Protocol for Closing a Group in the Matrixworks way
Designed for the HakomiMatrix Training in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1) By establishing your time frame at the beginning of your group, you will support the safety and integrity of your Container. Arrive early and set the environment for members to arrive. Once members are in their seats, begin the group with a Welcome and Appreciation for those attending. Then to establish the time boundaries, you might use a phrase like: “We will have 1 hour (or whatever the total time is) to be together. We hope to hear from everyone, and co-facilitators will watch the time for you.” If it is true for you and you think it is a good idea, you can reference that good time boundaries are like banks of the river, helping the river of the group to flow. Use your intuition about whether to speak to this out loud, or just know this for yourself.
2) About 15 minutes before the group is to complete, remind the group of the time frame, and let them know you, as co-facilitators, will be directing the group energy to this completion.
3) Invite anyone who has not spoken to share. Hopefully, because of your skillful facilitation, there will only be one or two people who have not spoken. If there are more, get creative: invite those who have not spoken and who want to speak to just share a word for how they are feeling just now.
4) Shift to completion-integration by fielding a question like: ”What has happened here? What themes, issues, discoveries are in your awareness as we complete?”
5) Wait to see what arises from the group. If there is silence and it feels awkward, as leaders, you can prime the pump by naming a few special moments from the group.
6) As participants speak, try to stitch together a description of the journey, using the knowledge you have of the Spirals of group life. In other words, what significant interactions and self-disclosures happened in the arenas of CONNECTION, CHAOS, CREATIVITY, or CONSCIOUSNESS? Is there anything incomplete? Note: there always will be ‘incompletes.’ We often finish in our next group, things that began in a prior group.
7) Co-Facilitators complete with each other, acknowledging their work together. Share an appreciation for each other out loud. Modeling collaboration rather than competition, demonstrating interconnectedness and autonomy.
8) Name the next meeting if there will be one, and offer information about how to stay in touch with each other and the leaders.
9) Co-Facilitators: offer a few words that are genuine about the power of the small group. Name that connection and care are the medicine for these times. Acknowledge that this group can bring healing for everyone because of the compassion that comes from connection.
10) Invite everyone to bring their energy back to themselves, and be mindful of how they are impacted by the group. Formally close the group with a gesture (could be a bow, but something else if that is more aligned with the culture of the group). Could close with few moments of mindful silence. If time allows, you could do a round of sentence completion: “One thing I have loved about the group is _______. Then, open the circle and exchange goodbyes with members.
11) Debrief with Co-Facilitator: especially attend to levels of Safety, Satisfaction and Connection in the group and with each other. Celebrate your completion. Express your gratitude for your own willingness to learn and to be in relationship.
12) Plan a new/next group!!!