FAQ for “United Front” Pilot Programs
This file only applies to the United Front coaching group pilots with The Crisses – Rev. Criss Ittermann, LF
We really appreciate you& considering whether to be part of this important “United Front” pilot coaching program. You& will be contributing to both the foundations of your own shared life, but also helping others who will benefit from our work together as we (the Crisses) develop this important program dedicated to fostering internal community.
What is the whole sign-up process?
- Please read the current page regarding this pilot program for the disclaimers of the program that you must agree to to participate. You may opt out before you even begin.
- Keep going in the introduction materials until you reach the application assignment, which is pretty long. Questions include information on your system, goals, internal communication ability, what you choose to do with your time and money, diagnoses, etc. Your answers are confidential, and if you choose not to fill it out and not participate in the program, we understand. There are instructions in the application document.
- Fill in the application completely (if you aren’t sure of an answer, say so!), and send it back to us. The application explains about potential alternate methods of getting the application back to us.
- Use the scheduler link to select a time for an interview for the program. This is not a sample coaching session — I’ll be asking for clarification on answers for the questionnaire, or we will discuss your readiness for the program. This will be a 30-minute voice screening session (Skype, phone, Signal, Jitsi, or Mumble on my server for the highest privacy) unless you require special accommodations. We’re going to start suggesting Jitsi so that applicants can check out the software before the group begins to eliminate technical difficulties.
- During the interview, you’ll be able to ask questions about the program and make sure it’s a good fit for you, and we’ll ask some questions to ensure y’all are ready for the program.
- We will send you an answer on whether we accept your application for the program within 3 days of the interview being finished. At that point you can continue to review the introductory materials before the live sessions, and we strongly suggest that you do so. If you don’t you may not be up to speed for the live content, and we are moving more of our lecture-like materials to the online courseware to free up discussion and coaching time on the live sessions.
- Put electronic alerts in your calendar, set alarms and make sure your tech set-up is ready for the live sessions! 🙂 Then show up. You may want drinks, snacks, a notebook, etc. Don’t forget headphones, earbuds, mic, or camera.
- Each session we’ll check in with everyone and ask what they’d like to get out of today’s session, and try to make sure we come back to address appropriate requests. So be ready for the question “What would y’all like to get out of today’s session?”
How do we know participants are safe? Why is it so hard to get into the group?
We’ll never be 100% confident that participants are safe, that’s why we suggest being careful about even how the sessions will be conducted (see more below). In addition, we’re screening participants pretty strongly for everyone’s safety and suitability for the group program environment and you’ll be glad we are making sure we’re comfortable before allowing people into the program. It’s not easy to get in for a reason. We also want to be certain that participants are ready and suitable participants because they may take up a slot someone who is ready and would benefit greatly could have used instead. Not everyone is ready for this type of headwork.
How many people will be in each group?
We are looking for a minimum of 3 committed participants per session to launch each group, 5 preferred, 10 absolute maximum. The number of slots may change in later sessions if it’s easy or difficult to manage that many in a session.
How will I stay anonymous? I’m a famous person in Internet-Land!!
You can use a pseudonym during sessions (like a username or fake system name) and participants will interact via text chat and may keep cameras off unless they are Ok with being handed the mic or being on-camera — so participants won’t be recognized by face or voice. We do not use a camera, so can guarantee that you will not be the only person not on-camera in a session. For much of the session, only Crisses will have the mic for all participants to listen to longer responses. We will work on accessibility if necessary – this is not set in stone for our sessions.
How is my privacy protected?
What is the “Important Disclaimer” that might cause us to opt out or be disqualified from the program?
VERY IMPORTANT!!! If you are very depressed, if you are actively considering or contemplating suicide, or if you or anyone in your system may harm yourself, your body, or others, then this program is not for you, and please do not continue to fill out this form. Please seek out a crisis hotline or your professional support team ASAP.
What else will we (our whole system) be agreeing to?
Rev. Criss Ittermann (“the Crisses”) is not a qualified therapist, cannot provide trauma treatment, and cannot provide crisis intervention services. We understand this is a screening for a group coaching program for working on internal community issues, current and future behavior, related beliefs, and internal relationships. Participation in the program may have unintended consequences in increasing our self-awareness (selves-awareness) and may exacerbate other symptoms, so there may be risks involved. We understand that this program is not PTSD treatment, and if we find ourselves triggered, we may need to mobilize other supports to help us handle anxiety, depression, or other PTSD symptoms. We understand that this program and materials are based on holistic practices, non-religious spiritual concepts, coaching methods, self-help materials, neo-shamanic training, and other complementary techniques and are not a replacement for medical attention, therapy, pharmaceuticals, or other professional support or intervention.
How long will the pilot program run?
