«REVISED EDITION © Copyright 2010 - by Abraham Low Self-Help Systems ************* Neither this booklet, nor any portion thereof, may be reproduced ...»
GROUP LEADERS’ GUIDE
I. RI Group Meeting Policies and Procedures
II. RI Group Leadership
III. Appendix A – Recovery International Meetings
IV. Appendix B – RI Discovery Meetings
V. Appendix C – Recovery International Phone Meetings
VI. Appendix D – Recovery International Online Meetings
© Copyright 2010 - by Abraham Low Self-Help Systems ************* Neither this booklet, nor any portion thereof, may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of Abraham Low Self-Help Systems.
********** Abraham Low Self-Help Systems 105 W. Adams St, Ste 2940, Chicago, Il 60603 Telephone: 312-337-5661 / Fax: 312-764-4446 / Toll free 866-221-0302 info@LowSelfHelpSystems.org www.LowSelfHelpSytems.org
GROUP LEADERS’ GUIDE INDEX
Section III – Appendix A (items may be copied as needed) (Materials marked with a document number will be found in the document section of this Appendix) Materials To Be Given To the Newcomer
Materials for Use During the Meeting
Welcome Message for Newcomers
Importance of Trivialities
Tips for Leading an RI Example
Voluntary Contribution and Scripts
MHTWT Chapter Page Number Cross Reference Chart
Selections from Dr. Low’s Works: CD Format
Policy Statements Essential Elements of the Recovery Method
Essential Components of a Recovery International Meeting................. A14 Confidentiality and Note-taking
Policies Governing Recovery International Meetings
Guidelines and Helpful Information A Sampling of Tools & Terms: Guidelines for Group Leaders............ A20 Newcomer’s Orientation During Weekly Meetings
Guidelines for Leaders: Dealing with Distrubing Behavior at meetings.... A25 Books By and About Dr. Low and Recovery International
Letter to Request Meeting Space
Certificate of Attendance
Confirmation of Attendance
Order Forms & Publications Group Leader’s Order Form Member’s Order Form Dr Low’s Lectures on CD: Order Form Revolving Literature Fund Procedures Revolving Literature Fund Agreement Membership Form Donation Form Additional RI Publications Documents What You Can Expect at a Recovery International Meeting...... Doc. 1 Recovery International Frequently Asked Questions
How a Recovery International Example is Constructed.............. Doc. 3 A Sampling of Tools and Terms
Constructing an RI Example: A Worksheet
“You Are Not Alone” Stories
Examples of Recovery Practice
Section IV: Appendix B RI Discovery Group Structure & Materials (Items may be copied as needed) (Materials marked with a document number will be found in the document section of this Appendix) Welcome
What You Can Expect at a Recovery International Meeting..... Doc. 1 RI Discovery Quick Facts
RI Discovery Structure
Materials for the Newcomer
Policies Governing RI Discovery Meetings
Section V: Appendix C RI Telephone Meetings Group Structure and Materials (Items may be copied as needed) Welcome Message for Newcomers
Welcome to Recovery International Telephone Meetings................. C4 What to Expect During an RI Telephone Meeting
RI Group Leaders’ Guide, Rev. 04/10 Recovery International Telephone Meetings FAQ’s
Recovery International Phone Meeting Procedures
Policies Governing RI Phone and Online Meetings
Books By and About Abraham Low and Recovery International..C17 Sample Telephone Meeting Schedule
Section VI: Appendix D RI Online Meetings Group Structure and Materials (Items may be copied as needed) What You Can Expect at an RI Online Meeting
Recovery International Online Meetings FAQ’s
Important Information about Online Chats
Policies Governing RI Phone and Online Meetings
MISSION STATEMENTThe mission of Abraham Low Self-Help Systems is to use the cognitive-behavioral, peer to peer, self-help training system developed by Abraham Low MD to help individuals gain skills to lead more peaceful and productive lives.
VISION STATEMENTAbraham Low Self-Help Systems will be the world’s premier provider of self-help training for mental health and wellness available to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
You, the Group Leaders, Assistant Leaders, and Prospective Leaders, are the most important component in the Recovery International (RI) organization. Without you there could be no RI. It is you, primarily, who carry out the Mission of Abraham Low Self-Help Systems to preserve the Method and to make it available at weekly group meetings.
You have chosen to perform an important service, one which will strengthen your own nervous constitution and, at the same time, help many others to regain and maintain good mental health.
The purpose of this Leaders’ Guide is to assist you in achieving that goal. Having a full knowledge and understanding of RI’s policies and procedures will give you a feeling of security and confidence. It will help you to effectively lead your group. Please read the Guide carefully and review it frequently. Remember, also, to endorse yourself for all your efforts. Thank you for your group mindedness.
This letter from Treasure Rice, one of Recovery International’s (RI) pioneers, was in the 1997 Group Leaders’ Guide. In spite of the passage of time the information in this letter is still both timely and valid.
Both Treasure and Phil Crane, another pioneer mentioned, have now passed away.
Dear Group Leader:
The purpose of this letter is to thank you for being a Recovery leader. Imagine what would happen at our meetings if trained leaders were not there to help the group stay within the structures so carefully developed by Dr. Low.
