Implementing and Facilitating Support Groups by reCP2H

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									     Implementing and
    Facilitating Support
           Groups
Presented by Wanda G. Austin, MA, LMHC, NCC




             Contact Wanda Austin:
       Email: wgaustin@tampabay.rr.com
Phone: (727) 418-9296 or (727) 544-4433, ext. 232
Table of Contents



Mental Health, Depression, and Rehabilitation    Page 1


Therapeutic Benefits of Group Participation      Page 2


Skills and Characteristics Needed in a Support   Page 3
Group Leader


Writing and Submitting a Proposal for a Group    Page 4 - 5


Resource and Contact Information                 Page 6
    MENTAL HEALTH, DEPRESSION, and REHABILITATION



Depression can interfere with rehabilitation outcomes e.g.
   Orientation and mobility training
   Training in activities of daily living
   Training in braille and communication skills
   Training in the use of computer, assistive technology, and/or
     magnification devices

Statistics indicate that about one third of those who become visually
impaired experience varying degrees of depression.

Depression can:
   Interfere with one’s ability to focus or concentrate
   Affect one’s learning capacity
   Impede ability to retain information
   Induce indecisiveness - interfere with making decisions
   Cause loss of energy and/or motivation
   Cause a slowing of spontaneous movement and reactivity
     (psychomotor retardation)
   Induce negative thought processes
   Induce withdrawal from social interaction
   Evoke feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or
     helplessness
   Create apathy
   Result in difficulty orienting towards achieving goals
   Evoke recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal ideation, or suicide
     attempt.

Although sadness and low mood generally typify depressive
symptoms, people sometimes complain more of irritability or feeling
overwhelmed than sadness or low mood. Presenting complaints can
also be somatic, such as fatigue, headache, abdominal distress, or
change in weight.




Handout prepared for 2010 FAER Conference by Wanda G. Austin, LMHC, NCC
Implementing and Facilitating Support Groups
                                                                          -1-
       THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS of GROUP PARTICIPATION



1.   Universality – Members discover that they are not alone and
     that their problems and challenges have commonalities with
     others

2.   Trust – Gaining the trust of others helps members to learn to
     trust themselves and to extend their trust of others outside of
     the group. Trust also creates a climate of safety and openness.

3.   Reduce social isolation – Feeling accepted and cared for
     creates an essential sense of belonging.

4.   Self-acceptance – Experiencing a sense of belonging fosters
     acceptance of oneself.

5.   Connectedness – Trust and acceptance provides a healing
     climate and facilitates open communication. Members can
     then transfer the ability to connect with others to the world
     outside of the group.

6.   Hope – Group interaction provides the opportunity to observe
     others working through their challenges and engenders hope
     that they can do likewise.

7.   Awareness of options and choices – Members learn about
     options through interaction among group members.

8.   Altruism – The opportunity to help others in the group provides
     a sense of value, purpose and accomplishment.




Handout prepared for 2010 FAER Conference by Wanda G. Austin, LMHC, NCC
Implementing and Facilitating Support Groups
                                                                          -2-
     SKILLS and CHARACTERISTICS NEEDED in a SUPPORT
                     GROUP LEADER:


1.   Attending presence – The ability to concurrently focus on the
     group as a unit and the individual needs of members in the
     group.

2.   Sincerity and authenticity – Leader needs to be warm , well
     intentioned, real, and genuine so that leader is not mechanical
     but authentic in interactions with the group.

3.   Courage – It takes courage to be genuine and not hide behind
     a leader mask. It also takes courage to gently keep the group
     on track when members digress or dominate the group via
     lengthy monologues.

4.   Sense of personal identity – Without a strong sense of identity,
     the leader can easily become enmeshed in the identity and
     problems of others.

5.   Self-esteem – A healthy level of self esteem contributes to a
     clear sense of identity. Leaders with high self-esteem also
     serve as a role model.

6.   Respect - Leader respects the rights, feelings, beliefs, and
     cultural values of all group members.




Handout prepared for 2010 FAER Conference by Wanda G. Austin, LMHC, NCC
Implementing and Facilitating Support Groups
                                                                          -3-
     WRITING and SUBMITTING a PROPOSAL for a GROUP



If you want to create a group under the auspices of your organization,
it is useful to write and submit a proposal. Writing a proposal can help
you gain approval to form the group. A written proposal also aids in
formulating group goals, objectives and procedures. The following
questions will provide some guidance for conceptualizing your ideas
and drafting your proposal.

1.    What type of group will you create: a support group, a
      psycho education group? Will it be long term or short term? Will
      it be closed to new members after a certain point or open to
      new members at any time?

2.    Who is the group for? Is it for a particular population, e.g.
      teenagers in a transition program, adults in a rehabilitation
      program, persons seeking employment, seniors in a retirement
      community, children in an elementary school?

3.    Why is there a need for such a group? In what ways would a
      group provide benefits to participants?

4.    What are your goals for this group? What will members gain
      from participating in the group? Are the goals and objectives
      specific? How will these goals be accomplished in a group
      setting? How will the goals be evaluated?

5.    Do you have a clear and convincing rationale for your group?
      Are you able to answer questions that might be raised? Are
      you able to articulate group purpose, goals, and benefits?

6.    Who will lead the group? What are his or her qualifications? Will
      the group leader need training? From whom will the leader
      obtain training? If you will be leading the group, what have you
      learned from facilitating previous groups that you could apply to
      the proposed group?


Handout prepared for 2010 FAER Conference by Wanda G. Austin, LMHC, NCC
Implementing and Facilitating Support Groups
                                                                           -4-
 Continuation of WRITING and SUBMITTING a PROPOSAL for a
                          GROUP


7.   How will you promote your group and recruit group members?
     What will you want to convey in any written or verbal
     announcements?

8.   What kind of screening and selection procedures will be used to
     identify potential participants? Why is screening needed?
     What is the rationale for using screening procedures? How will
     you determine if potential group members are appropriate or
     inappropriate for group participation?

9.   Where and when will the group meet? Will the group meet
     weekly or monthly? What is the minimum and maximum
     number of people who will be participating in the group?




Handout prepared for 2010 FAER Conference by Wanda G. Austin, LMHC, NCC
Implementing and Facilitating Support Groups
                                                                          -5-
 Implementing and Facilitating Support Groups
   Presented by Wanda G. Austin, LMHC, NCC



          Resource for Group Facilitation

HOPE & EMPOWERMENT AFTER VISION LOSS:
An Eight-Week Facilitation Manual for Structured
                Support Groups
          Written by Wanda G. Austin

 To purchase a copy of a guide for organizing and
facilitating support groups, contact Wanda Austin
           at: wgaustin@tampabay.rr.com

      Training Opportunities and Consultation

  Group facilitator training upon request. Inquire
   about the opportunity to enhance your group
   facilitation skills.

  Consultation for organizing and implementing an
   effective support group program



             Contact Wanda Austin:
       Email: wgaustin@tampabay.rr.com
 Phone: (727) 418-9296 or (727) 544-4433 Ex 232



                                                      -6-

								
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