WELCOME to our tEK Peer Support Groups
(*Scroll down for information on group locations and contact info)
What are Emerging Kind Peer Support Groups?
The Emerging Kind (tEK) Peer Support Groups are for people who view their mental health crisis as part of a spiritual transformation process, and would like to be part of a group where they are validated and supported to find meaning in their experience. tEK groups aim to provide safe spaces where experiencers feel empowered to speak openly without fear of judgement or pathologisation of their experience. tEK support groups are facilitated by a trained peer supporter; someone who has emerged through their own crisis and now feels inspired to help others who are going through a similar process.
The training framework and documentation is inspired by the work of ACISTE (https://aciste.org), to whom we are extremely grateful and continued to be closely aligned.
What is the purpose of a tEK Peer Support Group?
The purpose of the support group is to provide a safe and confidential space for experiencers to share and discuss their experiences, derive meaning, explore the challenges and after effects, in order to facilitate integration.
Peer support groups consist only of Peers. This means everyone participating, including the facilitator, is a person who has had a spiritually transformative experience as defined below.
An experience is spiritually transformative when it causes people to perceive themselves and the world profoundly differently: by expanding the individual’s identity increasing their sensitivities, and thereby altering their values, priorities and appreciation of the purpose of life. This may be initiated by surviving a near death experience, alternative states of consciousness and can also be related to trauma.
We do not question the basis for the experience. If an experiencer is going through changes and would benefit from sharing them, he or she is welcome to attend the group, as long as there is space. Most groups will be ‘closed’ to new members for set periods of time to allow for depth of group bonding.
The groups are not to provide therapy – but each member attends to help each other process and integrate their own experiences, their meaning and challenges.
We aim to be non- judgemental and empowering, listening with compassion to how the experiencer feels. Group agreements will be made together during the first session. Groups are free to attend (with shared donations to cover refreshment costs) and Facilitated by Peer volunteers.
What are the goals of a tEK Peer Support Group?
- To assist each other in understanding that our experiences are normal.
- To create a safe space to encourage open sharing
- To encourage each other to talk about spiritually transformative experiences, common needs and challenges, whilst respecting each other’s wish to just listen sometimes.
- To assist and encourage each other in developing self-confidence and compassionate self- expression
- To assist each other to find helpful and life – affirming meaning in our experiences
- To share ideas and suggestions from our own perspective and only offering insight when invited.
- To assist each other in identifying our own needs.
- To assist each other in getting our needs met in ways that do not impede others from meeting their own needs.
- To assist each other to live with integrity in all aspects of our life
Where are the tEK Peer Support Groups?
Location and Facilitator contact details will be listed here as groups are initiated. If you’d like to attend, please contact the location Facilitator directly to enquire whether there are any spaces;
Norwich, Norfolk, UK (Currently closed to members)
Location: Kinda Kafe, 21 -23 Castle Meadow, Norwich, Norfolk
1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, 7 -9pm
£2 voluntary contribution towards venue and refreshment costs
Contact Katie: firstname.lastname@example.org
Oxford , Oxfordshire UK (open to members)
Location: Mind Wellbeing Centre on Cowley Road
1st and 3rd Monday of each month
Voluntary contribution towards venue and refreshment costs
Interested/ Please Contact Alan :email@example.com
Watch this space for more locations coming soon!