Group Client Agreement and Group Engagement Guidelines

If you are signing up to be in one of my group offerings, please read the below agreements.

A: Group Engagement Guidelines are the guidelines for engagement for within the group, that you, I and the other group members agree to upon entering the space. B: Group Client Agreement) is the agreement between you and I upon you engaging with me and my services. There may be some overlap.

Your making payment (including both full payments and the first payment of a payment plan) to join one of my groups, is your consent given to both of these agreements.

A: Group engagement Guidelines (Guidelines for full group engagement)
  • Everything said and shared in the group stays in the group (unless you choose to share your own words/art/images/videos – you are totally welcome to do that). Please see
    B: Group Client Agreement Section 3 for more information on confidentiality and exceptions.
  • No advice giving (unless specifically and clearly asked for).
  • We are not all having the same experience, and as such we do not compare experiences, or assume our experience is the only experience.
  • I do not ask for trigger warnings in my spaces, because I do not believe we can know or judge what may or may not be triggering for another person. You are welcome to use Content Warnings if that feels good to you when you post, and this is a personal choice that I leave to your discretion.
  • We each take personal responsibility for our own needs and care when it comes to how much we read/view and engage in other people’s posts. Your safety and wellbeing are important and you are welcome to step away and engage with your resources if you need to at any time.
  • On resources, while this is not a course run specifically through Trauma & Co., you are welcome to access Trauma & Co.’s Resource Pages at any time should you need them, and you are welcome to email me if you need any further support (please allow for 24-48 hours for me to respond, given different timezones and if you need more immediate support please consider your personal crisis resources).
  • If you want to sign up for a one off Landing Space -Companionship Session during this time, as a one-to-one Landing Space for what is coming up for you, you are welcome to contact me about this (usually I ask for a 3 session commitment initially, but for the time you are in one of my groups you can sign up for a one-off session if needed).
  • You are also welcome to engage with my Online Business Support Services should these be relevant to and needed by you.
  • I am a huge advocate of a clear ask. If there is something you need in response to a post (i.e. just witnessing, reflection, types of support etc) or if there is something you DO NOT want in response to a post, please feel free and welcome to clearly ask at the start of your post. And if you want advice, please ask for it as we default to the no advice giving guideline above if not stated.
  • Please respect each other’s gender pronouns. If you do not know gender pronouns, either don’t use them, or default to they/them.
  • We do not question another person’s identity or experience. We agree to entering this space from a place of believing each other first.
  • No shaming each other for any of our shares or practices during this time.
  • If feedback is asked for, we are aware that other people may have different views and opinions to us and I encourage each of us to take what we need and leave the rest.
  • Discrimination of marginalized groups is not considered an ‘opinion’ and where this is pointed out, please be mindful of your responses, including asking others to do emotional labour on your behalf.
  • While I cannot police people’s internal responses to such incidents, I encourage us all to listen to the different experiences of others, where they may experience harm or oppression, are own biases and lens of privilege, and, if we have caused any harm through our language or behaviour, I encourage listening, learning and a clear apology.
  • There are no experts here, including me (apart from in our own self and our own lived experience). Whatever background we each come from, we each do not assume we know what another person needs better than they know themself, or that we know another person’s life or work better than they do.
  • While I acknowledge that there is always an inherent power imbalance between the person running a group (me) and the participants, I am committed to trying to making any power dynamics as equal as possible. WIth this in mind, if there are ways I can make your time in the group more comfortable, you are welcome to ask me about it and I will do whatever I can within my capacity.
  • You cannot fail in groups I run. I repeat: YOU CANNOT FAIL THIS.
  • You are welcome to take up as much space as you want and need. And you are welcome to take a step back as often and for as long as you need during our time together.
  • I encourage each of us to go at whatever pace feels best to us in terms of engagement and I always encourage you to listen to your own self, your own needs and you own knowing of you.
  • I encourage you to communicate within the group in whatever way you are able/prefer (e.g. written, audio, video). If you have a preference for how a person responds to you, you are welcome to ask for what you need (keeping in mind others might not be able to respond in this way if they have different information processing needs themselves).
  • We each agree to show up with compassion and respect for each other and our individual processes. 
C. Group Client Agreement (Agreement between you and me upon signing up to one of my groups)
1. Results

1.1 My groups are not designed to be therapy or coaching, and there are no specific ‘results’ promised or to be expected unless otherwise specified. You are entering this space to be met in your reality and are offered companionship in this reality.

