What to expect during groups
InterLink groups consist of 6-sessions, held fortnightly over 11 weeks.
InterLink starts with a 60 minute one-on-one session with a qualified counsellor/mental health worker who will provide you with an opportunity to start talking about your (or your child’s) body and experiences. They will answer any questions you have about the program and help set some individual goals so that you can get the most out of the group work sessions.
The 4 group sessions run over the next 4 fortnights, lasting for 2 hours each. The session are facilitated by the mental health worker you met with previously and an intersex peer worker. The intersex peer worker is someone who has an intersex variation and has first-hand experience with some of the things you might be navigating. They can also help you get connected with other peer support groups, good doctors and service providers, and networks of people with different intersex variations.
Your InterLink group will also include between 5 and 9 other people like you, who are there to start a conversation about intersex. InterLink groups are often run for people who are of similar ages (adolescents or older children), are based in the same location or have a similar experience (parents and carers). Whether the group is run online or in-person, trust and confidentiality are the peaches and cream of InterLink so the facilitators will help keep the group conversation constructive, engaging and safe.
The sessions are designed to focus the conversation around the broad themes of awareness, understanding, acceptance and communicating. You will be encouraged to talk about your own experiences and challenged to hear things from other’s perspectives. Between sessions you’ll be given take-home activities that give you an opportunity to think more deeply about what came up in the session and what intersex means to you in your life. It can be hard work looking at things for the first time or making sense of our feelings, so you’ll also be given some tips and tricks for looking after yourself throughout and beyond your time at InterLink.
InterLink wraps up with a final 60 minute one-on-one session with the mental health worker to check in with you about anything that might have come up for you during or since finishing the group sessions. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and revisit things that were talked about in the group. The mental health worker will also be able to make a plan to connect you with more support sessions in the future, if or when you need them.
If you would like to know more about the therapeutic model that InterLink uses, watch the following introductory webinar presented by InterLink Manager, Bonnie Hart at a public event on 29th June 2022 (duration 13:08).