The set of policies written below is to set forth guidelines for parties involved with Session (including Session's app Truth or Bare).
The goal of our platforms is to provide a mechanism for individuals who need support to find some support from videos made by mental health professionals and others who have or are going through similar situations in life. There is never a guarantee that an individual needing support will find what he or she needs, but Session’s goal is to provide a mechanism by which that individual can share their stories productively. Given that Session is entirely telephone and computer-based (i.e., not in person), and has a mechanism to change the voices of the participants, it allows participation with additional protections for anonymity.
What We are Not
1. Session is not a counselor or counseling session. No licensed person will provide individual medical advice to participants. During group calls, a social worker or other licensed person may listen in on sessions.
2. Session is not a 12 step program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Individuals participating in peer support sessions may or may not also participate in 12 step programs.
3. Session does not follow up on or try to control participants.
4. Session does not make medical or psychological diagnoses.
5. Session does not guarantee that any individual will obtain the support they wish or need.
Videos provide general teachings and peer support calls are instead intended to allow an individual to interact with others who may be undergoing the same or similar issues, and to realize that they are not the only ones, and that there are multiple ways to handle issues.
Session calls and peer support groups enabling participants to participate by phone so no one can see anyone’s face. In addition, voices are modified to make it more difficult to discern the identity of a participant while retaining the natural components of human expression. The following guidelines will be provided to participants as to confidentiality:
1. A participant uses a pseudonym
2. No participant may ask the identity of another participant. However, in future participants can direct message one another if they have a premium account (outside of the live sessions) and choose to disclose his or her own identity
3. Participants are encouraged to tell their stories, both for their own wellbeing, and to assist others who may be going through similar factual situations, but it is up to each participant as to how much or little they wish to participate.
4. Each participant are asked to agree to a confidentiality pledge, in which they agree that:
a. They will not repeat any identifying information, including names of people or places, heard during Session’s calls outside.
b. If they are able to identify another participant, they will not release that information to anyone, inside or outside of the group.
c. If they wish to contact someone in the peer support group, they may do so afterwards with a premium account (in a future version of Session). The individual who wishes to contact the other person may or may not ever respond.
d. Anyone who reveals the information of another participant may be removed from the peer support group.
5. It is a personal matter as to whether or not to tell loved ones about their peer support groups. If loved ones are told about the interactions with others, it is extremely important to explain that anonymity and confidentiality are essential and that loved ones must protect the anonymity of other peer support members if there is any chance that they may know the identity of a member.
Each person who wishes to participate in a peer group will be asked to verify that he or she :
1. Identifies with the topic of discussion for the peer group
2. Is not intending to commit any crimes, hurt themselves or others.
The selection process is intended to simply verify that someone is an appropriate member of a peer support group, but not ask for substantial information that would discourage participation. Instead, each individual will be informed that they are expected to agree to Terms of Participation, and may be dismissed from the peer support group (including immediately) for violation of the Terms of Participation.
Terms of Participation
Each participant will be asked to sign an agreement that s/he will comply with terms of participation in a peer support group to which they are assigned, which terms will include the following:
1. Confidentiality and anonymity of other participants in the peer support group is essential, and under no circumstances will someone else’s identity or information be revealed to others, inside or outside of the peer support group.
2. No harassing behavior, derogatory language, or language inciting violence will be tolerated, and a participant who exhibits such may be terminated from the peer support group, including immediately by the group leader.
3. If a participant expresses desire to harm themselves or others, they may either (a) be referred to an emergency service such as 911 or crisis center or (b) Session retains the right to take action to protect their life or wellbeing, or the life or wellbeing of others, or (c) Session may take no action. The group leader is not a licensed professional and there is no duty on the part of the group leader to take any action, or any particular action.
4. Other than thanking others for sharing, each participant should refrain from directly speaking with any other participant in the group when it is their turn to share. During their turn, participants may reference details shared by other participants prior to them if they feel that they have contributed to what they are about to share. They must be respectful of the stories and opinions of others, and never characterize such in an insulting manner.
5. Participants are asked to refrain from discussion of politics or religion, other than in passing or as part of a personal story.
6. If a member of the Session staff asks a participant to cease a conversation, discussion or statement, the participant will immediately do so, or may be terminated from the conversation or from the peer support group. This is expected to be extremely infrequent.
7. The role of the group leader may be active or passive, but each participant is asked to respect such role.
8. Each participant should be supportive of others: the whole concept behind the group is peer support. Treat each other person as you would like to be treated and listened to.