Members of Queer ADHD’s group-based programs agree to abide by the following guidelines to keep our groups healthy and helpful.
See also: Program Details
1) We take confidentiality very seriously.
Listen up, this is super important:
What happens in a session stays in that session.
- You may not tell anyone who you saw in a session.
- You may not share anyone’s personal stories or details from a session, even if you anonymize it.
The only exception is when you have explicit permission from that group member (for every single detail, every single time). Group members found to be in violation of our confidentiality agreement will be removed from sessions immediately.
On the other hand, you are welcome to talk openly about
- Your own membership status with Queer ADHD
- The ADHD insights, strategies, and tips that you’ve learned in Queer ADHD programs (excluding details about other members)
- Your personal experience of sessions (excluding details about other members)
2) We don’t give each other advice.
While we encourage group members to share tips and ideas in sessions, we ask members to frame these ideas as our own experiences, and not as advice. We do this because shoulds and instructions are often demotivating to those of us with ADHD, and we want to empower each other to decide what ideas feel best personally. We also don’t want to assume we know all of the relevant details about a person’s situation.
This means we don’t say things like…
Have you tried…
What if you…
Instead, we say things like:
I’ve tried …
What works best for me is…
I’m thinking about trying…
I recently heard about…
Alternatively, if our discussion is focused on an individual, you can also ask open ended questions to encourage their own creative exploration. These are questions that generate ideas and can’t be answered with a yes or no. (It’s also usually best if they start with what or how instead of why.) For example:
What are some things you’ve tried?
What is most important to you about this?
How could you apply your strength of ____ to this situation?
What is the easiest first step you could take?
If you accidentally give advice (we get it, it’s a tough habit to break), the Coach may ask you to restate your suggestion as your own experience.
3) We connect with each other respectfully.
In addition to maintaining confidentiality and not giving advice, please also follow these guidelines to show respect during sessions:
- Be kind. Always.
- Give each session your full attention to the best of your ability in the moment. It’s okay to increase your focus with whatever tools are best for your brain, such as using fidget toys, taking colorful notes, doing some light movement, or looking away from the screen. It’s not okay to alternate your focus with tasks like checking social media, responding to email, or planning your day.
- Do not join sessions while driving, or doing any other activity that could become unsafe without your attention. You will be asked to pull over or leave the session.
- Mute your microphone when not speaking.
- Turn off your camera when it’s showing a lot of movement or distracting visuals.
- Honor the pronouns and identities of all members. (Tip: add your pronouns to your name in Zoom.)
- Minimize descriptive details about trauma or addictive behavior. If these are relevant topics that you need to reference, please speak about them in general terms with minimal detail. This will help other group members with related challenges stay present with the conversation.
- Strive to use inclusive, supportive language. Avoid word choices that promote shame or exclusion of marginalized groups, including diagnoses and disabilities. This also includes shaming yourself.
- Avoid correcting the word choices of other group members. The Coach may do so if necessary, but we strive to model inclusive language rather than correct it.
- Do not interrupt another group member. The Coach may do so if necessary for time.
Outside of Sessions
ADHD loves company! Members are welcome to form connections with group members outside of our sessions. However, please keep a few things in mind if you wish to connect with someone:
- Some folks may want to build new connections, while others may not be open to it for a variety of reasons (like feeling overwhelmed with commitments, or wanting to stay somewhat anonymous). If someone doesn’t engage with you or politely declines, please respectfully leave them be.
- If you connect with a group member in another context, remember that confidentiality rules still apply. You may not disclose anything that you learned about that person from a session without their explicit permission (for every single detail, every single time), including telling people how you met.
- When in sessions, continue to treat each other as you would anyone else in the group. Refrain from sharing any inside jokes or comments that could make others feel excluded. Never share any extra information about a group member in a session. We only share information about ourselves.
- You absolutely may not use group member information for marketing purposes or solicitation. Anyone in violation of this will be removed from Queer ADHD programs immediately.
Please note: Queer ADHD is not able to help facilitate outside connections, and will not share anyone’s contact information. (We are working on an online community, though, so stay tuned!)
Reminder: These Guidelines Will Evolve
Queer ADHD is a new practice, and we’re still learning what works best for our community. We will update these guidelines as we learn and grow together.