Value curriculum therapy session
* mindful check in with client
* core values exercise but use visuals and music to motivate clients thinking process
* discuss with client what negative thoughts or distortions get in the way of the goal
* formulate a mission statement and relate this to how it will help client move towards the goal.
Value Curriculum Development Class Session
1.) Mindful check-in (in circle)
2.) 1 or 5 year future visualization
3.) End of tear goals and accomplishments achieved so far (post everyones on the class wall)
4.) Have individual one on one student action step meeting monthly to help students move toward their goal and not get stuck.
-mindful check-in with 3 deep cleansing breaths.
-miracle question guided meditation (imagine a miracle happened while you were asleep, what is different? How do you feel in your body? in your mind? what do you see? who would notice this miracle had happened with you? What would they notice? etc is there a symbol or colour or something else that you can bring with you that represents this miracle? Go around the circle and give each person a chance to share their experience
– do vision boards with each person having their own bristol board and magazine images they cut/tear out of magazines
-chat casually while doing the project but skillfully utilize OARS when it feels sincere, authentic and skillful
-utilize skillful self-disclosure when moments arise that would lead to this family trusting me more, normalizing their life journey as well as creating more intimacy and safety in the session
-close with the option of sharing what their finished vision board may say about their visions for themselves or their family.
High School Class Session:
*Begin with mindful check-in and perhaps have a pre-established system for describing thoughts and feelings (ex: using colors to describe feeling, having a word chart of emotions)
1. Core Value Exercise with post-its
2. Visualization Activity for time in high school (I’ve used a roadmap before as a visual with roadblocks & checkpoints)
3. Discuss how it all ties together; i.e: How do core values influence future goals and aspirations?
-What are goals for this semester?
-Assign accountability partners
*End of session check-in with self and partner
**I would eventually do a one-on-one check-in with each student.
Group Yoga Class at high school
~ mindful check-in – body scan, breathing quality, mind state, emotional state
~ exercise on core values – have students come up with non-negotiable values a person must have in order for them to choose to be in any kind of relationship with them (chosen relationship, friend or romantic) and then a list of personality traits that would be a deal breaker. Make a column A and a column B. Discuss together and reflect what these would actually look like in action and dialogue.
~ choose a core value to focus on in practice. e g. – kindness to self in practice, strength in body and mind, open to being non-judgmental and accept every part of self.
~ time allowing – share what value they chose and how they visualized that in their practice.
Session with horses and youth
Standing beside one of the horses:
Mindfulness check in while breathing in sync with the horse, or laying hands on the horse.. try breathing in and out several times near the horse’s nostrils.. and notice how the horse reacts to you while you do so..
Core Values exercise..: how might your main 3 core values relate to the horse? How might working with the horses help you understand what core values are important to you? (leader could have a list and speak them out loud for the youth to consider them) How do you think a herd of horses embodies the core values mentioned?
Visualize where you want to be in your relationship with horses in today’s meeting, next week’s meeting, next month’s.. How do you see yourself and your relationship with the horse changing?
1. Mindful check-in exercise
– If the student shares that they are feeling negative, can consider doing a mindful breathing/relaxation exercise (2-3mins of deep breathing) to calm them down and to prepare them for that session
2. Use of the Miracle Question for goal setting
– After a brief chat about what brought the student here, I will proceed to do an imaginative exercise where the student imagines that they awake one morning with all their problems miraculously going away. Thereafter we would identify the handles that would inform them that something indeed has happened. I.e. How they would feel? What difference their parents would notice? What would their friends notice? What would their teachers notice? Etc.
3. Core Values exercise
– I found this activity very interesting, so I hope I can try it out with my youths. To have them explore which of these values stand out for them and what it means for them and how they can seek to apply behaviour traits of these values to their lives, or how they alter their behaviour such that these values become more apparent in their lives.
4. Scaling exercise
– Setting the parameters of the scale, e.g. 10 being the new you (achieved goal) and 1 being the total opposite, and where they perceive themselves to be on this scale. For e.g., the student, identifies “4” and then the follow up question would be, “What does a 5 look like”.
5. Action Step
– Active listening and reflecting to them what they perceive as 5 and explore with them what must happen in order to go one step up and ultimately closer to their goal.
6. Review of actions taken
– The subsequent sessions would be to review and tweak what work and what didn’t work.
Circle Session (Group of 3 to 15)
1. Set the norms for sharing and listening.
2. Set the objective for our time in space with each other
3. Circle sharing Round 1: Mindfulness Check-in, use the tuner/chime sound to enter-exit cognitively, lead through breathing exercise and ground into the present.
