SOCIAL ANXIETY/SHYNESS SUPPORT GROUP
Welcome: Welcome to the Washington Metropolitan Area Social Anxiety Support Group. We hope you will participate in our discussion but no one is required to talk and you are free to leave at any time. Please remember everything said at group meetings is confidential and must not be repeated outside the group.
Introductions: (If new members are present) For those who would like to participate, we will take turns introducing ourselves. If you would rather not participate, just say “I pass” when your turn comes and we’ll move on to the next person. You may simply give your name or a brief description of yourself and why you are here.
Successes, Requests for Assistance and Discussion: The facilitator will ask for volunteers to share a recent success, an effective treatment or strategy, an upcoming event or ongoing situation that presents difficulty. The following guidelines may be helpful in describing a past event: a) describe the situation, b) describe coping strategies you tried, d) ask others for coping strategies that have been successful for them e) set a realistic goal to work on before the next meeting.
We know that coming to a support group meeting can be very stressful, especially one’s first visit. We do, however, want you to be as comfortable as is possible. You are encouraged to participate in group discussion but are also welcome to listen quietly if you prefer not to talk. You may leave the room at any time and feel free to bring a friend or family member along if it makes you feel more comfortable.
Confidentiality: Nothing said at our meetings is ever repeated outside of the group. It is imperative that all members feel free and safe to say anything without fear of it being repeated elsewhere. It is fine and good for members to meet and greet one another outside of the group, but no reference to the group should be mentioned. Not all of us are ready to share our challenge with the world yet.
We Are Not A Therapy Group: We are a self-help group made up of individuals with a common experience involving social anxiety/shyness. All members are equal and all members should be given the opportunity to participate without any one person dominating.
Because social anxiety and accompanying mental disorders can be a source of acute depression, we are concerned about sufferers who may be considering injuring themselves. We strongly encourage anyone seriously considering any self-destructive actions to seek professional help as soon as possible.
RESPONSIBILITY OF GROUP MEMBERS TO EACH OTHER
The primary purposes of a self-help group is to provide an environment where people with common problems can meet and help each other in a supportive, caring, and non-judgmental atmosphere. Maintaining this environment is the responsibility of all members. Please be aware of your responsibility to:
• Help members feel comfortable and get to know each other.
• Be sure the speaker has finished describing his/her problem before offering any ideas.
• Listen attentively when another member is speaking and discourage side conversations.
• Promote positive, upbeat comments lest the discussion deteriorate into a gripe session.
• Recognize when a member’s problem is beyond the group’s ability to help and be willing to suggest alternative resources outside the group.
• Assure fellow members that whatever is said in the group stays there (maintain confidentiality).
• No money should be exchanged among group members.
DISCLAIMER: We are not affiliated with any religious group. Attendance at our meeting indicates that members take full responsibility for their own interpretation of information and that the group is free from any liability.