Friday, November 2, 2012

Fear In A Hat

In some of my small emotion management groups I use this activity during a session at the beginning of the working stage.  The tone could be set by introducing the topic of fear and explaining how it is normal and natural that children are experiencing all sorts of anxieties, worries and fears about what might happen (what if thinking). I have each member write personal fears anonymously on an index card which are collected and put in a hat.  In elementary students worry that someone might recognize the handwriting but if the slips are kept in a hat then handed to counselor after being read it helps keep some privacy. Each member draws a card with someone else's fear reads them aloud to the group to  and explains how the person might think,  feel, and behave. A good way of starting to deal with these fears is have them openly acknowledged , without being subject to ridicule.  Having one's fears expressed and heard can reduce their intensity.  I also found a list of top 10 common fears of childhood and as part of processing this activity shared the list with members and observed if a group member had that one (or expressed it).  A few on the master list stimulated more discussion (especially fear of parents death or divorce).  I always get feedback from parents that members came home and discussed this activity which tells me it makes an impact and furthers discussion of fears with trusted loved ones.

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