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Types of activities you use in conducting group sessions.
Your favorite group activity.

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My fav thing to do for my groups is to be sily..sometimes i'll walk in sorta funny, roll on and sing, tell jokes, or ask them funny questions. They seem to love to see me being more than just an activity coor. but a real person, also I give lotta hug and tell them how great they are.
Sunday, December 26, 2004 at 19:32:46 (CST)

I ran a public transportation module(city bus) for nine years.We visited other health care facilities and leisure resourses in the community such as going to the movies,health spas,team sports activities,tai chi centers,art classes,fishing,shopping and getting their bus passes and state IDs.I've learned that realistic hands on training are very important than just attending classes.My clients learned from example and consequences(budgeting money,appropriate dress, ADLS and social skills)and they actually enjoyed PARTICIPATING these activities.Alot better than just reading about them and looking at pictures in a class. thanks,jeff(batman)
Jeffrey Fu,RT. Hawaii State Hospital
Wednesday, September 22, 2004 at 22:47:15 (CDT)
As a therapist in a residential treatment facility for adolescent boys, activities that conduct controlled chaos are great programs. Nothing in the world is better than 14 young boys (Ages 11-15) running around expressing themsleves wihtout anyone observing them. Not knowing that they are actually in a therapy group, I prefer therapeutic pin-dodge for individuals who are locked down in their cottage for a good chunk of their evening. Setting boundaries and rules, the young gentlemen engage in play that promotes working as a team and depending on one another. If the rules are broken the clients will lose out on their time to "re-create". If they succeed, praise and reward is given in intrinsic domains. Controlled chaos is considered, "The best activity a client can engage in", our Psychologist quotes. On top of having the clients participate, I encourage all staff members to engage in play along side of them. So can you image psychologists, therapists, OT's, PT's, Nurses, Cottage staff and me. The simple word in "Controlled chaos"!
Monday, January 27, 2003 at 12:01:58 (CST)
Leisure Ed activity---Leisure Pictionary-- Have patients draw recreational activities while the others guess what they are drawing. (it helps if you have cards made up ahead of time)You can divide into teams or just take volunteers to draw. Afterwards you can discuss if they have done any of these things before, how long it has been, if there are any they would like to try in the future, barriers to participation.
Saturday, December 07, 2002 at 16:19:29 (CST)
a "trivia" contest where each group member is asked a question about the program or a general recovery-oriented question. the group member must answer within a certain number of seconds in order to earn points. the player with the most points wins; players who earn a certain number of points get a consolation gift.
Friday, September 06, 2002 at 16:50:14 (CDT)
writing goodbye letters to prior lifestyles
Sunday, August 25, 2002 at 09:25:21 (CDT)
I'm an ADC on an Acute Psych Unit/30 beds/18+. I've been in the Activity field for over 10 years now and I LOVE it! It feeds all my own needs in expressing creativity and helping others live a more enjoyable life after discharge. Ok, my favorites have to be group game days. I've adapted nearly all the game shows on tv and we play 2 different games a week. The patients get super excited about following the rules "just like the show". I passed my cosmetology boards years back in highschool and every Saturday I take pre-scheduled appointments for an hour to assist patients with their hair. LOL..I've had discharged patients call me on the phone and ask if they can stop by Saturday Beauty Shop. Our Karaoke and dance parties seem to be a big hit too. The patients day starts at 7am with a full day of various therapies daily SO...the fun stuff always helps relieve stress while the patients bond as a team and strike up individual friendships. p.s. Buy cheap bulk amounts of CANDY for group game prizes, this is especially good when used on a locked restrictive type unit. Many medications make them thirsty and cotton-mouthed. Keep COOL >>> Happy Summer!