Right now most sessions are running for 4-6 meetings. Overall, the pilot coaching programs will run until we are confident that the value we bring is worth asking for money from participants, and for testing out new topics before they are brought to longer group programs, written about in self-help books, or used as materials in professional training programs. Participants will not be identified, your content and ideas and participation are your own. We want to be sure our ideas work for a variety of systems and that our framing and wording of ideas works for various plurals.
How can you offer the pilot coaching program for free?
Right now these sessions are supported by our Patreon sponsors, and our current financial obligations are moderate to low. Uncoerced donations and additional patrons are always accepted to help compensate for our time and attention being removed from other financial support obligations & pursuits. This situation may not last forever, so we’re excited to do this for as many folk as our spoons and time allow.
What is this group about? Can I get a copy of the syllabus/curriculum?
Now that we are on a courseware platform, you can see the overall outline of the course before even applying. We reserve the right to tweak the agendas, up to and including during the actual sessions. We never know what questions participants will have or what they will ask to cover. We were sending out an bare-bones agenda the day before the live meetings; you now have much more notice.
What is the format of a live session like?
We have been taking feedback from participants as we go, so this is generally what each session is like, although features may be added or removed in the future:
- We send out an email with a reminder about tomorrow’s meeting.
Introducing the session:
- Everyone joins in the Jitsi room, group starts basically on-time with an introduction. First session there’s a go-around brief introduction for participants. You may choose to do text-only and remain anonymous. Only share what you’re comfortable sharing.
- We will either discuss or remind the group about confidentiality & putting the session on broadcast in your system.
- Any other group prep/upkeep is done (announcements, etc.).
Catching Up phase:
- Participants are asked 2 catch-up questions to share with the group a) anything that came up during the interview/intake or while doing assignments or processing the last session that they’d like to add to the agenda.
- Participants are asked what they would like to get out of today’s session. If an issue is quick, it’s handled immediately. Otherwise it is put in the parking lot to check in on later.
Content has been moved to the courseware platform as much as possible. This may allow for more participants and less lecture time. Those courseware lectures will have links or articles, maybe videos, audios, &/or transcripts:
- basic or introductory concepts for the session’s theme.
This gives more time for:
- Additional or customized/situational ideas on how to apply the concepts, practical stuff, how-to, discussion of the topic at hand
Wrap-Up the Session:
- Make sure that we wrap up anything in the parking lot if we can, and ask whether all participants feel “complete” for the session.
- reminders if any needed
- session is dismissed
Follow-Up is now in the courseware:
- After the session is attended, the attendees will be marked as having completed the live assignment which will open up further suggested assignments following the session. We often come up with more ideas for exercises during the session and will add them before we open the post-live assignments section. These will include:
- Any exercises, headwork, or preparatory work needed before preparing for the next session
- Any links, references, or follow-up materials that may have been mentioned during the session.
- A link for the weekly survey in case you want to give anonymous feedback about the session.
- This should also open up the following week’s preparation lectures. To improve what you get from the coaching group, we suggest you set aside several hours during the week to do/read/watch/listen re: the preparation assignments.
What other topics might be covered in the sessions?
Here’s some of the basic ideas and competencies that may be repeated for basic groups if needed:
- As Inside, So Outside & Vice Versa: the principle that the boundary between the internal system and the external system is permeable and not as thick as we think. System dynamics.
- Hierarchical Language: how the words you choose may create power struggles in your system
- Name-calling & Internal Bullying: they can hear you talk about them
- De-personalization: stripping internal folk of their person-hood
- Force and coercion: locking people up, keeping them out of front
- Facilitating Balance and Respect
- Internal Trust Dynamics
- Fostering Internal Communication
The applications and interviews will be used to determine what the group of participants needs so we can make sure to touch on material that is relevant to the participants.
We can’t make it right now; how do we sign up for the waiting list?
You may email us to be placed on the waiting list. Please include the following:
- What should we call you or y’all? (System name, or individual name, pseudonym is fine, pronouns)
- How did you hear about the program?
- Please let us know your interests:
- Which topics are you interested in? (we will email you about what we offer regardless, but this may help us prioritize what to offer first)
- free pilot group coaching program (a short ~4-6 session group coaching for working through new materials, longer application process, exit survey required, follow-up surveys required)
- full group coaching programs (8-12 weeks)
- you are able to pay the full price of the coaching sessions ($285/month — this helps fund a partial scholarship/sliding scale participant)
- sliding scale i.e. partial scholarship pricing (a flexible amount with a minimum payment)
- full scholarship (you are unable to contribute anything towards the expenses of running the program; other clients or participants are covering your fee(s)).
- What is your availability and time zone? (we are US Eastern (NY) time if you would prefer to translate)