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Facilitator

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Updated October 01, 2008

Definition:

A facilitator helps a group work together to reach the best possible conclusions or decisions. The facilitator handles the practicalities and logistics of the group’s meetings, including setting the date and time and reserving meeting space. During meetings, the facilitator keeps the discussion moving and on track and may summarize things that have been discussed. He, however, is careful to remain impartial, never putting forth an opinion or encouraging the group toward a specific conclusion.

In mental health, group therapy sessions may be facilitated by a therapist, subject-matter expert, peer or other professional. In general, however, those sessions that are not directly facilitated by a trained professional will have one available for oversight and dispute resolution.

Also Known As: moderator
Examples:
Judy decided to bring together six clients with a phobia of flying to share their experiences. Rather than offer advice or solutions, Judy took the role of facilitator. When they realized that Judy was not providing answers, the clients took a more active role in confronting their fears.
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