1.2 Any resources given (if you ask for resources) are received by you with full responsibility for taking care of your needs.

2. FEES

2.1 You agree to pay via PayPal at the rate shown on the sales page (or, where sliding scales are offered, at the rate you choose).

2.2 For payments made in installments, automatic payments will be made via a link provided on the sales page.

2.3 I will pay processing fees in PayPal for all clients who pay on time. If payments are terminated and a partial refund is agreed to (which are at my discretion), I reserve the right to recover any fees paid on all payments.

2.4 You are responsible for all expenses incurred by you in connection with your participation in engaging in my groups (e.g. internet fees).

2.5 For payment installments, if you fail to pay me on the due date, I reserve the right to cease all services until payment has been made in full and to seek payment from you.

3. CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

3.1 I agree not to (except in the proper course of my duties) use or disclose to any third party any confidential information. Confidentiality does not apply where it would mean that I might break the law or if I consider there is a risk you may harm yourself or others. In such exceptional circumstances, where there is concern for your wellbeing or that of others, it may be necessary to seek help outside of our relationship. In such an event where I am considering breaching confidentiality, you will normally be consulted first. In the case of a disclosure concerning acts such as terrorism, vulnerable adult or child protection issues or human trafficking, confidentiality may be breached and such disclosures may be passed onto the relevant authority.

3.2 You agree that I may disclose any issues or feelings which arise out of my leading the group and engagement within the group with my supervisor and therapist, but I agree only to disclose such issues on a general basis and without disclosing your name or specifics.

3.3 Similarly, if you or other group members are in therapy, you each agree that other group members can disclose any issues or feelings which arise out of the group, but agree only to disclose such issues on a general basis and without disclosing group member’s names or specifics.

3.4 You may disclose to any third parties information about your experience in the group, anything you share in the group and anything about your personal engagement in the group as you so wish. Where I or other group members am made aware that you have disclosed our knowing each other together, I or we may confirm that we know you but we would not divulge any details of our work together..

3.5 As per my group guidelines above, every member of the group agrees to asking for consent before sharing any information about the other, including their membership in the group and we each agree to asking for consent from other group members about contact outside of the group and how we each engage in that.

4. TERMINATION OF agreement

4.1 If I am made aware of any breaches in confidentiality or any abuse taking place between group members, I would do all I could within my capacity to resolve the issue first, and I reserve the right to remove you from the group without refund should you be the party enacting the breach in confidentiality or abuse and should we not be able to resolve the issue.

4.2 I will not suddenly or without warning terminate our agreement, except in exceptional circumstances, which would become clear in the course of our sessions together. This would be fully discussed at that time. Please note threats or acts of violence will invalidate this agreement.

5. ADDITIONAL NOTES

5.1 As we may be connected online and may have mutual contacts in our personal or working lives, the boundaries of our relationship (such as contact outside of our group and communication about our working or personal relationship) can be agreed upon between as appropriate. As good practice, we ask for what we need and try to honour the boundaries and consent of the other at all times.

5.2 If any specific dates are given for anything offered within the group (e.g. if group calls are offered) I will do all I can to make these at the best possible time for the majority of the group, and if you cannot attend this is not refundable.

5.3 We each agree to enter into the group and communications within it from a place of respect and compassion.

Thank you for being here in this space with me.

Sarah Mariann Martland