ACTIVITY: Hopes and Fears

Purpose: This activity helps build cohesion in group around hopes and fears about group or about treatment in general.

Materials Needed: Sticky notes, pens


  1. Hand each group member at least 4 sticky notes and a pen.
  2. Explain that we all have hopes and fears when coming into a new situation.
  3. Ask the group for just one or two examples of what these might be for them. Don’t get too many examples!
  4. Now ask the group to write down, on their sticky notes, the top two hopes and top two fears. One per sicky note.
  5. Once they are done, ask them to find someone else and share what they wrote down. Their goal is to start to clump the sicky notes by themes, so they are looking for similarities.  If they don’t find any similarities, they can move to the next person.
  6. Allow the clients to start milling around. Slowly they will move from groups of two, to larger groups.
  7. Once it seems that they have found as may clumps of themes as they can, ask the clients to stick the clumps on the wall. It’s okay if there are some sticky notes that stand alone.
  8. These now form the hopes and fears that clients have that influence their participation and engagement in group. On a marker board or paper, write down the broad themes and then discuss what they are responsible for and what you as the facilitator are responsible for.  Help them see where they might need to take some ownership of group. For example, if their fear is not getting anything out of group, their responsibility is to say something if they feel that is happening.

Starts the learning around: Cohesion, Responsibility, Group Engagement

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