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How to Prepare Members of Your Peer Support Circle

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This preparation is step 3 of 3 to start a Circle. Step 1 is planning and registering and step 2 is recruiting members.

Briefly Prepare Each Member Individually

After you have gotten a person interested in joining your Circle, it's important to prepare them for the experience of a support Circle. Here's a brief procedure that is very useful for doing that. Arrange a phone call with each prospective Circle member.

  1. Mention who the other members of the Circle are or might be.
  2. Ask them if they have any questions or suggestions about the Circle process.
  3. Ask them to review and sign this Member Agreement if they agree to join your Circle. Mention that all of the other members will share theirs, as well.
  4. Verify the date, time and location of the first meeting. The first meeting includes introductions and a short training, so it is about 30 minutes longer than the others.
  5. Ask them to review information about your selected virtual technologies, and mention which technology that you have chosen. Ask for their feedback.
  6. Ask them to share up to a one-page biography with each of the other members before the training.

"We've exchanged useful materials and so on. Most helpful, though, is getting support, knowing you're not alone." – Herb Smith, Alliance for Speaking Truth on Prostitution, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Train Members Together About Circle Process

In your first Circle meeting, you all will share:

  1. Introductions
  2. Description of the Circle process
  3. Experience a brief demonstration of the Circle process

Follow the guidelines in How to Train Your Peer Support Circle Members.

(Photo courtesy of Elly Fairytale on