FAQ "United Front" Group Coaching Programs
with The Crisses - Rev. Criss Ittermann, LF
We really appreciate you& considering whether to be part of our group coaching program. You& will be contributing to both the foundations of your own shared life, but also helping others who will benefit from our work together as we (the Crisses) develop this important program dedicated to fostering internal community.
What is the whole sign-up process?
- Please read the current page regarding this program for the disclaimers of the program that you must agree to to participate. You may opt out before you even begin.
- Fill out the screening questionnaire.
- Email it back to us.
- We may ask more questions otherwise we will send you the group coaching agreement.
- Send us questions or your agreement to the coaching agreement.
- Put alerts in your calendar, set alarms and make sure your tech set-up is ready for the sessions! :) Then show up. You may want drinks, snacks or notebook, etc.
- Each session we'll check in with everyone, find out how they did on their assignments, and ask what they'd like to get out of today's session, and try to make sure we come back to address appropriate requests. So be ready for the question "What would y'all like to get out of today's session?"
How do we know participants are safe? Why is it so hard to get into the group?
We'll never be 100% confident that participants are safe, and this group will be a little more open than our group coaching pilots were — we're trying to keep them lighter, accommodate more participants, and help more folk move forward. This is not the place or time for very deep sharing, but we expect it to be exceptionally enlightening, to help provide ideas & role-modeling much needed in the community, and for folks to have some accountability to move forward on projects and exercises or in courses or books they're working through.
So we're more concerned for now about whether this group is the right fit for everyone's needs, and we can calibrate sharing time and depth depending on how many people show up consistently for the meetings.
How many people will be in each group?
That's a good question. As many as hear about it and decide it sounds like a good idea for them, pass the initial screening, and actively wish to participate.
I think a good size would be around 20. We'll be surprised if we get more than that who actually show up each session. But let's find out?
How will I stay anonymous? I'm a famous person in Internet-Land!!
You can use a pseudonym during sessions (like a username or fake system name) and participants will interact via text chat unless you are Ok with being handed the mic — so participants won't be recognized by voice. For most of the session, only Crisses will have the mic for all participants to listen to longer responses. We will work on accessibility as necessary - this is not set in stone for our sessions.
How is my privacy protected?
What is the "Important Disclaimer" that might cause us to opt out or be disqualified from the program?
VERY IMPORTANT!!! If you are very depressed, if you are actively considering or contemplating suicide, or if you or anyone in your system may harm yourself, your body, or others, then this program is not for you, and please do not continue the application process. Please seek out a crisis hotline or your professional support team ASAP.
What else will we (our whole system) be agreeing to?
Rev. Criss Ittermann ("the Crisses") is not a qualified therapist, cannot provide trauma treatment, and cannot provide crisis intervention services. We understand this is a screening for a group coaching program for working on internal community issues, current and future behavior, related beliefs, and internal relationships. Participation in the program may have unintended consequences in increasing our self-awareness (selves-awareness) and may exacerbate other symptoms, so there may be risks involved. We understand that this program is not PTSD treatment, and if we find ourselves triggered, we may need to mobilize other supports to help us handle anxiety, depression, or other PTSD symptoms. We understand that this program and materials are based on grassroots community knowledge, holistic practices, non-religious spiritual concepts, coaching methods, self-help materials, neo-shamanic training, and other complementary techniques and are not a replacement for medical attention, therapy, pharmaceuticals, or other professional support or intervention.
How long will the coaching program run?
This time we're experimenting with ongoing coaching. As participants will be choosing weekly topic ideas from the ideas generated within the group itself, the group will hopefully evolve on its own as all the participants grow.
If all the participants handle 1 lecture, lesson, or exercise per week even from our own materials, the group could go on indefinitely. However, it's not limited to our materials. One participant may be working through Got Parts?, while another may be practicing their DBT skills from an outside group or workbook. Someone else might be catching up on presentations from the Plural Positivity World Conference or …sky is the limit.
We do expect occasional group attrition, so we will then open up slots after the group is closed for folks on the wait list. We will check in with the group on opening a few slots at a time so that there's a few new folk and not just 1 new person and a whole bunch of people who already have rapport. It will help us not get too insular or comfortable, and bring new ideas & needs into the group.
How can you offer the group coaching program for such a low sliding scale?
These session fees are subsidized by our Patreon sponsors, and our current financial obligations are moderate to low. Uncoerced donations and additional patrons are always accepted to help compensate for our time and attention being removed from other financial support obligations & pursuits. This situation may not last forever, so we're excited to do this for as many folk as our situation, spoons and time allow.
What is this group about? Can I get a copy of the syllabus/curriculum?
Each group is going to be unique. Some topics we expect to keep "in the hopper" or to start the group out on in the beginning include:
- What do y'all want to get from the group?
- Safety Planning
- Handling overwhelm
What is the format of a session like?
We expect to have a scaffold for each session that goes something like this:
- Opening brief: who's front, how you feel (1-2 words), and is there anything specific you'd like from today's session?
- weekly accountability: how did your weekly goal go? What got in the way, What worked, what didn't work?
# Address anything "burning" from the what folk would like from today's session?
- Exercise(s) or Discussion Topic - a paragraph, saying, a few minutes for internal discussion, then back to group for open discussion.
- Setting new weekly goals
- Vote/poll for next week's topic(s) - 1-2 minutes for ideas, 2 minutes for votes
- Address any other items from the what folk would like from today's session if there's spare time.
- Ask quiet people in the back for comments on the meeting.
- Open share
- reminders if any needed
- session is dismissed
- An email newsletter or follow-up sent out including:
- Any links, references, or follow-up materials that may have been mentioned during the session.
- A link for the weekly survey in case you want to give anonymous feedback about the session.
- Reminders about the next session date(s) & topic(s).
What other topics might be covered in the sessions?
Here's some of the basic ideas and competencies that may be repeated for basic groups if needed:
- As Inside, So Outside & Vice Versa: the principle that the boundary between the internal system and the external system is permeable and not as thick as we think. System dynamics.
- Hierarchical Language: how the words you choose may create power struggles in your system
- Name-calling & Internal Bullying: they can hear you talk about them
- De-personalization: stripping internal folk of their person-hood
- Force and coercion: locking people up, keeping them out of front
- Facilitating Balance and Respect
- Internal Trust Dynamics
- Fostering Internal Communication
- Working on ANS regulation
- Community formation
- recovery skills
- belongingness & inclusion
- emotional regulation
The applications and interviews will be leveraged to inspire topics based on what the group of participants needs so we can make sure to touch on material & suggest future topics that are relevant to the participants.
We can't make it right now; how do we sign up for the waiting list?
You may email us to be placed on the waiting list. Please include the following:
- What should we call you or y'all? (System name, or individual name, pseudonym is fine, pronouns)
- Which program are you interested in (if there's more than one)
- How did you hear about the program?
- That you'd like to be placed on the waiting list, and the best way to contact you.