A Safe Place
Celebrate Recovery is a safe place to deal honestly with our hurts, habits, and hang-ups. This safety allows us to share our experiences, strengths, and hopes with one another without fear of judgment or breach of confidence. To create this safe place, every participant is expected to abide by these basic guidelines:
Sharing our ups, downs, ins and outs with others who listen attentively and non-judgmentally is a powerful way to help our recovery. To keep it safe, we focus our personal sharing on our own thoughts and feelings, not any else’s – either in the group or outside the group. We limit our turns of sharing to 3-5 minutes so that more people get a chance to share who want to. No one is required to share anything if they don’t want to. A lot of help and healing can come from just listening to how others are processing their experiences.
At CR, anonymity and confidentiality are basic requirements. What is shared in groups are to stay in the group. The only exception is when someone threatens to injure themselves or others. Our saying is:
Who you see you here
What you hear here
When you leave here
Let it stay here
Crosstalk is when two people engage in conversation excluding others. Each person is free to express his/her feelings and story without interruptions.
Crosstalk is also when you
- Make evaluative comments about someone’s share
- “You’ve got to be kidding”
- “About time”
- “Good for you”
- Using your share time to comment on what someone else has shared
- Comparing your story with someone else’s
- ”You think you’ve got problems!”
- “My story is a lot like so-&-so’s.”
You talk about you – not anyone else in the room or outside the room.
Crosstalk extends to outside the group as well. If you talk to someone after group about what they shared in group without their express invitation to do so, that’s crosstalk.
If they say during the share, “please give me suggestions after group” or “I would welcome someone to ask me about my situation later” – then it is ok to bring it up – but not around other people, because that breaks confidentiality.
Jesus Christ is the One who is bringing about transformation in our lives with our cooperation. We are peers and not professional counselors, so we are here to support one another, not “fix” each other. We don’t offer personal advice unless it is expressly asked for.
Here are some ways to be supportive without crosstalk or breaking confidentiality:
“I’m so glad you came tonight”
“Thank you for sharing”
“I’ll be praying for you”
“Here’s my number, if you ever want to talk”