Guidelines for Team Members

This document applies to people supporting workshops of Exploring Deeper. By stepping up in the role of (guest) facilitator, co-facilitator, assistant, organizer or in any other agreed position, you agree to act according to the agreements as well as to the Code of Ethics.

Team Roles

We work with different roles in the team, to which different agreements apply. In these agreements, we attempt to intercept power dynamics and their undesired consequences for the safety of both the room and the team.

Facilitator / Co-Facilitator

The Facilitator is the main responsible person in the room. They are responsible for the content of the events, for the team, and for the well-being of the group. 

Assistants

Being an assistant is a valuable opportunity for learning, giving service and being part of the community. Assistants are present during the events and help create a safer and held space. Assistants may be asked to model in demonstrations (within their own limits). They may be invited to participate in exercises, for example when the number of people doesn’t match the exercises, or when a participant would benefit from doing an exercise with an assistant. The assistant’s participation is always at the service of the participant and/or the group (which usually means that if you step in for an exercise, you do so as the last person). 

New assistants get a trial period of three workshops/retreats during which they are trainee assistants. Both Wilrieke and the trainee assistant get the opportunity to see if they are a good fit. After that period, Wilrieke and the aspiring assistant take a moment to evaluate whether they are a good match. This trial period is free from exchanges in the form of money or services.

If after three workshops a continuing position in the team is desired by both Wilrieke and the aspiring assistant, options for exchange can be discussed. A covering of costs/payment up to 50€ per day (25€ per evening) can be agreed upon (unless other agreements are made), and an exchange for participation, potentially with a plus one, is possible. If free participation isn’t a possibility, a strongly reduced price will be offered. Exceptions are professional training/teacher training. Assistants may be offered a reduced price for professional training (although Wilrieke isn’t obliged to offer this).

Volunteers/Helpers

Volunteers are usually participants that get a reduced price (at least 50% discount) or free participation in exchange for practical help like doing shopping, setting up the room, registering participants, offering tea, and cleaning during and after the workshop. Volunteers are not responsible for the content of the workshop nor for creating a safer and held space during the workshop. 

We acknowledge that because of their visibility, volunteers/helpers may be easy to approach by participants. When participants ask volunteers/helpers for emotional support, i.e. assistant tasks, the volunteer/helper refers them to an assistant and won’t take over assistant responsibilities.

Organiser

The organizer organizes the practical aspects of events like venue, food, lodging and possibly finances. Besides this, the organizer also initiates and continually contributes to the promotion, informing participants, dealing with questions, etc. Basically, this person does everything except take care of the content of the workshop. Financial arrangements are negotiated per event. organisers are usually invisible to the participant or visible in a way similar to a volunteer/helper.

General guidelines

We acknowledge power dynamics and potential harm that may be caused because of that because of the different roles we take as team members. To minimize the risk of harm, all team members will stick to these guidelines, whereby there is a separation between guidelines for organizers and volunteers/helpers, and guidelines for assistants and (co-)facilitators.

Organizers and volunteers/helpers

During an event, both organizers and volunteers/helpers are invited to participate. Although we acknowledge that their position may create a power dynamic, they are free to interact with participants within their own discernment during and after the event. When Wilrieke and/or assistants notice an unhealthy power imbalance in an interaction, they may notify the organizer/volunteer/helper about this, and they may ask them to refrain from continuing the interaction.

Assistants and (co-)facilitators

Assistants and (co-)facilitators understand power dynamics and the implications they may have on their freedom to move within the events well. During an event, they are able to park their own emotional triggers when that would otherwise negatively impact their functioning.

Assistants and (co-)facilitators will not romantically or sexually engage in any way with participants during events. They will not date participants they have met for the first time within the power dynamic of an event. In cases where an individual meeting is desired, an exception can be made after checking in on power dynamics and/or blind spots with at least two other team members who were present during the event.

Assistants may step in for an exercise when that is to the benefit of the events/participant. They will wait until they are approached by a participant, and only upon confirmation of the (co-)facilitator. 

When there are participants in the event they have a pre-existing connection with, they will name those connections publicly in the opening circle. They won’t have intimate interactions with these participants until that opening circle. After the opening circle, they are free to have brief intimate moments with their pre-existing connection during breaks, as long as that does not take away from the experience of any of the participants (both the group and the pre-existing connection) nor their tasks as team member. 

When an assistant or (co-)facilitator becomes a participant

Assistants and (co-)facilitators may join as a participants in other events than where they are supporting. They will never switch roles (i.e. assistants will never be participants) during an event.

When an assistant or (co-)facilitator participates in a workshop as a participant (called ‘assistant-participant’ for clarity in this document), there is a risk that power dynamics may create potentially harmful situations. To minimize this risk, assistants agree to the following:

When an assistant participates as assistant-participant, especially in play parties, this requires a high level of discernment and responsibility from the assistant-participant. With who can you play, and with whom not? An assistant-participant should be willing to take this responsibility. They also need to be willing to be tapped on the shoulder by the (co-)facilitator or an assistant when they feel there is a blind spot, and power dynamics might create a problem.

Assistant-participants stick to an ‘undies-on’ policy, meaning they will keep their underpants on at all times, and not have physical touch underneath the underpants. Exceptions are functional nudity in the frame of a guided exercise, e.g. full body massage.

Assistant-participants will not have individual meetings with participants after the event as a general rule. If there is a wish to meet a participant, there will be a case-by-case check-in with at least the (co-)facilitator, and ideally, also another member who was assisting that event and who may help observe blind spots

Upon their request assistant-participants can be named at the opening circle, and their boundaries explained to the group, to make it easier to understand for all involved when they indicate that team guidelines prevent them from certain interactions.

Copyright

We understand that assisting is an amazing way to gain skills, exercise qualities and get inspired. Assisting is a great tool for learning for both aspiring and existing facilitators – which we support. We also believe nonconsensual plagiarism is not okay. Besides that, the exercises seen in workshops are just the outer appearance of a much bigger construct (of an entire workshop, holding space, group dynamics). Simply copying sturctures can create circumstances in workshops that are potentially harmful to your participants. To share my skills, I am creating teacher trainings. Being a team member is like an internship, where the teacher trainings are the education. When a team member starts organizing their own workshops, they agree to not copy workshops or elements from them without written consent from Wilrieke Sophia, nor use the venues Exploring Deeper has used in the last two years.