Commitment to Confidentiality

  1. Commit to not telling anyone outside the support group what people inside the group have said.
  2. Commit to not talking to the group members about what other members have said.
  3. Most importantly, commit to not bringing back to group members what they have shared. If they want to bring it up, let them do it.

This commitment creates safety and gives members permission to choose what they’re going to talk about instead of what others think they might want to talk about.

Example #1: In your last group session, a member said, “My wife went to the emergency room.” Now you’re in your next session. But remember, this isn’t a social time. It’s a support group. Your job is to keep what that member said confidential and in the past. So if you say, “Dave, how is your wife?” it sounds really nice and supportive and wonderful, but if Dave wants to tell you how his wife is, let him bring it up.

Example #2: A member mentioned a challenge at work. Every week for a month, someone asked him about that challenge.  However, if he wants to tell you about it, he can bring it up at the check-in, the celebration round, or the challenge round. In addition, he might have something way more important to celebrate or to ask for assistance with than his work challenge.

It’s a common social convention to bring things up again and ask after an issue or problem. But in the spirit of this Community of confidentiality, we ask you not to do this.