- The facilitator will open the session by introducing himself/herself. He/she will then tell the chemically addicted person that everyone is here today because they are concerned and care. The facilitator will then ask the chemically addicted person to agree to spend some time with the group. The facilitator will explain that the concerned others have things which they want to tell the chemically addicted person, and they would simply like this time to say these things. If the chemically addicted person is hesitant or resistant to making a commitment, the request can be repeated. After a verbal commitment is made and the rules are explained, the facilitator will request that the first person present his/her data. Allow the facilitator to take control, follow the facilitator’s cues and directions.
- The facilitator will explain the “rules” to the whole group. The rules are simply that each concerned other will be allowed to present his/her data without being interrupted. The chemically dependent person will be allowed to respond to each data presentation after it is completed. Again, rely on your facilitator to control the length of this response.
- Do not argue with the chemically dependent person or become angry. If the chemically dependent person disagrees with your data, simply restate the data, restate your concern and restate your feelings relating to each incident. Again, watch your facilitator for cues and direction.
- Allow the facilitator to present the alternative you have selected for the chemically dependent person. The facilitator will answer questions like “What is treatment?” and “How long will it take?”
- If the treatment alternative is not selected, the facilitator will present the secondary alternatives. The chemically dependent person may not readily accept the treatment option. This means that you and the facilitator will have to give encouragement. Also, allow the facilitator to make the decision as to when the secondary alternative is necessary. You do not want to pursue the secondary alternative unless you absolutely have to.
- If you, as concerned others, have selected alternatives for yourselves, you will be asked by the facilitator to explain these alternatives to the chemically dependent person. Again, the facilitator will directly request you to do this. Follow the guidance of the facilitator.
- Present only the data on your list and present it as you presented it in your rehearsal session. Do not give any data which your facilitator has not heard and/or approved.
- Do not use the words “alcoholic” or “drug addict.” These will be taken as accusations. You are presenting data, not making a diagnosis.
- Do not blame, criticize or judge. Present your data in a caring, concerned manner.