I have been doing some work around increasing awareness around our implicit biases and wanted to challenge you all to think about your own biases. Implicit bias is the unconsciously held attitudes, beliefs, and assumptions that impact our actions and decisions. These implicit biases are activated involuntarily and without our awareness, and yet have an … Continue reading TIP: Implicit Bias in Group
I've been using this activity a bunch with great results. This may be familiar to some of you! Purpose: This activity starts the conversation around establishing group norms Materials Needed: Sticky notes, pens Instructions/Steps: Hand each group member at least 4 sticky notes and a pen. Explain that in order for us to feel safe … Continue reading ACTIVITY: Group Agreements
In my research on the kind of environment we create for our clients, I came across this term "Psychologically Informed Environment". It describes our work so well, because within the criminal justice system that our clients find themselves embedded, we create an oasis of safety and hope for them. Here's what I learned: Features of … Continue reading TIP: What is a psychologically informed environment?
Purpose: To highlight early warning signs of relapse Materials Needed: Paper and Pens Instructions: Start by explaining that in our lives there are several things that make demands on our time – work, family, hobbies, friends, working out, etc. Draw an example of a pie graph for clients of all the things that make demands … Continue reading ACTIVITY: Lifestyle balance Wheel
One of the primary ways to keep groups engaged is to shift the shape of group every 15-20 minutes. By this I mean that you are changing or shifting the modality you are using frequently so that clients are not drifting off. Here is a list of different shapes you can put group in. Of course, … Continue reading TIP: Shift the Shape!
Purpose: To develop awareness and ambivalence about supportive versus unsupportive peers Materials needed: Social network map found here: SSmap and pens Instructions: Using the attached social network map (click this link: SSmap), ask clients to write in the people with whom they have daily, weekly, and monthly contact. These don’t have to be close friends, … Continue reading ACTIVITY: Social Network Map
Six ways to create an environment where skill-building is ongoing: Increasing awareness: Notice! Notice! Notice! And help clients notice skills as well. Notice when clients demonstrate skills. Name the skills (e.g., great problem solving; or I just noticed you pause for a second before responding), ask others to name them (e.g., Sue did something different, … Continue reading TIP: Ongoing skill-building
Purpose: This exercise can be used to develop refusal skills as well as identify thinking errors. Materials: none, optional - buzzers Instructions/Steps: Facilitator asks someone to state a change they are working on making. After identifying the change, the volunteer sits in the middle of the circle on a chair and is asked to describe … Continue reading ACTIVITY: THE ANGEL AND DEVIL
Finding on-going opportunities for skill-building is a central component of being in a group. Essential skills can be divided into thinking skills, emotional regulation skills, and social skills. Thinking skills: Awareness of thoughts and thought stopping Thought challenging and thought replacing Developing strong affirmations Problem-solving Consequential thinking Impulse control Emotional regulation skills: Awareness of emotions … Continue reading TIP: Skills in Group