Small Group Guidelines
To ensure that Celebrate Recovery is a safe place, the following five guidelines are followed in all Small Groups. The essential guidelines are bolded. The added information elaborates on each guideline.
Keep your sharing focused on your own thoughts and feelings. Limit your sharing to three to five minutes. Do not focus on your spouse’s, boyfriend/girlfriend’s, or your family members’ hurts and hang-ups, but your own. Focusing on yourself will benefit your recovery as well as the ones around you. Stick to “I” or “me” statements, not “you” or “we” statements.
There is NO cross talk. Cross talk is when two individuals engage in conversation excluding all others. Each person is free to express his or her feelings without interruptions. Cross-talk is also making distracting comments or questions while someone is sharing. This includes 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.
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’re ready.
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 to share information with our spouses/family/co-workers. This also means not 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 the Celebrate Recovery Ministry Leader.
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 descriptions. This will avoid potential triggers that could cause a person to act out. Emphasize at the close of your meeting that Group Sharing Guidelines stay intact as participants fellowship with each other after the meeting.