There is no MODEL LEADER. It’s good that you bring your own unique characteristics to leadership. Your group members also bring their own characteristics. So each and every meeting has its own set of dynamic energy.
Dr. Low understood in depth what happens during a Recovery meeting. WE know only the surface meaning, and that’s why it is so important that we respect and follow the format established for Recovery groups. Within the context of this formula, there is plenty of room for you to be you and not an imitation of anyone else.
Phil Crane* and I, as a team, used to travel to the various areas to conduct leader training. Then came the day, when I was asked to go alone on one of these trips. I told Phil how inadequate I felt. I said, “How can I do this?” He said, “Just be yourself, Treasure.” Then he added, “Dr. Low told me that it is not what you say that is important. It’s what you get the others to say.” Armed with this philosophy of averageness about leadership, I was able to go against my fears. It’s much more relaxing when you know you don’t have to be exceptional and that you can just be yourself.
I think it is important that leaders let the members know that this is “our group” and not “my group”. Besides developing assistant leaders, you can ask people to help set up chairs, serve refreshments, greet newcomers, etc. The expression of appreciation at the meeting, from time to time, can call attention to this group effort. This develops self-leadership in group members.
Early on, when I was leading the first meeting in Michigan, Dr. Low invited me to attend his “Seniors” meeting of the leadership of the Chicago home groups.
He began to tell them about my leadership, so far from his presence and home base. I was basking in his words of praise when presently I heard him say,
You leaders form the very backbone of our organization and this letter is to call attention to the great work you are doing and to let you know that your work is appreciated. Even more important than receiving praise from others is selfendorsement. Endorse yourself for your will to effort, your will to bear discomfort, your courage to make mistakes, and for spotting your own limitations as a layperson.
Know in your hearts, that as you go to your meetings each week, you can fulfill a real community service by bringing Dr. Low’s Method to those who need this help.
Recovery thanks you. I thank you and congratulate you too, because leading a Recovery group helps to develop self-leadership and that’s what Recovery training is all about.
These policies and procedures pertain to all RI meetings including RI Traditional, RI Discovery, RI Telephone, and RI Online meetings.
Additional policies and procedures for RI Traditional, RI Discovery, RI Telephone and RI Online meetings are noted in the appendix of this guide.
Recovery International Developed by Dr. Low The Recovery International (RI) systematic Method of self-help mental health is the result of many years of careful experimentation with many techniques by the late neuropsychiatrist, Abraham Low MD. In 1952 Dr. Low established the first panel meeting in Chicago, Illinois. There the policies and group procedures were developed which have since served as the model for all RI meetings. They are still to be closely observed. Their effectiveness has been repeatedly proven by the test of time. The Recovery International Method has been used, and is still being used, by many thousands of persons throughout the world.
Who May Attend RI Meetings RI meetings are open to all adults.
Location of Meetings RI meetings may be held in any public building, such as a community building, a university or school building, a bank, a church or synagogue. Meetings may also be held in a general meeting room open to the public at a hospital and/or medical facility. Meetings are not held in private homes. Convenience and safety for members and, if possible, a meeting place that is free of charge and handicapped accessible are the primary goals in selecting a location.
Closed meetings (open only to the clients of a specific agency or hospital) are permissible with approval of the Area Leader/Team/RI Staff.
Contact Numbers Leaders should have a phone available at the weekly meeting, either by cell phone or landline, in case of an emergency. They should also have a number for their meeting
Frequency of Meetings Meetings are held once a week on the same day, at the same time, and in the same place. It is the option of the group leader and members to hold a meeting on a holiday provided the facility and a leader are available.
Meeting Room Arrangement It is important to have the room set up in advance. If possible, there should be a table with chairs around it, as well as a place for literature and refreshments. If the group is too large to fit around the table, or in one circle, members can sit in a second row and, naturally, also participate in the meeting.
The Leader sits among the other group members. This brings out the fact that the leader, while responsible for the group structure, is an average member of the group.
This contributes to a feeling of fellowship.
RI Literature Literature authorized by Abraham Low Self-Help Systems (ALSHS) may be displayed, distributed, or referred to during any portion of an RI meeting, including the Mutual Aid period. This material should be available at every meeting and can be placed on a literature table. Encourage members to take the material for themselves as an aid to their practice of the Method. Also encourage them to give the literature to their family members, friends, and any professionals they may consult in the medical field.
This is an easy and simple way of helping to make RI better known. Increasing public awareness and educating the public about the value of the Recovery Method is an important part of our Mission.
Materials from other mental health organizations, agencies and programs may be displayed or exchanged at our meetings with the approval of the Area Leader/Team.
Role of the Leader The Leader’s role is to demonstrate the RI Method and to keep the meeting within the framework established by Dr. Low and The Board of Directors of Abraham Low Self-Help Systems. It should be clear to the group that the Leader is neither a teacher
Beginning the meeting at the scheduled time helps to establish and demonstrate the discipline of the Method. In order to do this, the Leader or his/her designee should arrive at least 15 minutes early. The room may have to be arranged and there may be newcomers to greet. This extra time also gives members an additional opportunity for mutual aid.