What are the support group guidelines?

The support group is meant to be a safe place for Jehovah's Witnesses to experience healing. To attain our goal of a safe environment for all, we ask each attender to commit to follow these group guidelines. Group members will allow the support group to be a safe place by:

Keeping confidential what is said at meetings and who attends. This is critical for those who have family and loved ones still in the Watchtower Organization. As group facilitators we are morally and ethically obligated to break confidentiality when a member communicates an intention to kill themself; a member communicates an intention to harm another person; or a member reveals ongoing sexual or physical abuse.

Allowing everyone to take ownership of their own feelings, attitudes and behaviors. Not everyone shares the same feelings however everyone is allowed to have their own opinions and feelings without rebuke from others in the group.

Allowing everyone time to talk. Those who are more talkative need to allow the quieter members time to share their views. At times the more sensitive members may need encouragement to share their feelings.

Restricting vulgarity or condenscending behavior. As facilitators we are responsible to ask anyone that comes into the group intending to cause disruption and discord to leave the group.

Asking permission before entering another person's space. Some members may have experienced abuse and may not appreciate another person touching them. Others need the freedom to just listen and experience the group and should not be bombarded with personal questions. Please be sensitive to others by giving them your phone number instead of asking for theirs. This allows them to call you when they feel comfortable.

Remembering that laughter is healing. When the group finds humour in the stories or someone's comments, they are not laughing at you or your situation. They are experiencing healing.

For Christians who come to the group to learn about Jehovah's Witnesses we need them to have a loving attitude and a listening ear to former Witnesses when they need to share. The healing process takes precedence over learning.

Children who are actively participating in the support group are welcome to attend. If you are unable to find a sitter please call in advance of the meeting and we will see if we can find someone outside the place of meeting to look after the younger children.

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