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Small Groups at Christian Survivors Forums

Small groups is a programme we introduced here at Christian Survivors in the summer of 2004. As our forum membership has dramatically grown over the last 2 years, we have identified a need for creating smaller 'pockets' of members - to make it easier for close, supportive friendships to be developed. Our small groups programme grew out of this need.

Each group is made up of regular members at CSF, & holds a maximum of 8-10 members. Group membership is only considered after 16 weeks of regular posting on the forums, and each member wishing to be placed in a group has to agree to be committed to the group they are placed in - including consistency in spending time with the group; committment to maintaining confidentiality within that group; & the willingness / ability to put energy and love into supporting the other members there - and to building friendships with them. These guidelines help the groups to become very stable, secure environments for support.

The small groups are not issue driven, as our private forums are - Instead of dealing with specific survivor / recovery topics, the goal is to develop close, strong friendships among our members. Each group's members will commit themselves to caring for every member of the group, (including it's moderators) through consistent posting.

Small group members should feel free to post about what is going on in their lives, both positive and negative. It is also expected that small group members should respond to the threads of others in their group with love and acceptance, and support as needed - both in the group forum, and on the main boards at CSF.

Although the main purpose of our small groups is to form close friendships, they are not intended to take the place of the regular forum. When dealing with specific issues, members are encouraged to continue posting in other appropriate forums, & not just within their group.

Small group members should keep an eye open on the main board for threads by the other members of their group, and offer additional support in those threads. However, group members should be very careful to keep information shared in the small group forum confidential, and not share private information given there on the main forums. All of our groups have a clear policy of "What's said in the group, stays in the group". This is in order to provide safety and confidentiality for its members.

Each member must agree to participate on a consistent basis, by sharing about themselves and offering support and encouragement to the other members of the group. These guidelines help the groups to become very stable, secure environments for support. Because of the need for mutual caring and support, non-participation over a period of a few weeks may result in removal from the group. It is also essential that members maintain their posting on the main forums, in order to keep their access to the groups programme.

We currently have 6 groups functioning, and will be creating more as and when there is need. If you would like more information on this programme, please feel free to email us at smallgroups@christiansurvivors.com, and we will endeavour to answer any of your questions.

With Gentle Care,
Emily & Susannah
Small Groups Programme Leaders

Quotes from some of our Small Group Members