What Happens in a Support Group?

Support groups are designed to be ‘peer support’ which means that people attending the groups will have been assessed to have similar needs. For example, people attending a depression support group will all be experiencing/have experienced depression.


Who runs the group?

The groups are facilitated by two people who are there to help keep the group safe for everyone. While facilitators may have counseling/psychology qualifications the role does not require this, as all facilitators undergo the same CornerHouse training and facilitate groups in a similar way.


Can I just come along?

Please contact CornerHouse before attending a group; this enables us to learn more about you and gives you an opportunity to learn more about us. We can then review together which type of group or service would suit you best and ensure that the right help is provided for you.


Do I have to register?

When you first attend CornerHouse you will be asked to complete a registration form. The information on this form is held confidentially within CornerHouse and gives us the necessary information should we need to contact you.


Are my details confidential?

Groups and services provided at CornerHouse are confidential to CornerHouse, however we must pass on any information to the relevant authorities in cases where human safety is concerned including the following cases:

  1. If you threaten harm to yourself or to another person
  2. If we believe a child or protected adult is at risk of harm or abuse
  3. If the courts instruct us to give information
  4. If you share information about a proposed act of terrorism or other illegal act

Your details are held confidentially within CornerHouse, however we do submit data to commissioners. This is needed because, as a charity, we rely on funding and therefore are required to submit anonymised data with regards numbers of people attending our services. We will not pass on your name, address, date of birth etc rather it will be anonymised, e.g. X number of new referrals in quarter 2.


Are there any rules?

At the beginning of a support group the facilitators will go through some core ‘values’ of the group which are:

Every member is important and will be listened to with respect

We try to make sure everyone is able to have their say

We don’t pressurise anyone to speak

We always respect confidentiality

We share information but recognise that we are all different,
and that each  member is responsible for their own decisions

Group members are therefore reminded each session of the group values as above.


What happens in a group?

All groups run slightly differently as it depends on the facilitators and group members, however as a general rule we try to:

  • Welcome members to the group
  • Remind the group of the group values
  • Do a ‘check in’ which is an opportunity for you to have a few minutes to say anything you feel appropriate, e.g how your week was, whether there is anything you would like to come back to during the group, or just to say that you don’t want to talk today. There is no pressure to check in
  • The rest of the group time tends to be then up to the group members as to what issues they would like to discuss. There may be times when CornerHouse staff/volunteers run a workshop or themed talk during a group time however this is usually advertised in advance


What do I say?

As the group value states, there is no pressure to say anything if you don’t want to. You may wish, at first, to just listen until you feel able to talk. Support groups are not a space for talk about political, religious or any other topic – they are predominantly there for people to talk about their weeks, their feelings, etc. and get support.


Is there a limit on the number of groups I can attend?

There is no limit to the number of groups, so you can attend multiple groups per week over a number of weeks/months. It would be helpful, however, to review the need to attend groups over a sustained length of time, to ensure that CornerHouse is helping towards your recovery.