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Guidelines for Buddying

by Barbara Ann Bryan, August, 2013

1. It's the client's session, let them lead. Your main job is to support, protect from physical harm, and be an observer/witness of their process.

2. Discuss and respect the boundary issues. Never touch without first getting permission, (no skin to skin touch ever). Remind them of the "Stop, I mean it!" rule.

3. Encourage the person to relax, breathe deeply and let their body move with freedom. Suggest they make sounds if they appear to be holding them in.

4. Avoid analyzing and intellectualizing. Rule: "Feel first, understand later." Do no, however, discourage them from verbalizing their feelings.

5. Do not push anyone in any direction, even the "right one." They will find their own way when they are ready.

6. Limit your talking. This is their time, not yours. No talking, or very limited self-disclosure and only when relevant.

7. No advice; you are not here to "fix them."

8. Most important rule: "When in doubt, do nothing!".

9. Reflect back their statements when it feels right.

10. Have them repeat key phrases over and over again.

When both buddies have had their turn on the mat, it is time for all participants to share their experience. It is really helpful to put words to your insights or connections. That is where the integration starts. The sharing adds to the cohesiveness and support of the group.





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