Assessment (health care) is provided by a licensed health care provider during the group time and in the group space. Each participant has a brief individual check-up with the provider. For privacy reasons, these health assessments occur:
- In a private corner of the group room
- On a mat/mattress on the floor or slightly elevated comfortable area below knee level
- With background music playing
- Optional: a large plant or decorative piece may designate the assessment space
Patients participate in self-care activities including assessing their own weight and blood pressure. Parents in CenteringParenting weigh and measure their babies. Both patients and provider contribute to the data on patients’ charts.
Education is conducted in a facilitative rather than didactic style. Two Facilitators lead each group. There are content guidelines for every session, but the actual group discussion is determined largely by the interests, needs, and concerns of the group.
Each patient receives a Centering Notebook with educational material for at-home reference. Critical to the empowering design of Centering are the Self-Assessment Sheets (SAS) which are used by participants at the beginning of each session. These SAS introduce the topic(s) for that session and provide a springboard for the facilitated discussion.
Support, friendships, and community-building are important to the Centering model. These are fostered by the use of nametags, stability of the group, interactive activities, and refreshments at every session. Because the facilitators and the group participants meet for 90-120 minutes on a regular basis, trust and camaraderie develop. Often members choose to meet socially outside the appointment time.