The groups will meet once a week for an hour and fifteen minutes, at the same time each week. Each person will be able to see and hear each other person in the group, in little boxes on your computer screen or phone, whichever you use. You will connect through your email to my computer through my Zoom Meetings app. Other participants will only have your email address, and a first name or nickname you give for us to call you by. Each person can have their video turned on, off, blurred, or enhanced (to make you look better!). I will make sure no one talks less than half as much or more than twice as much as anyone else, except sometimes when the group wants me to teach something. I will protect members from unwanted feedback or advice, by chairing each group to keep us on task. The group members will have been screened by me, so that each must earn my trust that they will observe strict confidentiality, so that "What you hear here, and who you see here, stays here." To preserve anonymity, I will ask participants not to share during groups their last names, spouse's name, phone numbers, or where anyone lives, works, or worships. You can exchange contact information by mutual agreement through me, once you and someone else in group want to get to know each other outside of group. To keep people from feeling excluded or rejected, conversations and meetings between group members outside of group will not be mentioned in group. If they are, they will hold another meeting/conversation that's open to any group member who wishes to be included. Contacts between meetings are encouraged, so participants can help and get to know each other between sessions as they wish.
I am charging each group as a whole $160 per group for 75 minutes of time. This way I receive about 20% of what I would be paid per hour of contact if I was seeing people in the office. As all participants get up to 15 minutes of free phone time, and I pay for the software, encryption security, and bandwidth for these video calls, I am working at a discount here, as we all should be during this crisis. Fewer participants will get more attention and help than members of a larger group. So I'll charge a small group of three $50 per group for the first month, and if more join, the price will go down accordingly, so that a group of 4 people would pay $40 per session, 5 people would pay $32 per group, and a full group of six would pay $28. As with any therapy group, I ask that each person pay by the month, ahead of time. That increases participants' investment, commitment, and loyalty to the group, because as Jesus taught us, our hearts follow our treasure. If anyone drops out within the first month for any reason, they will be refunded what they haven't used, up to half of their first payment. So that all participants are fully prepared for their group experience, they will be screened personally by me, and they will have signed a fully informed consent statement, which you can download and print out here.