LISTEN, SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGE
This is the essence of Diealog Groups, and why they work so well, “normalising” open and caring talk about all our thoughts and feelings, and enabling us to talk about all our relevant topics, concerns and issues to do with death and dying.
Diealog Groups usually meet monthly for 2 hours, and all that is required are a group of people who want to meet regularly to talk about death and dying and for supporting each other.
Most Diealog Groups start spontaneously as a result of a group of people (minimum x3) deciding they want to meet regularly as a ‘peer support group’. A Host (one or two people) organises the first meeting, agrees with everybody what refreshments are wanted and who is in charge of this, and how any costs are going to be covered. The Host also considers if facilitation is needed (see below).
The basic requirements are a venue booked for a regular time and date (usually for 2 hours, monthly meeting), or we can agree to meet in somebody’s home. x8 or x9 people is generally the maximum recommended size, and x3 or x4 the minimum:
– We can start small and agree to grow through inviting newcomers over time.
– Or we may prefer to be a ‘closed’ group from the outset and not allow anybody new to join.
(For more on Getting Started, click here)
GROUND-RULES TO MAKE IT SAFE
Confidentiality, Respect and 8 more Ground-rules: ‘what is said in the room stays in the room’ and we keep confidential what others say or do. We always discuss and agree the Ground-rules together at our first meeting (For all x10 Ground-rules, click here ).
Diealog Groups do not lead people to conclusions, products or a specific course of action: all Diealog activities operate under a Code of Practice and Free Affiliate Scheme. These sign us up to principles to ensure the group is an open, respectful and confidential space in which we are all well supported. (For more see Code of Practice , and Free Affiliate Scheme )
Groups often take a few sessions to “normalise” open and honest talk, and for everybody to learn and live by the Ground-rules. Having a Peer Group Mentor at the start can facilitate the group to learn quickly so it works well. After an agreed time the group members can usually take over co-facilitating with confidence, and the ‘peer support group’ can continue to run itself from then on. CONTACT us if you need to discuss further.
WHAT WE TALK ABOUT
Once we get started in a Diealog Group, we find there is so much to talk about! Sometimes discussion topics are agreed in advance and sometimes they arise spontaneously in each Diealog meeting. We talk about whatever is most pressing and important to each of us (for more about main topics, click here).
HELPING OURSELVES AND OTHERS
As our group becomes more trusting of each other over time, we get to talk more openly about our life journeys and vulnerabilities. Sometimes, when asked for, we help each other by discussing coping strategies for challenging situations, or providing factual information to help with decision making, or giving advice and signpost in a helpful and supportive way.
COMINGS AND GOINGS
People in Diealog Groups can be any age, any gender, and at any point on our life journey. Quite often one or two people in the group have a life-limiting illness, so it can happen that we experience and are with somebody actively dying, and the loss after their death. LISTENING, SUPPORTING and ENCOURAGING remain the central purpose, and can and do add significantly to people’s ‘circle of support’.