Friday, September 28, 2007

When support groups go bad

Thank you for all of your suggestions - I appreciate everyone taking the time to think about a solution and send it/post it. We tried the heat-shrink tubing on a D-ring that I have and it could still have been cut open with the strap. It also didn't prevent the ring from deforming more :( The owner of the bag doesn't have a soldering iron, so she couldn't do that.

What I ended up doing was buying a "quick-link", used for repairing chains, and sending that so that the owner can replace the D-ring with it. It's an oval shape with a twist-lock and it should hold the straps together without going undone. I've sent the quick-link out to the owner and hopefully she'll be able to put it in to make the bag work.

I had a Skills for Healing workshop today and I'm afraid that it didn't go well. During the sharing circle (a time where everyone shares something, usually personal, that is completely confidential), someone was writing down what people were saying. I noticed this and when it came to my time to speak, I asked her to not write things down. She claimed that she wasn't writing down anything about the participants and their names weren't there, but finally agreed to not write anything that I said.

Later on, the subject came up again and another participant turned to me and said "What makes you so insecure?" I replied by saying that I didn't think I had to answer that, and the person who'd been writing stuff down leapt to my defense. The facilitator didn't say anything.

Even though names aren't associated with the notes this person was making, she was summing up what each person said. She was the facilitator for a group that I've since left and our paths cross regularly. This is the second time I've had to ask someone to not write what I'm saying. Honestly, I thought there would be a rule against this, but there wasn't.

I think that if something is confidential and no one is supposed to talk about what's going on outside of that sharing, then no one should be writing down what people say. I feel violated by this - is that something weird to me, or what? I also felt attacked by that other person, who as far as I know was never told that saying that sort of thing isn't appropriate :( . I left the group quite upset and am thinking that I don't want to go back to this particular group. I did speak to the Program Director about this - maybe things will change.


Darling Jee said...

I would feel violated and upset too. I don't really understand why that person felt the need to write things down? Was she planning to follow up with individuals afterwards? Write her memoirs? But you shouldn't have to justify why you don't want your thoughts/feelings/words recorded in that type of setting. A simple request, once, should be enough.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I've done similar kinds of sharing, and nobody has ever written things down. Maybe if the person was up-front about what it was for at the outset - but anyway I can't even conjure up a good 'example' reason why you'd want to write down other people's personal sharing stuff...

From the POV of a control-freaky teacher (me), the facilitator needs to improve at setting down expectations, boundaries, etc. Sheesh. That's so not cool.

Anonymous said...

I've been to a few support groups too & writing down what was said was never done & I don't feel it was right either. Nor what that woman said to you. That was rude & the facilitator should have stepped in there.