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Ten Tips for Families

  1. Choose to take charge of your life and don’t let your loved ones’ incarceration always take center stage.
  2. Remember to be good to yourself.  Love, honor and value yourself.  You’re doing a very hard job and you deserve some quality time, just for you.
  3. Watch out for signs of depression and don’t delay in getting professional help when you need it.
  4. If people offer to help, accept the offer and suggest specific things they can do.
  5. Educate yourself about your loved one’s incarceration, information is empowering.
  6. There’s a difference between caring and doing.  Be open to ideas.
  7. Trust your instincts.  Most of the time they’ll lead you in the right direction.
  8. Grieve for you losses, and then allow yourself to dream new dreams.
  9. Stand up for your rights as the family.
  10. Seek support from others in the same situation.  There’s a great strength in knowing you are not alone.

Group Ground Rules

  1. Be responsible for your own learning: Do not wait to be asked to participate.  The more effort you put into the group, the more personal learning you will experience.
  2. Accept others as they are:  This is done by accepting what others say and by not judging or correcting.  It is possible to like a person and not like or agree with what they say or do.
  3. Avoid put-downs: Avoid putting yourself or others down.  To enable you to honestly evaluate your personal strengths of the first step in looking at self and relating that information to the world of work.
  4. You have the option to pass:  A large part of this program is making you aware of the many choices that are available.  In the group, each member has the right to pass if s/he feels that they do not want to share.  It is okay to say, “I pass” for you do not have to participate.
  5. Group confidentiality is a must:  For trust to exist and for personal growth to occur, whatever is said or shared in the group stays in the group.
  6. Expect unfinished business:  The group provides a “how-to” process.  Members are learning “how-to” value; make meaningful decisions, make career choices and life choices.  This group will introduce ideas, situations issues that do not have any clear-cut answers.  Group members’ values will probably not all be the same and some members may reach clearer and faster decisions than others.  This it to be expected.