Wednesday, November 30, 2016

#Group-Work with Young Adults in a #YMCA #Hostel on a Christmas theme.

Group Work
The objective is always DEVELOPMENTAL

Group work.
Building Confidence
Encouraging self esteem
Christmas theme.

A late night gathering
of Hostel Residents
late teens/early 20's
separated from family
for various reasons
and feeling it ........

I started by giving each member of the group 
a little Christmas tree the size if a 5 pence coin.

Then I asked what feelings they had - 
seeing - feeling this. 
As usual, many have difficulty to contact how they feel. 
Out-slipped words like 
'I hate Christmas', 
'I don't like Christmas', 
'I have no money to buy, not even, one present.'

I then moved to asking them 
who the main human characters were 
in the Christmas story. 
The first word uttered was 'Santa'. 
Soon after there was a list of eight mentioned - 
(come on - you can do this yourself now!)

Their names/descriptions went into a hat, 
Jesus too. 
Each drew one and I went around the circle 
asking how they thought that one character 'felt' - 
feelings question.

Here are some stand out feelings;

Mary - stressed
Joseph - scared/worried
Innkeeper - guilty
King - good-to-give
Shepherd - in awe
Angel - 'yes'! - sorted!

Three noted as negative feelings and 
they were the main focus of the whole affair 
as responsible adults.
The rich - feeling good to give not receiving.
The tough rough/simple life style shepherd - awe - overwhelmed.

The last one was a dead pleased Angel 
who really knew that this was pretty good news 
........... "YESSSSSSS"

Why do this?
Why do I do this sort of group work?

• am on a journey to cultivate in myself, 
and others, an increasing ability 
to be able to get into contact my/their own feelings.
• Looking at others and empathising is a learning process into sensitivity.
• Articulating those feelings is a process of 'owning' such powerful things as feelings and becoming Emotionally Literate.
• A human identification with a powerful historical spiritual human story. 
Reality at Christmas - to escape the tinsel 
for some small moments ....
.... and it was stinking good .........

Why not try it on humans around you?
Adapt - of course.
You never know, they may be pleased to talk 'real' 
midst the rest of the Christmas slippery slope.

I am 'being' with, during the week, 
humans who are;
Visibly self harming
Severe depressed
Lost and uncertain
Lonely and afraid
No place like home to go at Christmas
No money for food.
Failing health - vulnerable.

Deep feelings and disturbed
(the last one is me 
and I want to be disturbed!)"

So that was a group work experience.
It stirs my bones
to feel what they feel.
Create a space where they can trust.
Trust at a level
where they can share vulnerabilities.
Not that ANSWERS are given.
BUT support by being able to voice
their inner life - hurts - struggles ......

Do you know anyone hurting at Christmas.
It can be overwhelming
but - we can't do everything
but we can all do something .....

bBeautiful this Christmas .....