Who is eligible to be a PD SELF Facilitator?

Applications are open to individuals with experience leading groups. Teams must consist of one person with Parkinson’s and one PD professional. This team approach and co-equal leader combination — one living with PD and a second being a PD professional — has been very successful.

  • If you are a person living with Parkinson’s: we recommend applying if you have experience in education or leading groups in your professional life or as a PD support group leader.

  • If you are a Parkinson’s professional: we recommend applying if you are a professional passionate about serving the newly diagnosed and working closely with a patient leader. We accept applications from a variety of professionals including (but not limited to) researchers, doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and social workers.


What leader competencies does PD SELF look for in Facilitators?

Leaders will serve as models of self-efficacy behaviors and in the case of the leader with Parkinson’s, as a fellow person with Parkinson’s learning how best to manage the disease. While a solid grounding in Parkinson’s is important, equally important is the ability to establish a safe learning environment and the proven ability to lead highly interactive sessions engaging all participants.

Specifically, we look for:

  • Ability to lead interactive discussions with empathy and respect for others

  • Sensitivity to the differing needs of people newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s

  • Ability to model self-efficacious behaviors

  • A learning mindset

  • Ability to facilitate with a positive orientation

  • Ability to promote a team spirit

  • Proven organizational skills and sense of responsibility to others

  • Demonstrated ability to facilitate as a co-equal with another leader in order to maximize the skills and abilities of both


Experience has shown that our facilitation teams that do the best job tend to share the following characteristics:

  • They have complementary skill sets, i.e. one may be an excellent facilitator and the other have depth of knowledge

  • They tend to “team teach,” that is, they interact with each other in front of the group in a way that shows that they each are contributing at virtually every step

  • Of greatest importance, they share one characteristic in common -- they act as “guides on the side” as opposed to “sages on the stage,” i.e. they do not lecture but instead help the participant learn by asking good questions and guiding the discussion as opposed to attempting to lecture

  • A demonstrated level of comfort with helping multiple small teams conduct interactions and engage in participatory learning

Please remember that after the PD SELF Facilitator Training, we require you and your partner to work together co-facilitating PD SELF for eight months. We recommend discussing plans and potential timelines in advance.


Necessary conditions for a metro area to be considered for a PD SELF program:

  • Presence of two qualified facilitators, one with PD and one healthcare professional

  • A metro area large enough to have a reasonable probability of generating 11-20 people with Parkinson’s diagnosed within 3 years (plus up to an equal number of care partners) consistently for several years

  • The likelihood of finding a reasonable venue, typically a church or other community meeting room with seating for 30-34 people, A/V capability, and most importantly, the ability to seat participants in tables of not more than 6-8 (given that small group discussions are a critical component of the PD SELF program)


2019-2020 Facilitator Training

  • Date: TBD

  • Location: TBD