In the groups we set up in Russia, a great deal of time is spent on establishing the "Group Rules". At first I was suspicious of their processes but I learned to appreciate and affirm the way they do the group work.
• Each person may share his/her feelings and thoughts at the beginning.
• Everyone may pass
• Greet each person and lay the ground rules
• Arrive on time. Apologize if late
• We shall stay focused on the meeting’s agenda & avoid other matters
• No side talk or discussion. Speak when the moderator recognizes you.
• No cell phones on during group
• We will not fix each other or solve the problems of others. We can have pain without interference.
• We grow while expressing ourselves or listening to others
• Do not give advice unless others ask
• Personal items shared stay in the room
• No quoting others without permission.
• No Blaming, Shaming, put-downs, personal attacks or quoting past failures
• If you leave early, inform the group
• We pray for people as the Lord leads
• Anyone may mention a rule violation
• We will honor the facilitators and follow their lead
See Healing Souls, Touching Hearts for more on developing healthy groups.