Online Group FAQs
Question: Is there a fee for these group sessions? Will they be like an "AA" for people with SPD (i.e., free/donation based)?
Answer: We run our small groups on a free/donation basis. We think it's important to make these sorts of things accessible even if we are "professionals" and we need to pay our bills. :) When you register for a group there will be an option to make a donation but it will in no way be connected to your ability to participate in the group. The level of donations we receive will determine our ability to continue to offer groups on a longer-term basis.
Question: When will the groups be held? I have wanted to join groups you've offered before but they have not been convenient for my schedule.
Answer: We hold our groups at a time that has worked the best for the most participants. From time to time we will hold groups on different days and at different times. If you know others in your time zone or who have similar schedules to yours, we recommend recruiting them to join so we have enough people to form a group that fits your schedule!
Question: Do we have to meet via Zoom? It makes me uncomfortable.
Answer: Yes and no. It's important to us that we find a comfortable way for everyone to participate. To date, Zoom has been the best solution we have found for hosting group meetings online. We use the increased security measures that have been put into place for Zoom users (such as meeting passwords). Also, we are open to participants calling in via phone or joining via the web (see below). Unfortunately, these methods will limit the extent of your participation in some aspects of the groups, but we want you to participate to whatever extent you are able.
If you do opt for using Zoom, you always have the freedom to choose to join the meetings with your video and microphone or or off, and we will do our best to match and accommodate your preferred level of communication. You are welcome to use the chat function only if that is what makes you comfortable.
Question: Do I have to install Zoom to participate in groups?
Answer: No. While it will make it more easy and convenient for you to join the group meetings, you have the option of dialing in via phone (which will limit you to auditory participation at designated times) or to join via a web browser without downloading the Zoom app. If you would like support on how to join via phone or web browser, just let us know.
Question: Are your groups suitable for people with trauma histories?
Answer: Yes. Many (if not all) adults with SPD have some level of trauma in their histories. Because of this, we do our best to approach everyone from a trauma-informed perspective, and we are always open to feedback on ways to improve. Here are some of the ways we strive to support everyone:
We keep groups pretty small (no more than 20 people at a time) as a way to increase a sense of safety, familiarity, and predictability
We make an effort to get to know each group participant to identify what accommodations and supports would help them feel most comfortable in a group
We intentionally steer well away from potentially triggering conversations within a group as much as possible
We do our best to have a secondary/backup leader in each group to manage group dynamics and to help with tech support, etc.
We encourage anyone who feels triggered during a group session to message one of the session leaders to let them know so we can offer timely support
We encourage participants to mute their audio and turn off their screens if they ever just need a break from the stimulation or content, and all participants are welcome to leave at any point if they need to
If you have any further ideas on how to make an online group feel safe and supportive, we would be happy to hear it.