Each lesson contains some basic elements that show up consistently each week throughout the course of this study.
The weekly lessons may consist of assessments, answering questions, filling out tables, and more. It is important that we complete all the homework within each lesson. This is key to developing new healthy behaviors.
CHANGE & GROWTH ANALYSIS
We can only change our behavior if we are aware of how our behavior is affecting us and our relationship with others. Each week, we will answer questions about our own behaviors, intended to raise awareness and encourage a mindset for change.
If we want lasting change, we must recognize that it comes only from a closer relationship with God. He has a plan for our lives—a plan to use our brokenness for His glory. If we want to experience health, we cannot stay the same. We have to allow God to use our circumstances to lead us on a path toward healing—to change and grow us into the person He created us to be. The Change & Growth Analysis is found in the companion resource, Unraveled: Weekly Tools.
THOUGHTS/FEELINGS AWARENESS LOG
This is an instrumental part of our healing. We need to understand not only how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are intertwined, but also how the lifetime of thoughts and feelings we’ve carried with us shape our current behaviors and the way we relate to others.
Building on this concept over the course of this study will help us identify how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors work together—for or against us—in the way we manage relationships. Together, we will discover the difference between thoughts and feelings, expanding our ability to recognize and articulate our emotional state and awareness. The Thoughts/Feelings Awareness Log is found in the companion resource, Unraveled: Weekly Tools.
In addition to developing health in relationship, we need to improve our overall health. We need to develop a holistic approach to healing: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Each chapter will focus on a specific aspect of self-care, which means that we will have three lessons (three weeks) to put new self-care behaviors into practice.
Many of the self-care lessons require a daily assessment or awareness exercise. Make sure to begin the self-care work early each week. The self-care lessons are included in the companion resource, Unraveled: Weekly Tools.
The tools that will be utilized on a weekly basis are located in the Unraveled: Weekly Tools companion resource. This includes the FASTER Scale, Group Check-In, Self-Care, Thoughts/Feelings Awareness Log, and Change & Growth Analysis.
The workbook, Unraveled: Managing love, sex, and relationships, and the companion resource, Unraveled: Weekly Tools, are required for the successful completion of this group and continued progress toward lifelong healing
The group guidelines should be observed by all Pure Desire groups.
CONFIDENTIALITY | CONFIDENTIALITY IS CRUCIAL.
What is said in group is presented in trust and confidence. It should be given the utmost consideration and privacy, and never shared outside the group, even with spouses.
Information about another group member’s story should not be shared without that person’s consent. In order to protect confidentiality, the group is not open to guests or visitors. Anyone who is considering joining the group after it has launched should speak directly with the group leader.
RESPECT OTHERS | SELF-FOCUS, LISTEN RESPECTFULLY, LIMIT SHARING, AND RESPECT OTHERS.
Speak only for yourself, avoid giving advice, and allow others the time to formulate their answers and come to their own conclusions. Do not contribute to side conversations, and give everyone an opportunity to share.
COMMITMENT TO ACCOUNTABILITY | REGULAR ATTENDANCE, TAKE OWNERSHIP, AND BE RESPONSIBLE.
Make attending group a priority and let your leader or co-leader know if you cannot attend a meeting. Regularly, contact a group member three times each week and daily if you experience relapse. At any time, if you feel uncomfortable with something happening in group, talk with your leader or group.
Group leaders also need to be accountable to the church. It is important for group leaders to submit to the leadership of the church, adhering to all leadership policies and requirements set forth by the church. Group leaders should also meet with the church leadership, at least once a quarter, to report the successes and challenges observed in group.
COMPLETE HOMEWORK | COMPLETE HOMEWORK AND STAY ON SUBJECT.
Homework facilitates the journey toward healing. Allow 20-30 minutes each day to complete the homework. Every group member who completes the homework has the opportunity to participate in sharing and making a contribution to the group. The homework needs to be done in writing and includes the assignments for each week in the workbook and Weekly Tools: the Group Check-in, Change & Growth Analysis, the FASTER Scale, and the Thoughts/Feelings Awareness Log.
