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Effective Peer Support Presented by Cathy Hill Mountain Region Trustee.

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Presentation on theme: "Effective Peer Support Presented by Cathy Hill Mountain Region Trustee."— Presentation transcript:

1 Effective Peer Support Presented by Cathy Hill Mountain Region Trustee

2 Knowledge and Skill o How well do you think you deal with other survivors trauma and grief? o How well do you think your chapter deals with other survivors trauma and grief?

3 Are You Ready to Facilitate a Support Group? o Has enough time elapsed since your loss that you can focus on survivors without feeling compelled to tell your own story? o Does listening to survivor’s stories flood you with pain?

4 Helping the Survivor Distinguish Between Feeling and Thought o Guilt – acknowledge pain, reassure that the incident was not their fault o Fear – reassure them that fear following a loss like this is normal. Ask what they can do to feel less afraid.

5 Helping the Survivor Distinguish Between Feeling and Thought o Anger – let the anger be vented in an appropriate way o Sadness – allow the expression of sadness and grief; frame it as a sign of their love for their officer

6 Accept Feelings and Encourage Rational Thinking o All feelings are normal and acceptable o Behavior should be based on clear, objective thinking

7 Empower the Survivor o Assist the survivor in making choices o Don’t instruct, advise or do it for them o Let the survivor be in charge of when to let go of certain feelings

8 Be Honest o Don’t make promises you cannot keep o If you don’t know the answer, say so and offer to find out

9 Inform Survivors About the Grief Process o There are no neat stages o It is a personal process o Grief spasms come and go o They will always have sorrow for the loss o Some day the memories will bring a smile and a tear

10 Joining with the Survivor o I’m so sorry o Tell me how you are feeling o How can I help? o It’s ok to be angry, sad, etc. o It must be very hard to accept o Many people in your situation feel the same way you do

11 Some Don’ts o Don’t enhance guilt o Don’t compare o Don’t encourage strength o Don’t exploit the victim o Don’t be afraid of emotion o Don’t impose o Don’t promise

12 Steps for Effective Helping o Establish trust and rapport o Provide an opportunity for safe expression of feelings o Gain necessary information effectively o Identify possible stressors and inadequate coping responses o Distinguish between crisis, short-term problem or chronic problem o Develop an appropriate plan o Know when to refer o Provide follow-up

13 Active Listening o Non-evaluative o Taking the other person’s perspective o Listening for content, as well as intent and feelings o Paying attention & not getting distracted o Putting your own thoughts and feelings aside o Direct eye contact o Verbal and Non-verbal communication o Convey sincerity, respect and willingness to adjust

14 Body Language: Verbal & Non-Verbal o Mumbling, stammering, stuttering, quivering voice. o Rate of speech. o Inflection. o Tone and rate of speech. o Sighing. o Posture and body orientation. o Hand movements and gestures. o Eye movement and eye contact. o Changes in breathing patterns. o Blushing, red spots.

15 Active Listening Techniques o Closed-ended questions o Open-ended questions o Non-verbal attending o Silence o Paraphrasing o Perception checking o Reflection of emotion o Summarizing

16 Steps to Conducting Support Groups o Define audience (topic specific) o Identify other resources in the community o Gender specific o Select a facilitator / co-facilitator o Training and experience o Skills: listening reflecting, summarizing, questioning, confronting, empathizing, supporting, and suggesting

17 Support Group Plan o Facilitator o Membership o Structure o Location o Time o Promotion o Evaluation o Referral Resources o Timeline

18 Ethical Responsibilities o Avoid abuse of power o Facilitate, don’t dominate o Being a facilitator does not mean you are a licensed clinician o Do not have the expectation of meeting your own needs as facilitator o Define your role for the group o Always remember you are representing C.O.P.S.

19 Confidentiality o Importance of confidentiality o Exceptions o Abuse o Danger o “What you hear in group or what you say in group, let it stay in group.”

20 Suicidal Statements o It is not your job to diagnose anyone’s actual suicidal or homicidal intent. It is important to have a plan in your chapter of what you would do if someone's words or actions concerned you. Examples of Suicidal Statements: o There’s no reason to go on. o This hurts so badly there’s only one way to stop the pain. o Everyone would be better off without me.

21 Questions for Someone Who May Be Suicidal o Are you thinking of killing yourself? o Do you have a plan? o When will you carry out the plan? o If a plan is visible, you MUST take action.

22 Your Response to Suicidal Statements o State your concern over what you are hearing o Acknowledge that what you have heard sounds serious o Question the intent of the statements directly o Offer assistance or inform of what you must do

23 Group Process o Welcome everyone o Open the meeting o Introductions o Process o Wrap –up o Close

24 Group Process o Group size and structure o 5 to 8 members o Open structure allow everyone to participate but may take longer to get things done o Membership o Want to get needs met o Want to belong

25 Group Process Goals o Goals: what the group wants to accomplish o Desirable outcomes that provide motivation for joining the group o Individual and group goals should be compatible o Set measurable goals so members can track progress to achieve their goals o Facilitator and group members should decide on goals during the first session

26 How to deal with problem members o The monopolist: o You do not want to silence this person but encourage others to interact as well. o The silent member: o They will often begin to participate once they feel they safe and consider they will not be judged. o The help-rejecting complainer: o Listening and empathizing with this member rather than offering solutions is sometimes more helpful. o Keep attendance: o Identify any barriers that may hamper attendance.

27 How to deal with problem members o Scapegoat o Encourage the group to accept responsibility for the group process and address problems in the group o Intoxicated o Must remove from group and safely take home o The Angry Member o De-escalate by acknowledging the anger and asking what is causing it.

28 Questions???

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