When we do identity work, deep reflections and learn with the methods we use in FL, situations may arise that are psychologically demanding for the participants. Through increased awareness, it is not necessarily that what you find or become aware of is positive. The room created in FL can be so safe and vulnerable that participants want to share and be open in it. We strongly view this as a positive thing, but we must be conscious and clear about what our role and capacity are, for the safety of both participants and ourselves.

The following sentence is absolutely essential to repeat throughout the entire program:

We are not psychologists or therapists. We are not doing therapy in this program. We don't deal with or focus on mental health issues, depression, traumas, etc. We do not have the knowledge and experience required to handle such issues. All mental health issues that are unclear should not be handled by a Hosts alone.

It is important to be wary of the line between self-help and therapy. There is a limit for what a person can figure out or clean up alone. Example: We might use techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy and try to apply them in our own lives, but this doesn't mean that we do therapy, the content of our conversations decide this, and we should be wary of the content, not the techniques.

We are focused on conversations that take us forward In this learning space, we don't need to get into the details of past events unless it seems necessary in the moment. We are more focused on the meanings, insight, and actions that can take us forward. Example: In the Narrative task, we don't focus on particular events in the past, but instead direct focus on the meanings and insight that the events have for us today, and the action we wish to take as a result. As a host, you can ask questions in this direction. If you are concerned about how to facilitate this in a particular task, discuss this with your peers and Program Lead.

That said, people are resilient and often much stronger than we or they realize. The effect of this should not be to treat people as if they can't deal with their own lives, emotions, thoughts or behaviors.

A good tip is to be wary of topics that provoke unprocessed emotions, we can stay with people until their feelings "run out", point out that this is not the place for dealing with this topic, and then move on with the program. In the learning space that we foster in FL, it is quite normal that people want to, or feel encouraged to share personal stuff about their own lives. This is healthy behavior if everyone in the team feels safe, seen, heard and respected. The quality of the relationships in the room is often the decider if this leads to growth or not.

Moreover, we think therapy is a wonderful tool for self-development and can recommend it to those who wish to explore the questions at a deeper level, together with an expert who knows best how to guide the conversations. What to do if you come across heavy psychological challenges? If a person has a mental disorder or goes through a mentally demanding period it may be harmful to the person to participate in the program. If there is a situation where you as a Host are unsure whether one of the participants in your group has a mental disorder or struggles with heavy psychological challenges then you should: 1. Clearly, indicate that Future Leaders is not the room to handle this. (It may be positive that the person dares to share this with the group, but rather encourage the person to contact/share this with close relations or a psychologist.) 2. Contact the Program Lead/Community Coordinator locally and in collaboration with him/her do an assessment of the measures to be taken. Conduct a thorough and deep conversation with the Host, pacesetter and the participant on whether the person should continue the program if needed. Maintain the highest degree of respect and discretion - keep personal details confidential. 3. Remember to take care of yourself. If you need support in this process, ask for help.

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