a safer space
Participating in an online group can be therapeutic but it can also feel risky. A professionally facilitated group could help you take the first step to routinely accessing the help of others.
Safer Space is one such group. Its' a sixty minute, donation based, open online group. It happens every Thursday @ 6.30pm -730pm (unless I am on holiday.) It's for adults who choose to buy a ticket and take part.
Thinking about joining a group can trigger different feelings. You may feel both anxious at the prospect of sharing your experience and happiness at the prospect of feeling less alone. Participants have said they were helped, to manage these feelings, by talking with me about the group before they came (you can contact me here.) This page can also help you make the choice to come. When you feel ready, you can buy one of the eight tickets for each group. CLICK HERE.
What is Safer space?
Safer Space is a place for conversation. It is like a group of people meeting for lunch. We are there to learn from each other, to digest and to take a break. We are curious and conversational rather than combative, recognising our shared interest. It is a practical solidarity which works for each of us.
The absence of a set agenda, and my low expectations, help us relax to discuss our lives more freely. There is recourse through the facilitator and elsewhere but it is rarely used. It's akin to the the football game in no man's land on Christmas day. A cessation of hostilities that allows new helpful things to happen. A Safer Space.
Safer space is based on my clinical experience of, and evidence for, effective therapeutic groups. This experience includes devising, facilitating, clinically governing and being a member of, therapeutic groups across my twenty three year career in mental health. These therapeutic groups have been in high secure settings, psychiatric wards, charitable organisations and the community. The focus of groups I have worked in include anger, anxiety management, self advocacy, intensive outpatient addiction rehabilitation, open addiction groups, ward talking groups, therapeutic music groups and community talking groups. I bring all this experience to Safer Space to create a therapeutic experience for you.
So I invite you to join our therapeutic group today, and discover a safer space to talk and be you. CLICK HERE.
How does Safer space work?
Safer space works by participants practising a variety of good habits. These habits are the evidenced based, psychological, means to recover from a variety of mental health problems. They involve:
Increasing your self-awareness by communicating your experience, reflecting upon it, and being open to other people's experience.
Practising constructive emotional expression with others.
Identifying and evaluating the helpfulness of our thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
Evaluating and practising alternative ways of being.
Increasing our number responses to distressing experiences.
Rewarding yourself, and each other, for working on our problems.
Learning through observing other people.
Increasing your self-confidence through success in the group
Practising decision making about your participation in and the content of each group.
Increasing your sense of connection by asking for help, receiving help and helping other people in the group.
These habits are the change mechanisms of motivational interviewing, cognitive, and behavioural psychotherapies.
'I felt comfortable at every session [of therapy] and felt I could share my struggles in a safe environment. After my sessions I have felt my anxiety improve and understand better why it happens and how to cope with it.'
What are the boundaries?
The group's boundaries are the structure within which we communicate. The group's structure is both minimal and vital. Following the ethical principles of least restrictive and patient centered care. Safer space has the following consistent boundaried structure.
Adults (16+) under Scottish law.
Adults who want to help themselves and other people in a group setting.
Participants will be assumed to have capacity to participate unless it is established that they lack capacity.
Confidentiality - what is said in the room stays in the room, unless people are put at significant risk of harm by this boundary e.g. when threats of violence and/or suicide are made. In this instance I will attempt to contact outside services to increase the participants and other people's safety. I will also provide additional support to the participant(s), using the contact details provided through eventbrite, outside the group.
I receive clinical supervision where the group content may be discussed. I may also keep written notes of your participation.
Topics of conversation will be negotiated by the participants and facilitator.
People can come and go from the group during its operation.
People do not have to speak, or answer questions, if they do not want to, it is fine to just listen.
Violence or intimidation toward other group members is not tolerated. Participants will be removed from the group if this happens.
The mute button will not be used to silence members.
If you need to use a phone please take the call outside the group.
Please do not record the group or take pictures of people in the group.
Being under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol will prevent you being able to consent to being in the group.
People for whom the intervention seems detrimental in terms of risk to self or others.
Repeated breaches of group boundaries. If this begins to happen I will talk with the person outside the group if the breaches are not disturbing the group members or in serous cases I would remove the person from that group before discussing their future involvement with them outside the group.
'You have been absolutely amazing and helped me immensely'
Additional help if you are adversely affected by Safer space
In the event you feel adversely affected by a Safer space group you can contact me outside the group. I am usually available between 9am and 5pm Monday - Friday. I will not answer the phone when I am with a customer. When I am unavailable, please Text/Whatsapp message (07503 316840) or email me (email@example.com) I will make every effort to return your call, message, or e-mail on the same day you make it, apart from on weekends and holidays. I have also collated a list of helplines which may also be able to assist in this circumstance Click Here
If you are unable to reach me and feel that you can’t wait for me to return your call, please contact your GP and ask for an emergency appointment. The NHS 24 (phone 111) service provides urgent health advice, when your GP practice is closed. Alternatively present at any Accident and & Emergency (A&E) department and ask for a mental health assessment. If you think that someone's life is at risk you should phone 999 immediately.
Limits of confidentiality in online therapeutic groups
I work within the codes of ethics of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the British Psychological Society (BPS.) I am also compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR.) As such I am a registered data controller with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO.) There are additional potential breaches of confidentiality in an online therapy group. Participants need to be aware of and accept the risks involved. Groups will not be recorded. Potential breaches to confidentiality may include, but are not limited to:
A group member attending group in a non-secure location where a nonmember (such as a family member or roommate) can see or hear the group.
A member recording or taking a screenshot of the group members.
A member using recorded material to share the identity of the group or a specific member.
I also invite participants to read my frequently asked questions page on this website. This page includes more information on the costs and benefits of clinical psychology, therapeutic groups and my business terms and conditions.
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