MEMO OF UNDERSTANDING | FOR ALL GROUPS
It is important to understand the purpose and parameters of Pure Desire Groups and the moral and ethical obligations of group leaders outlined in the Memo of Understanding.
This document must be signed before an individual joins the group. No exceptions.
MEMO OF UNDERSTANDING
Please read and sign this Memo of Understanding, indicating that you have read and understand the purpose and parameters of Pure Desire groups and the moral and ethical obligations of the group facilitators.
I understand that every attempt will be made to guard my anonymity and confidentiality in this group, but that anonymity and confidentiality cannot be absolutely guaranteed in a group setting.
• I realize that the group facilitator cannot control the actions of others in the group.
• I realize that confidentiality is sometimes broken accidentally and without malice.
• I understand that I am allowed to share any of my personal experiences with others outside the group, however, I also understand that disclosing any information about others in the group with anyone outside the group is strictly prohibited. I understand that this type of behavior, whether intentional or unintentional, may result in termination of my group participation.
I understand that the group facilitator is morally and ethically obligated to discuss with me any of the following behaviors, and that this may lead to breaking of confidentiality and/or possibly intervention:
• I communicate anything that may be interpreted as a threat to self-inflict physical harm.
• I communicate an intention to harm another person.
• I reveal ongoing sexual or physical abuse.
• I exhibit an impaired mental state.
• I reveal that I have perpetrated an act of child abuse and/or child molestation or have expressed the intent to commit such an act.
• I reveal that I have perpetrated or am considering an abusive act toward the elderly and/or disabled.
I have been advised that the consequences for communicating the above types of information may include reports to the proper authorities: the police, suicide units, or children’s protective agencies, as well as to any potential victims.
I further acknowledge that if I am on probation and/or parole and I engage in wrongful behavior in violation of my parole/probation, part of my healing/recovery may include notifying the appropriate authorities.
I understand that this is a Christ-centered group that integrates recovery tools with the Bible and prayer, and that all members may not be of my particular church background. I realize that the Bible may be discussed more (or less) than I would like it to be.
I understand that this is a support group and not a therapy group and that the group facilitator is qualified by “life experience” and not by professional training as a therapist or counselor. The group facilitator’s role in this group is to create a climate where healing may occur, to support my personal work toward recovery, and to share their own experience, strength, and hope.
COVENANT TO CONTEND
I am consumed by an internal struggle. As much as it pains me to admit, my struggle is with love, sex, and relationships. I realize this struggle not only holds my life in its hands, but also the lives of those I love and care for. I now choose to fight for Godly character and integrity, not only for my soul, but also for my family, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ and, above all else, Almighty God.
I recognize the need to establish healthy control in my life. I cannot do this on my own and acknowledge the biblical truth that we are “…members of one another.” Therefore, I surrender to His wisdom, turn to the leadership of the Church, and submit myself to the process of renewing my mind.
• attend a small group weekly.
• complete the Group Check-In and Commitment to Change each week.
• trust God—His values supersede mine; therefore, I will contend to live life on His terms instead of my own or the culture around me.
• pay close attention to what I look at, listen to, and set my mind on.
• take responsibility for my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
• verbally describe and communicate my feelings in a healthy way.
• make contact with a group member or members at least three times between small group meetings.
I can accept that:
• healing is a miraculous process over time.
• healing requires feeling the pain of my past experiences and learning from it.
• I am very capable of retreating back into an addictive lifestyle.
• a relapse does not stop the healing process, but will have consequences.
• I have become skilled at lying to others and myself.
• I don’t really live in isolation—my choices affect others.
• my secrets hold me hostage to my sin.
I will commit to:
• a willingness to change and following through with my plans.
• total confidentiality. Outside of group, I will only discuss my own experiences.
• rigorous honesty with God, my small group, myself, and eventually my friends and family.
• building my knowledge base through books, CDs, videos, and seminars.
• reading Scripture and praying.
• a goal of moving toward sobriety that is living God’s way.