Meetings

ATTENDANCE

Who these meetings ARE for:
Anyone who has DID/MPD or another dissociative disorder and is in the process of re-claiming life (therapists who have a dissociative disorder are welcome).
Who these meetings are NOT for:
Friends, significant others, students, journalists, observers.

MEETING FORMAT

Our two-hour monthly meetings are divided into two sections:

First 1 & 3/4+ hours:
Open discussion/sharing about issues concerning living with DID/MPD:
After the sharing guidelines (see below) are read by the moderator, the floor is open for topic suggestions. There are usually 3 to 5 topics, then the sharing begins. Participants have the option of sharing on or off the topics. **Note: See MEETING TOPICS for past meeting topics.

Last 10 min. (or less if there isn’t much business to discuss and we shared longer):
Discussion of group format and ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES:
This “business meeting” enables all members to be a part of shaping the group. Some issues discussed at past meetings have been:
-Sharing guidelines
-The development of this website
-Whether we should allow observers like psych students to attend meetings
(we decided not to)

SHARING FORMAT

Each person may share several times, but each individual share will be allowed a maximum of six minutes. A warning will be given when there are two minutes left, and again when there is one left. Of course, you may stop before six minutes if you wish.

SHARING GUIDELINES

  1. If you wish to share, please raise your hand and wait to be recognized by the moderator.
  2. Address your comments to the group as a whole, not to any individual member. There is no cross-talk or feedback.
  3. Speak from the “I” perspective. This means speak from your own experience. Example: “I feel…” “I did…”
  4. There will be a topic (to be decided on at the meeting). You have the option of sharing on or off the topic. You do not have to comment on what the person who shared before you said. You can share something completely different.
  5. If you do comment on other people’s sharing, please do so from the “I” perspective. Example: “I related to what the last person said because I had a similar experience.” Then go on to tell of your own experience.
  6. Please do not have whispered side conversations while someone else is talking.
  7. Ask only clarifying questions. Example: “I didn’t hear what you said.” OR “What does that word mean?” Please raise your hand to ask a question.
  8. Do not ask for information. Example: “Who is your therapist?”
  9. You may ask questions of the group as a whole when it is your turn to share, as long as you know you may or may not get an answer.
    Example-1: “Has anyone had the experience of…”
    Example-2: “If anyone would like clarification of the term I just used, please raise your hand.”
  10. Do not give advice.
  11. Do not ask for advice or information during the meeting. But it is permissible to say something like: “If anyone knows of a group on Long Island, please see me after the meeting.” OR “If anyone would like to exchange phone numbers, please see me after the meeting.”
  12. Please feel free not to answer a question, even in a private conversation before or after the meeting. You might say something like, “I’m not comfortable answering that.”
  13. Confidentiality: What you see and hear in this room should remain in this room.
  14. You don’t have to talk. No one will call on you.
  15. You are not obligated to give personal information about yourself unless you wish to do so.
  16. Please feel free to walk out and come back during the meeting.
  17. Alters are welcome as long as they respect the guidelines.
  18. Though we do not share graphic descriptions of our abuse, some things people share may be triggering to others. If you are triggered, please handle it in whatever way works best for you without interrupting the person who is sharing. Some methods that have been helpful to others are: leaving the room and/or using your own share time to talk about what the issue means to you.

GENERAL

  1. Recording: Please do not record any of the meeting. However, it’s fine to write something down.
  2. Cell phones: Please turn off cell phones or keep them on vibrate. Please leave the room to make or receive a call.
  3. Smoking: Smoking is not permitted in this building.
  4. Restrooms: Restrooms are directly across the hall.
  5. Food: Please do not eat food during the meeting. But you may sip hot or cold soft drinks.

DONATIONS

The following is read at the very end of each meeting. “We have no dues or fees, but we do have expenses. Please give what you can. And if you can’t give, please keep coming back. We need you more than we need your money.” At that point we accept any donations from those present.

**Further information on donations: Donations are not tax deductible. Donations help cover our expenses, which consist mainly of meeting room rental ($50/mo), this website ($100/yr) and our PO Box ($75/yr). Aside from donating at meetings, you may also contact us with regard to donations. Again however, don’t be deterred from attending meetings if you feel you can’t donate. We want you, more than we want your money.