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Hodgepodge: Why Module Seven? Next ADOH peer facilitator training and Living Truth interview

Module Seven: Confidentiality, Legal Obligations to Report, and Referrals

Learning objective: Participants will describe the importance of creating policies related to confidentiality, legal obligations to report, and referrals to appropriate therapeutic/certified life coach providers.

As it relates to the peer facilitator role, module seven addresses the types of legal or ethical issues that may arise in partner support groups. Instead of attempting to provide a thorough review of complex issues that ‘lack explicit legal guidance for peer support groups’ we focus on identifying the issues, where to turn for help/direction when uncertain, and an appropriate facilitator response.

Topics covered include defining

1. The scope of the peer facilitator role as well as the purpose and culture of the group.

2. When and how the peer facilitator explains guidelines related to confidentiality including that although you and the group members highly value confidentiality, you cannot guarantee all members will abide by guidelines.

3. When, why, and how a peer facilitator may break confidentiality. This requires the peer facilitators’ awareness of:

  • Mandatory (or) reporting requirements in the facilitator's location

  • Who to turn to with questions

  • If offering groups through a church, ministry, organization or with a clinician… ensuring reporting guidelines in place

4. Intimate partner violence – when and how to initiate a conversation in or outside of group, where to help, how to support.

5. Suicide - when and how to initiate a conversation in or outside of group, where to turn for help, how to support

6. When, why, and how to refer a group member to a professional clinician or trauma-trained coach

ADOH alumni perspectives


“Creating a safe environment is foundational to move forward in their healing journey. Information shared in group is not to be shared outside the group, including spouses, family, or close friends. Breaking confidentiality is necessary only to get immediate help for someone in danger of hurting herself or someone else. Texas law requires anyone with knowledge of suspected child abuse or neglect to report it to the appropriate authorities. The law even extends to individuals whose personal communications may be privileged, such as attorneys, clergy members, and health care professionals."

The the types of reporting behaviors reporting guidelines should cover:

  • Child abuse and neglect

  • Elder abuse and neglect

  • Intimate partner violence

  • Suicide threats (self-harm)

  • Threats to others’ well being


When a partner exhibits/reports symptoms or problematic behavior in a pre-group interview and/or in the group setting she may need to be referred to a clinician or certified coach. This can be done by stating in naturally by:

  • Normalizing a mental health referral

  • Avoiding emotionally charged terms

  • Explaining why she needs additional care beyond the group

  • Expressing strong support and concern

  • Providing a realistic message of hope

  • Listening and responding empathetically

  • Guiding her through the decision-making process

  • Remaining both assertive and persistent

Next ADOH training opportunity

The ADOH training is designed for those who

  • Are at least one-year post discovery or disclosure

  • Received help working with a therapist or counselor, coach or mentor, and

  • Participated in a support group

If interested in joining the January 2021 training

Complete the “Peer Facilitator Interest Survey” located on the ADOH Peer Facilitator page drop down. After your submission you will be contacted to schedule an interview. If you choose to proceed AFTER the interview, you will complete an application. After approved, you will be notified when registration is open, and complete your registration with a $200 payment.

Registrations must be completed by January 12, 2021

"Trauma-informed care for the sexually betrayed partner" podcast interview with

I love collaborating with Kristin and those from within the Living Truth community. We share a common belief in and passion for groups, and the value of becoming trained and then supported in the facilitator role.

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