Tuesday, July 02, 2002 at 21:03:09 (CDT)
I work in a substance abuse treatment center. What you do is take tape usually masking take because it is white and easy to see. Tape of a grid of six by six squares on the floor big enough for you to fit both feet in each square. The select a path where you only use one square from the first and last row, and all others in the middle must be touching the last square. Example: one to the left, right, diagonal left, diagonal right, or forward, never back. Then have the group with these rules find the path. 1. No talking, 2. the next square is touching the one you are standing in. 3. One mess up and the entire group starts over. 4. Only three people on the grid at one time. 5. No marking the path with anything. Then you tell them as they step yes or no if they are on the correct square. After all finish you ask them how this relates to life, treatment, or what ever. You should ask who went frist, who made a mistake, who watied untill others had the path down, how did it feel when you made mistakes exc. If you have more questions about this activity email me and I can explaine. maynard_brenda at hotmail dot com.
Tuesday, July 02, 2002 at 16:13:13 (CDT)
I used to work in a rehab center and I was passed down a game from someone who used to work there. It is Spin the bottle. You take an empty mountain dew or pepsi bottle and have each person take a spin whoever it lands on has to draw a card which is among many that have questions or scenarios on them. Example would be, "Describe when you first realized you were addicited to drugs." or "Lost a family member or friend because of drug use." It is a great way to get a person to open up in a group setting and can initiate further discussions.
Tuesday, June 04, 2002 at 15:21:37 (CDT)
role play
Wednesday, May 29, 2002 at 15:57:46 (CDT)
Monday, April 15, 2002 at 16:32:28 (CDT)
Monday, April 08, 2002 at 12:53:09 (CDT)
I work on a locked Geriatric Psych unit. My groups are set-up by the levels of cognitive abilities. Just a couple of groups that I find fun every time that I do them are: Ok, I'm hooked on looking at every sales ad in th Sunday paper each week. Well, instead of throwing them away, i throw them into my work bad and off to work they go. I give each group member a sales ad, IE. Sears, Target and K-mart are my favorites because there is so much of everything in each one. In advance, I write a list of things that can be randomly found in each ad, and next to that item, I ask them to record the price. Talk about making my patients work solidly for a good 45 minute stretch. It works on their ability to concentrate/focus/make decisions...a very strong cognitive skills task, so simple, but really fun, becasue face it, if I have so much fun each and every week, to them it is like returning to that mall or local store that maybe they have not gone to for a very long time. For the higher clients we write short stories about "everything". I have had some that probably could be published they were that good. Just have the group decide on the topic. You can always use the seasons or a holiday, or go way off and write about an object like Trains. Just be sure that each patient contributes and I write it down just like they say. We always type it up and display it on the unit. Talk about striking some self-esteem, especially with my severly depressed clients. It is something about seeing your words in writing and the ownership and cooperation it took to write. Very satisfying and fun every time. Hope you feel comfortable and try both...
Penny from SoCal/
Saturday, April 06, 2002 at 00:37:03 (CST)
I treat youths in a facility. This activity deals with issues of trust, communication, family, and honesty. My favorite activity is to have the youths form two teams. Each team is a "country". THe kids are told to create there own map,major export, name of the country, what the people are called in the country, a president, vice president, and secretary. They must keep this information secret from the other team. Each team has a spy that they send out to try and peep on the other teams information. After the teams work for awhile, you individually pull each kid aside and ask them if they will give up information about there country for a prize which will not be disclosed until after the game is over. After all have been asked, pull the two teams aside and let them know any information obtained. At the end of the game, the two teams share what they have learned. As the facilitator does not say who gave the information, the teams may begin to try to figure out who betrayed the trust of the team. We then process and talk about how the country was like ones family, and what made the teams keep or betray trust. We relate all this to everyones home, and there roles at home.
