Guidelines for Peer Primal Groups

by Barbara Ann Bryan, August 2013



Contents:
Part One: Location and Group Structure
Part Two: House Rules
Part Three: Guidelines for Buddying
Part Four: Helpful Suggestions



PART FOUR: Helpful Suggestions

If a person is stuck and really wants to work through whatever blocks are keeping them there, then the helper may ask if they are willing to try something which may help them get into their feelings. The following are some useful ways to do that:

1. Rolling side to side on the mat often works to release some feelings or bring up images or memories.
2. Sitting face to face with eye contact and holding hands is a safe way to start.
3. Pulling on their hands, as a way to pull the sounds out, can help them open their throats to access the feelings they need to release.
4. If their body is tight, they could try to loosen up with a tantrum exercise.
5. If they are expressing anger at a person, suggest they talk directly to that person. If they are willing, they could use the bat to emphasize their words. Encourage them to let the anger take over. Even a few moments will help them understand what letting a feeling take over feels like.
6. Sometimes it is appropriate to suggest a gestalt-type exercise where you talk to the person you are working on, using a pillow to represent the person. Then you change places, become the person and respond. This back and forth dialogue can bring up more intense feelings.
7. Dreams can reveal hidden information and feeling work.
8. When the main feelings are slowing down, you may want to say, "Do you remember another time when you felt like this?"
9. Most participants come in with anxiety/fear. It is important to be caring, supportive and reassuring. If they are feeling a lot of fear, it may help to ask permission to hold their hand. This gives them a link to the here and now, and then they may be able to go deeper into their feelings.
10. Once their feelings are flowing, stay out of their way, keep them safe and just be there when they need you. Remember, "When in doubt, do nothing"!



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