3. Facilitate the core value exercise. “Where are you right now in your life? Are you where you would like to be in life? What are the obstacles keeping you from that ideal life?” Have your actions in the past 5-10 years support your core values? Why or why not? Do you need to pivot or change to live a life that is aligned with your core values?”
4. Commitments/Action Steps: Do you need to pivot or change to live a life that is aligned with your core values?” Identify and record one short-term and one long-term viable action step that you will commit to starting this week.
5. Closing Round: Share out your action step commitment and what you expect to share out for the next meeting. Visualize what that looks and sounds like, how you were able to suppress alternative actions.
6.Thank the group for their vulnerability.
1. Visualize a safe place. Inside or outside? Furniture? What do you hear? What do you smell? What do you feel with your hands and under your feet? Is anyone there with you? Draw or create the safe place so you can remind yourself of what “safe” is like.
2. Psychoeducation about the brain and autonomic nervous system. We discuss how the body physically responds to stress and then talk about examples of when they were afraid and what it felt like. What did they do to change the scared feelings? Teach heart rate tracking as a way to monitor stress response.
3. Mindful checkin to review thoughts and feelings about safe versus afraid.
4. Future visualization of times when fear resurfaced and their successful modification of those feelings with use of the safe space.
5. Development of weekly goals, self report the progress toward the goals each day and also self report the amount of focus, time, energy spent on achieving goals. This will be used at the next session to discuss how focus and attention to goals with effective effort will lead to greater progress.
1. Mindful check-in, noticing breath,noticing feet on the floor, getting grounded
2. Group guidelines for sharing and active listening ( I-statements etc.)
3. Core values exercise: Use a 5 year timeline and sticky notes on wall to pick from
4. Pick a partner and discuss, share one action step to commit to for next week
5. Closing comments: what was hard/easy, briefly visualize accomplishing that goal
Mindful Check in: Traditional Talking circle accompanied with Smudging to cleanse. This allows participants to share if they choose and the smudging is a traditional practice that helps ground individuals.
Future Visualization: Vision boards, meditations, and one:one interview about the what the future looks like
Core Values: Story telling with a traditional story that talks about life lessons. Talk about what core values were in the store and then have participants share in a small group what they value in life.
In the group work I’ve done thus far I usually ask them to describe their best and most comfortable place. I let them describe it. Breathing in and out seems to work well as it creates a very calm and safe environment for each in the room. A fun icebreaker we use afterwards is to from left to right, each one will talk about one great thing they achieved in the day and one thing which may still be on their mind to work through. No one may interrupt while the person is speaking at the time.
Each person has the chance to imagine their lives without their current issue they are working through.
Mindful check-in seems to work well in group work.
For a middle school class of 15-20
Typical middle schoolers live in the moment. What happened last week is quickly forgotten in the drama of the day. This class would be designed to get them to start thinking about their future and what it might look like. I would like to do this session a few days before they start signing up for their high school courses.
1. Mindful Check-in: I would direct them through the steps of taking the deep breathe and working to be in tune to what is going on with, or in, their body and mind. I would do one time as a practice, allowing them to get a sense of what they would be doing. After the second mindful check-in, in order to make it a bit more tangible, and accountable
(without asking students to share verbally which could be intimidating in that setting) students would have a blank paper on their desks. They would be asked to write, or draw, whatever would express their thoughts or feelings during the check-in. I would use this to help the students actually focus on what was happening with them as opposed to just ‘doing’ the activity with no connection.
2. Core Values Activity: First I would make sure each student had an understanding of what the values mean at this point in their lives. Some of the terms might be too vague without some pre-teaching or discussion. Students would then list their 2-3 core values, with a short reason why they choose it, on the back of the paper they used previously.
3. Future Visualization: On another sheet of paper, I would have outlined steps for the next 5 years of their lives to be filled in (again making it a tangible activity). It would involve what they envision starting high school will be like, what they would like to be involved with and achieve in high school, what they see the end of high school bringing them to, and what they envision the year after graduating from high school will be like (where are they, what are they doing, hopes, dreams).
4. Discussion would then ensue around the future visualization activity. Students could share the types of things they wrote down and I would brainstorm with them how they might choose a path through the next four years of high school in order to get where they would like to be in five years. I would create a list of terms, thoughts, suggestions, of the type of things they mention as being necessary as they start high school.
5. In concluding the class, I would encourage students to give thought to what they had done in our time together and to see how it might connect to the courses they would be selecting for high school. Meaning – to get where they wish to be in five years, what will it take starting as a freshman.