Kendra Reece
Friday, February 22, 2002 at 12:11:26 (CST)
My favorite activity is a twist on a listening and communication activity . We make chocolate chip cookies as a group but the preparer is blindfolded. I cut the recipe up into a puzzle pieces so the group ( groups of three ) must work togther to get the recipe. After the group completes the puzzle , I ask for 2 volunteers. I ask who is the most daring and that volunteer gets blindfolded ( up untill this point the participants are unaware of the blindfold twist ) . The other person is a spotter so the blindfolded " cook does not make a huge mess. The remaining group members have to try to communicate to the "cook" the ingrediants needed, where to place their hands to get and measure the ingredients and how to get the ingredients back in the bowl. I aways get a kick out of the "cooks" attempt to break the egg. The final part of the group we wrap up with the participants evaluating their sucess and cook giving feedback as to what communication was most and least helpful. The group drops the cookies on the sheets togther usually . As a back up plan I usually have a cookie mix just in case.
Thursday, January 31, 2002 at 21:16:55 (CST)
Planning future goals series: Travel Get travel folders, atlas, and video from other countries, or parts of the country... Have participants play charades with "destination" as target words. Have participants write out their idea of a "perfect vacation." Tell travel jokes. Have someone from another culture, share their native dress.
Friday, January 11, 2002 at 21:50:16 (CST)
In a group setting ask clients to rate things: "on a scale to 1 to 10, 1 is always-- bad, mean ugly, negative. 10 is always -- positive, great, the best. Ask a few questions exp: On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 is negative and 10 is positive, rate your Recovery ? Give scale again and ask clients to rate their Attitude, depression, effort toward recovery. After several questions, pass at a dime, and when everyone has one, you say "as long as you have this dime, you will always be a 10." This helps boost self-esteem right before your eyes.
Friday, December 07, 2001 at 18:57:30 (CST)
Have the group listen to a song then share what each one felt or experienced
Tuesday, September 18, 2001 at 18:41:04 (CDT)
My favourite group activity is making Pizza. One day a group of rehab patients goes on an outing to the grocery store (community mobility/reintegration). Patients have to plan the meal and name some of their favourite pizza topings. Each gets a list of 3 items needed to make the pizza (try to space these far and wide all around the grocery store to encourage more mobility). If patients need to work on their memory skills you can ask them to remember their own three items. Make sure you buy one or two packs of plain english muffins for the bases and a jar of tomato or pizza sauce. Have everyone gather near the checkout and appoint one person to take the basket of items through. This may be someone in a w/c or who needs to work on money management skills. On day two. Gather all the participants in the kitchen to wash, cut, and prepare all the toppings. Slice the English Muffins in half, spread tomato sauce on top, and smothered in toppings and cheese. Then bake in the oven. Very tasty. This is a great activity for fine motor control for stroke patients, and good mobility/endurance activity for rehab people who can walk to the kitchen to gather dishes, knives, cutting boards, stand up to wash dishes, and so forth. Test peoples memory about what items they bought the day before. Reminisce about baking or gourmet cooking, when everyone usually eats pizza, etc. Cook individual pizza's on cookie sheet in oven 350-400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. It usually takes us 1.5-2 hours to prepare the pizzas, so start around 10 or 10:30 am so pizza's will be ready for lunch. Everyone loves this group.
Sunday, August 19, 2001 at 15:15:54 (CDT)
My favorite is when we have a men's or ladies breakfast. It is so great to hear the conversations that they have. I feel that it helps these individuals open up with those who are of there same age. Once they start conversing amoungst they find that they have a connection some how. Either they were from the same area or they knew the same people. I also get people in for this group that usually don't come out for much, but they always look forward to this group.
Thursday, August 16, 2001 at 18:28:01 (CDT)
balloon bust--this takes a little prep work, but is great....i use it with my acute child psych unit.....the game: each child has a balloon tied to 1 or both ankles with a string about 2' long (make sure string is not too tight on ankles). on go, everyone tries to pop someone else's balloon. as soon as a balloon pops, everyone "freezes". the person who owns the balloon has to read a question that has been placed inside the balloon (hence the prep work....). everyone listens to each question read. the questions can be open ended or multiple choice with an "explain..." answer. subjects can vary depending on issues. once the question is answered, the game continues, stop..go..stop..go, until time or balloons run out. process afterwards, or this could be an opportunity to check listening/memory skills with a "pop quiz". i usually wear balloons too, and its loads of fun!!
