How to become a facilitator
Participate in meetings
The most important way of progressing toward becoming a Facilitator is to participate in meetings. If there are no meetings in the local area, the online meetings may be a good option. Seek the support of the Facilitator to begin to co-facilitate sections of the meeting, such as introducing a tool.
Complete the facilitator training
At the time of writing, the only authorised Facilitator training course in the UK is the two-part online training course. This is free to anyone in recovery who is planning to facilitate a SMART Recovery group independent of treatment services. Details of how to enrol are available on the UK SMART Recovery website. Face-to-face training may be provided in the future.
Use the training materials
SMART Recovery will provide all the materials needed to facilitate, including a Facilitator’s Manual and Facilitator’s Quick Reference. Other materials, such as video, are provided within the training website.
Any questions may be put to the local meeting Facilitator, Champion (a care or treatment professional trained in SMART Recovery who offers support to get meetings off the ground) or one of UKSR’s National Coordinators or Volunteer Regional Coordinators. Alternatively, the online training discussion forum is a good place to post questions. Trainees can attend the monthly online peer supervision meeting, which is a terrific opportunity to get advice from experienced Facilitators.
Get a certificate
Everyone who successfully completes the training will receive a certificate of completion.
Some new Facilitators will not know other local people interested in starting a meeting. Until new participants walk through the door of their new meeting they might be carrying the entire burden of finding rooms, organising materials and promoting the meeting. Many successful meetings have begun with just a Facilitator and a vision, but it can be hard work and is sometimes overwhelming.
If other people can be found who are interested in helping get a meeting started, it will be more enjoyable and likely to succeed.
If collaborators can be found, the section of the manual on ‘Setting up a meeting’ (see pg. 9) could be copied and discussed with the new team. If the Facilitator empowers others to sort out issues, they can themselves focus on the learning around facilitation. If there are several people, it is better to break down the tasks so for example one person looks for premises and another works out the best ways to promote the meeting.