6. As a school counselor, I am the one who collects and reviews the course selection choices for the 8th graders. It would be good to have the sheet from the future visualization sheet with me as I conference with students regarding their choices. We would be able to have an exchange around what they hope their future to look like and if their the classes they have selected will be on that path or not.
Individual check in with a student
Mindful check in
1 year from now activity
This is a young guy who is just starting home visits with his family. We are continuing to work on developing stronger coping skills to help keep anxiety low to help handle situations which trigger this young man. He has come so far!!!!
1. Mindful Check-In.
2. Would You Rather Exercise: students choose one of two options (e.g. Would you rather meet the President of the United States or your famous actor/actress). Debrief each option to find out why. Discuss values.
3. Values auction. Students bid on certain things to determine what is important to them. Debrief.
4. Future Visualization
5. Vision Board: students create a vision board for what they want in their future. They will use Google Draw and capture images from the internet to create their vision board. They will be encouraged to convert this to a JPEG and set as their computer desktop or Facebook cover.
1. Start with some type of mindfulness activity to help get everyone a bit more centered. This might be as simple as take three complete breaths. Depending upon the group sometimes it is useful to talk a bit about emotions and how they can control you and how as individuals they can get a bit more skilled at controlling their own emotions.
2. Have the adolescents fill out a checklist “what’s important to me.” For example they pick four values that are most important to them.
3. Discuss the definition of values.
Do the values you have chosen have anything to do with the choices you make?
The people you gravitate towards?
The career you wish to pursue?
If I met someone on the street that knew you, would they describe you using the values you have chosen.
May pair up with a partner and see if they chose any of the same values you did.
Adolescent consultations and student retention session
If appropriate I like to offer warm tulsi tea with honey – while I make it I usually will talk about the ingredients and how sometimes holding something warm feels comfy and then after we sit down and I hand them the warm cup we will focus on taking some deep breaths. Mindful check in.
As a B. Part I like to have a few minutes and offer them a yoga mat and ground ourselves thinking about our feet hands and hand and face. Sitting like a butterfly is what I call it and reaching up and out and releasing stress through fingertips.
Do the core value excercise and circle 2 and then talk about it.
Sketch a picture of what these values look like to them in action.
Something that helped them through their previous week then something they wish they could snap their fingers and change.
Then add something new to help them through their next week-
To help them communicate feelings I use the anger iceberg from the Gottman institute and make it a 5×7 card they can take home and use with whomever they live with (anger is usually tied with other feelings, the iceberg has a list of those numerous feelings and they can just point if they are too upset to vocalize).
I like to explain how the ATP axis works, fight or flight etc and each week there is a little lesson on psychology. Simple just a few minutes worth. I find they like knowing how their brain is working and it is not just some roller coaster they’ve been strapped in and don’t know what to expect – I like to teach them what they could gauge is going to come next so they can adapt and or change something-
HIgh School, small/large group
1. Guided body scan…progressive relaxation or guided visualization…connect to mindful awareness of sensations. Introduce some “value” words and ask students to identify if/where/how they “feel” that word in their body.
2. Provide list or sticky notes or index cards with core value words (5-10) to each student. Organize in a way that makes sense to them. Identify top 3.
3. Share top 3 with another person…share process of selecting and reasons for selecting.
4. Read (an excerpt) from a recent current event article…and have students make connections to their top core values. For example, something like “taking a knee” at a sporting event… What values are expressed by those that participate? Do your values align with those decisions? Would you protest in a public way about your values? (etc., etc.!)
5. In a group of 3-4, share an experience of how you have demonstrated a core value in your own life.
I would do a group and the title would be “How does one learn to make good decisions?”
1. Mindful Check-In: While you are becoming aware of the sensations and thoughts you are having, be sure and ask yourself the above question and see what goes on inside.
2. Write down 3-4 core values you might believe in and describe a time when you have done what you said that you would never do as it relates to a core value.
3. Now visualize that event for a couple of minutes and tell the group how you made that decision.
4. What was your favorite toy/color or person growing up? What did you like about that toy/color or person? Remember you are very young. Check-in with yourself and see what that might say about you?
3. Choose something that you are interested in and list the pros and cons about moving in that direction.
I do individual, which sometimes turn in to group discussions when other students join-Which can be in a short space of time. I have taken myself out of the lunchroom and into the “Break time” Building Authentic Relationships. The children see me present and approach me.
