leads to continuous improvement.

Some groups may prefer a less disciplined process where the talker talks to the group and everbody asks listens and asks questions. This can be very enjoyable but risks exhausting the client.

This activity requires time, permission to do it and clear agreement on confidentiality to work. These groups are excellent and quick ways of spreading best practice in many settings. They also help people solve problems.

The process works best when the person in the ‘talker’ role has a free choice to choose the issue to work on that is of most value to him/her. However, it can work well with a general topic like ‘How to improve communications? ‘. Then each person chooses the aspect of most interest to her or him.

If you would like help using this idea, or have any comments or questions please contact me. Thanks, Nick