- Amount: 6 sessions
- Duration: maximum one hour
- Responsible: moderator
- Participants: maximum of 10
- Target group: Dutch and Greek adults who perceive themselves as having a distance to society and/ or to the labor market
- When: the sessions are to take place in the period October 2019 – January 2020; it is advised to organize them weekly on the same day, and the same time
- How: by using voice, and optionally text and video
- Where: on an encrypted privacy-endorsing chat platform, f.i. Jitsi Meet
- (Optionally:) 6 intervision sessions
2. SESSION PROTOCOL
- Check-in (the moderator asks each participant how they are today);
- Moderator intro (a personal story by the moderator or a participant plus a question to the participants);
- Participants share stories;
- Check-out (the moderator asks every participant to reflect on the session and to write these reflections down for use in session 6)
- Session 1 (optionally offline)
- Setting up technology, introduction to protocol and ceremonies, choice of topics for future sessions
- Session 2-5
- According to the session protocol
- Session 6 (optionally offline)
- The moderator asks for a selection of participant self-reflections (as stated by the participants in the check-outs to session 2-5)
- Other participants may ask; they should avoid negative comments.
- (Optionally) Focused common practical task
4. GOOD PRACTICES
4.1 Framing of the pilot
- Not a self-help group;
- Not an expert supervision;
- Not a community;
- It is a place to be personal;
- It is a place for intervision;
- It does not see participants as people with concrete illiteracies – it sees participants as people who can develop better ways to take responsibility for themselves and their children.
- The moderator and the participants play a role (in the sense of Erving Goffman). It’s not about their whole identities but about themselves within the context of a topic.
- The moderator chooses a challenge that is experienced by the target group;
- Participants decide topics for individual sessions.
- The moderator invites the participants personally.
- The moderator is responsible for the safety of the participants and for the rhythm of the sessions.
- The moderator is a one-eyed king in a land of the blind with enough self-reflection and curiosity to enable participants to think and ask critically and empathetically.
- The moderator should use personal stories and asks for reactions from the participants.
- The moderator should ask for similar participant experiences.
- The moderator should signal that they are the same as the participants. They all feel affected by challenges.
- The moderator should be real.
- The moderator should understand the context of the daily life of the participants.
- Even if the moderator is an expert, this should not be stressed. That what the moderator has in common with the participants should be stressed.
- The moderator should not authoritatively prescribe answers and avoid enlarging learned helplessness.
- The moderator must show their respect to the participants.
- Maximum of ten per session
- Participants will start out with a lack of trust. Trust between each other and trust in the moderator. This trust needs to grow in time.
- A growing trust will lead to more openness.
- Participants’ motivation should be the joy of finding things out together on the given challenge by means of random encounters. These encounters are refreshing, enriching.
- These encounters function as intervision.
- Participants learn from other participants’ reactions and experiences.
- It’s not about getting definitive answers but about learning to ask better questions.
- It’s about feeling heard and feeling safe.
- The result is an experience of affirmation as well as a growing self-reflection about one’s own responsibility for one’s situation. This results in personal boundaries expanding.
- The result is intimacy trumping otherness online.
- The intimacy online does not translate directly to offline relations but does lead to more courtesy, more understanding, and less distrust offline.
4.4 Good practices leading to more trust and intimacy
- The sessions should be weekly on the same day and at the same time (regularity).
- Participants are open to trying being open.
- Participants are open to trying being honest.
- Participants try to communicate without moralizing.
- Participants adhere to confidentiality.
- No hierarchy exists between moderator and participants and between participants among themselves.
- Participants need to wait for another participant who speaking to finish before reacting or sharing their stories. They should even allow the participant speaker a little pause to decide whether to add more. This is interpreted by the participant speaking as respect and sincere interest. This makes all participants feel safe and heard. And this leads to trust and intimacy and more importance being given to the chats.
- The fact that the participant speaking gets space by the other participants will result in this participant sharing more details. The amount of details transforms the experience of the chat. It allows the moderator to ask a wider range of questions and opens a larger playing field for the other participants. This situation makes contact even with colleagues who one sees every day or on seemingly boring subjects fresh and interesting.
- Moderator needs to ask questions as a journalist related to the common challenge and the subtopics per session rather than to participant deficiencies.