!- mindfulness. This is my first practice when a student comes to talk to me,
2- Core Values- i like to use when talking emotions E.g happy ,sad. i keep it simple and short.
I have organised some student to participate in a before school programme going down to the AG -Agriculture plot and feeding the animals. We talk about Future visualization.This has been a positive experience.
For an individual youth
1. Progressive relaxation technique or Getting Ready to Face the Day (or session)
2. Core Values
3. Visualization for 1 year
4. Vision Board
5. Pros Cons if the values are not reflected in the vision board/visualization for 1 year.
For a HS Sex Ed course:
*Mindful check in (start with eyes closed or head down, focusing on breath, then moving thoughts toward body sensations and emotions)
*10-year visualization (transition to this during mindful check in; eyes stay closed or head down and I ask several prompts about how and where they envision themselves 10 years from now)
*Timeline/Lifeline activity (create a timeline of their past, present, and future goals.) We start by reviewing what are big milestones most people try to achieve, like HS graduation, driver’s license, first job, etc. and then grow their individual goals from there. In the context of sexual health, is having your own family a part of your vision for yourself? What things might you want to accomplish yourself before then?
*Action Items for Lifeline (What are 1-2 things you may need to let go of to achieve some of these goals? What are 1-2 things you could start doing now to achieve them?)
*Make a specific plan for the action items (Who can you contact that does the job you’re interested in? What club at school could you join to get experience? etc.)
Individual Tx w/youth
– Mindful check-in
-Explore feelings/thoughts related to the check-in
-5 year Future Visulization
-Core Values have them circle them
-Discuss plan on how to reach goals and what may get in the way
-Personal check-ins – “High-Low”
-Mindful Check-in – Three breaths, name emotions, body sensations
-Values Activity – Write down 2-3 core values
-Share Round – What do these mean to you
-Mindful Reflection – Imagine a time you embodied this value fully. What emotions do you feel? Body sensations do you feel? Types of thoughts have (what see / hear / smell etc.)
-Share Round II – Share what arose during reflection
-Mindful Check-in 2 – Breath / Emotions / Body
Mindful check in with somatic tracking (finding positive sensation in body)
Visualization of What kind of world they would like to create
The Basket: creating a visual of a basket in which we put the things we want in the world (core values)
The Support: what do we need to surround ourselves with to support us in keeping the basket safe?
The Arrows: what comes your way that makes protecting the basket hard?
The shields: what do we already have to deflect the arrows?
Agreements to one another: making a simple agreement to be both the basket and the support, offering gentle nudges or our shields to our community when things feel hard.
Mindful check out- somatic trackin and one word share about where they are before departing.
Individual Therapy Session
* Mindful check In
*One year visualization
I’m thinking of the anxiety that’s often generated when students have a research assignment. I’d start with a Mechanisms of Work disclosure, letting them know that we’re doing this activity to help them overcome some of that anxiety and to see themselves as being successful with this project because I know they can do it (affirmation).
Mindful check-in, first just how do they feel now, then what feelings arise when they think about writing a research paper.
Future visualization to when they have completed and turned in their project. What would they like to know about their topic? How would they feel to have it completed? How would they like to feel about their work?
Mindful check-in, how does it feel to have successfully completed a difficult project?
Short discussion with students sharing how it felt to complete the project.
Help them set short term goals to reach that long term goal of completing the project. Make sure they know the next steps.
Individual Therapy Session
* Mindful check-in
*5 year visualization
Individual Meeting with Student
*Ask them to do a Mindful Check-in.
*Pros & Cons
*Ask about a 1 month goal; where do you want to be in a month?
*Ask for one action step today to work towards that goal.
*Ask them to do 1 affirmation about themselves because we are really focusing on affirmations with our students; learning about positive self talk.
Individual meeting –
1 year visualization/goal setting
create dream board – hands on cutting, pasting, sifting through images and words from magazines, etc.
1. Mindful check-in
2. Sensory awareness nature activity
3. Tree ring journal: Draw a cross section of a tree with each ring representing a year of your life and write in significant events, then project out to future years and develop goals or milestones in your life. Then, share with each other or the group.
OR Tree structure: Draw a tree with roots, trunk, branches and leaves: Describe/write about each part of the tree: the roots symbolize what grounds you as a person, the trunk symbolize what gives you structure in life, the branches symbolize what you’re reaching for in life. Then, share with each other or the group.
4. Draw your life path and discuss what happens along the way. Discuss what helps you stay on your path and what does not.
Individual Session with teen
Mindful check in (Suds check in)
challenge any thought disortions
Suds check out
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