Guidelines for Practice Groups
Contributions from Betty Petersen, CHTPI, Nancy Bates, HTP and Kim Polvi, HTCP.
Jan Fennell, CHTP, has responded to one of the ‘wishes’ expressed at the HTAC AGM in April 2008 by compiling these suggestions:
Every group has its own ‘personality’ and is therefore encouraged to develop its own variations of these guidelines to meet the needs of its members.
- Try to find a church or similar facility where you do not have to pay rent. Some communities practise in members’ homes, which is more cosy.
- Determine the number of times per month your group wants to meet. Do you want afternoon or evening sessions, or both?
- Have participants bring massage tables. We have used church hall tables but clearly they are not as comfy as a massage table! Rotate if possible, so it is not always the same people lugging tables.
- Suggest one person facilitates each evening. This is best done on a pre-determined rotational basis.
- Also decide on a schedule of techniques to be practised, so the facilitator(s) can prepare. One suggestion is for the first Practice Group in the month to be review for Level 1 techniques only, and another time, perhaps, Level 2 or 3 techniques can be studied and practised.
- Some groups begin by sharing healing experiences or asking questions that have arisen since the last meeting. Then discuss and perhaps demonstrate the specific technique that has been chosen for that session.
- Review the process for the evening. For example, the importance of asking for the client’s permission, making sure the client is grounded at the end of the session, having water ready for the client when she/he gets off the table.
- Divide the group so there is the same number at each table. Remind everyone to respect a quiet, compassionate space for all.
- Decide on the time for each session, determined by the number of students and the time available. Respect all students by starting and ending at the designated time.
- Have a meditation to get everyone clear, grounded and present.
- Turn on the music and have it playing softly in the background.
- One way is for the facilitator to voice-guide the technique so that everyone is doing the same thing at the same time. This is excellent for anyone who has just taken a course at any level and needs reinforcement of the technique. Or, for a general practice, each group can be free to choose the most appropriate technique for the person on the table. This is a good system when there are experienced healers in the group.
- The facilitator can gently remind everyone when there are only a few minutes left for the session. After a short de-briefing for the client and practitioners, someone else gets on the table. Ensure that everyone gets a treatment during the Practice Group
End with a general discussion on how things went for everyone, as a client and as a practitioner.
- Perhaps a short meditation to end the evening and the facilitator can announce when you will meet again and who will be the facilitator for the next Practice Group Session
- Everyone shares in tidying the room and returning it to the original condition. (Should go without saying, but…)