Practicum discernment sessions provide an opportunity for Members of the training class to gather in discernment groups to practice with each other, supervised by a mentor. To complete the training, each candidate must participate in at least five supervised discernment sessions, taking a minimum of one turn as a focus person, one as a convener, and one as an observer.
Each practicum session is real and not merely practice. The focus person’s issue should not be contrived for the occasion. It is important to pray in preparation for each discernment session; then follow the guidelines provided in the appendices of Listening Hearts, 20th Anniversary Edition.
Observers receive the focus person write-up, they pray in preparation for the session, and fill in feedback forms at the end of the session. During the session, they sit inconspicuously outside of the circle, pray constantly, and listen intently. Observers often notice things when they are observing that they do not see when they are serving in a group.
After everyone in the group has completed five sessions, the mentor distributes the Practicum Group Final Evaluation Feedback Form for participants to fill out. Through consensus, the group determines if additional practicum sessions are needed.
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