Wednesday, February 28, 2001 at 21:47:57 (CST)
Hoorticultural Therapy, Discovery Zone, Pet Therapy, Name Game, Friendship Circle, How to get lost in the woods, Spelunking, People, Plants & Nature, Bread Baking, Adaptive Skiing, Challenge Initiatives, Picture Perfect Photo Sessions, Walking down musical whimsical lanes, Organic Cooking, Making GORP.
Saturday, January 20, 2001 at 00:29:31 (CST)
My favorite activity to use in group therapy is feeling charades. In order to play you need a treatment group and notecards with feelings written on the cards. Put the cards into a bowl and pick a client to go first. The first group member to go picks a feeling from the bowl and then has to act out the feeling without using words. Meanwhile, the other group members are trying to guess the feeling. Sometimes it is helpful to print off a list of feelings for the group members to choose from while they are playing.
sara brower
Saturday, December 09, 2000 at 08:21:15 (CST)
I work in physical rehab, and my favorite group activity is ice cream making. It is both fun and therapy at the same time (everyone must take a turn cranking the hand crank in order to share in the eating!) Patients love it. It sparks many reminiscing activities, and the ice cream is always delicious!
Saturday, November 18, 2000 at 11:19:58 (CST)
Friday, October 13, 2000 at 09:07:20 (CDT)
group hug: Everyone holds hands, then break the circle in one spot. That person stays put while the group cirlces around them until it is a tight sqeeze (hug). After they release the hug make sure everyone claps. I think this activity is from "new games"
Deidre Pate
Wednesday, August 16, 2000 at 13:43:57 (CDT)
beach ball and parachute
Wednesday, May 17, 2000 at 22:13:08 (CDT)
I work at a crisis psych hospital & interact with all age groups & abilities. One of my favorite seasonal activities, is to make a "tree of thanksgiving" in the fall &/or a tree of change for spring. Quite basically making a tree trunk, then covering it with individual leaves that have been labeled with something they are greatful for (or have changed in their lives). This can be an individual or group project, depending on your group. This project is a great way to recognize positives, creatively express feelings & always leads to some great processing.
Friday, April 21, 2000 at 20:28:43 (CDT)
Wednesday, December 08, 1999 at 11:23:11 (CST)
I enjoy Group Juggling just as much as my patients do- no matter what their age is. You stand or sit in a circle and toss a ball in a pattern until everyone in the group has had it once. Continue practicing the pattern until everyone in the group if familiar with who throws the ball to them and who they throw the ball to. Once the group is confident, add another ball. Continue to add more balls as the group's success rate increases. Great for processing coping skills (how to deal with more than one issue at a time).
Thursday, July 01, 1999 at 21:09:46 (CDT)
wheelchair basketball for youth (elementary, junior high and high school age), coed team: very good interaction developed, increased self esteem self esteem, team work...
Wednesday, June 02, 1999 at 10:23:21 (CDT)
wheelchair basketball for youth (elementary, junior high and high school age), coed team: very good interaction developed, increased self esteem self esteem, team work...
Wednesday, June 02, 1999 at 10:23:19 (CDT)
wheelchair basketball
Wednesday, June 02, 1999 at 10:19:43 (CDT)

I work with adolescents in a day treatment program and have had quite a bit of success with activities dealing with values. One activity is to give each person cards with a variety of values written on them such as "trust" "looks" "honesty" etc printed on them and then ask them to prioritize what they value in their friendships. Another activity is to give them a set of questions, statements, or situations such as "If you could visit either 100 years in the future or 100 years in the past which would you choose" "What is it like after you die" "If you found a wallet with $500 and identification in it what would you do" etc These activities have worked very well in forming discussions and debates.
Thursday, March 18, 1999 at 18:44:17 (CST)


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