Issuu on Google+

EPRSCO Freedom through Knowledge


WINDOWS ON MY LIFE1 Purpose of the activity: to encourage participants to share personal information in an interesting and entertaining way. Time Required:

Approximately 2, 5 hours, depending on the number of participants

Materials Required:

Flip Chart sheets – 1 per participant Markers – a variety of colours, if possible. At least one per participant

Process: 1) Point out to participants that in order to create a positive learning environment, we should spend some time getting acquainted. 2) Discuss the importance of trust and security in the learning group and tell participants that these are best achieved through sharing personal information and learning more about each other. 3) Tell participants that when strangers first meet there is a natural tendency to share information that is “safe” -- our name, where we work, what we do, and so on -- but relationships are built on sharing personal information to achieve a level of intimacy that builds trust. Trust is essential for learning to occur. 4) Distribute a flipchart page and at least one marker to each person. 5) Tell participants that they are going to present to the rest of the group “Window on my life” containing personal information. This information will be presented in the form of drawings or symbols rather that text. 6) Display a flipchart page prepared previously showing how participants’ windows should be prepared: Things that make me happiest most

My greatest accomplishment

1

Things that frustrate me

My wildest dream

Source: LTRTP IDI INTOSAI, 2011-2012

EPRSCO

Page 2


7) Tell participants not to be concerned with the artistic quality of their “windows� and that our purpose is simply to share personal information graphically or symbolically. 8) Answer any questions posed by participants and tell them they have 20 minutes to complete their windows. 9) When all participants have completed their charts, begin the process by displaying your own window. (Note: Be sure to share personal but not too intimate information. There is a danger that participants, following your lead, may feel pressured to share more than they are comfortable with). Try to keep your presentation under five minutes and suggest that participants do the same. 10) Ask for a volunteer from the group to present his or her window, and continue until all participants have been at the front. 11) Ask the other members of the resource team to share their windows in a similar manner. 12) As an option you may ask participants to post their windows to the classroom wall for reference during the day. 13) Ask participants how they felt during the exercise - listening to others and sharing personal information about them.

EPRSCO

Page 3


WINDOWS ON MY LIFE / PARTICIPANT NOTES Purpose of the activity To enable participants to learn about one another Process You will be given a flipchart and colored markers to use in this exercise. Divide the flipchart into four windows as shown below. In the four spaces (windows), you are to use drawings to symbolize four aspects of your life

Things that make me happiest most

My greatest accomplishment

Things that frustrates me

My wildest dream

You will be asked to present in about 5 minutes your symbols to the full group in order to get better acquainted.

Time allocated for the activity About 20 minutes to complete the “windows� and 5 minutes to present them in front of the group.

EPRSCO

Page 4


INTRODUCING THE PROGRAM

This session is aimed to introduce to participants the training program and to agree upon the rules to be observed by them during the training sessions. 1. Purpose of the training program The training program purpose is to help offenders to strengthen self-confidence and social competencies with the aim of increasing the chances for social inclusion. 2. General objectives 1) Inform inmates about the steps to follow after release from prison in order to enhance their social integration; 2) Familiarity with social support items that can assist in returning to the community; 3) Psychological preparation of the individual who executed a custodial sentence on the negative influences that he can endure upon returning to thecomunity. 3. Training sessions 1) 2) 3) 4) 5)

Better understanding myself Strengthening self-confidence Strengthening interpersonal competencies Development of communication skills Training program evaluation

4. Rules to be observed The teacher will propose to participants to take part in an activity aimed to establish the rules to be observed by the group during the program activities: activity 1. The list should include rules such as:         

Do not speak out of turn; We do not offend each other; Do not swear, do not talk bad between us; Do not leave the session; We do not hit each other; Do not smoke during meetings; We strive to learn; We try to communicate well; Listen carefully and do not comment on the views of colleagues;

The teacher will also ask participants to agree on punishments for those breaking the rules, such as:

EPRSCO

Page 5


-

One funny punishment established by the group; Withdrawal of responsibilities during the action etc.

The rules and the punishments will be written on paper by the teacher and be hung on the wall during the program. 5. Trainees expectations Before starting delivering the training program being aware of the trainees’ expectations are very important both for teacher and for participants. The teacher will invite participants to express their expectations in small groups (3-4 participants) – activity 2. The trainees’ expectations will be also written on paper and be hung on the wall during the program. The teacher will assess how the training activities match the participants’ expectations.

EPRSCO

Page 6


Activity 1: AGREEING ON THE RULES The purpose The purpose of the activity is to involve participants in a debate aimed to establish a list of rules to be observed by each of them during the training sessions.

The activity The teacher will ask participants to discuss two by two and propose rules to be observed by the group during the program activities. The teacher will write on a flipchart paper the participants proposals that should be such as:         

Do not speak out of turn; We do not offend each other; Do not swear, do not talk bad between us; Do not leave the session; We do not hit each other; Do not smoke during meetings; We strive to learn; We try to communicate well; Listen carefully and do not comment on the views of colleagues etc.

Afterwards, the teacher will ask participants to agree also on punishments for those breaking the rules, such as: -

One funny punishment established by the group; Withdrawal of responsibilities during the action etc.

The rules and the punishments will be written on paper and be hung on the wall during the program. Alloted time: 30 minutes

EPRSCO

Page 7


Activity 2: PARTICIPANTS EXPECTATIONS The purpose The purpose of the activity is to provoke participants to express personal expectations from the training program. The activity The teacher will create small groups of 3-5 participants. He/she will invite participants to discuss 10 minutes in the group about their interests in training program. The group will decide on a person to present to all the group’s expectations. Each person from each group will summarize the group interests in 5 minutes. The trainees’ expectations will be written on paper and be hung on the wall program.

during the

Alloted time: 30 minutes

EPRSCO

Page 8


1. REASONS FOR THE PROGRAM

Most inmates emerge out of prisons with a stigma that they will not be able to escape from during their entire lifetime. Many of them tend to be viewed with suspicion by society, while others try to regain society's trust and, as much as possible, to demonstrate that they have the right to a second chance. In recent years, it has been spoken frequently about social reentry of those who have spent time in jail, and of the help these people need in order to begin a new life. Employment is a significant part of the social reentry process. Even while in prison, inmates can do a number of things that will increase the chances of them getting employed. Having a job within the prison, performing maintenance activities, outdoor public works or industrial, shows a level of responsibility and willingness to be active. First of all, one should start preparing for release as early in their sentence as possible. This should include assessment of career goals/ objectives, completing all education and vocational training programs offered by the institution/prison and of course, developing a realistic post-release plan. Searching for employment does not have to start necessarily after release. For example, if the prison has some sort of internal arrangements or arrangements with various companies, this could be an excellent opportunity for the inmate to arrange something prior release. There are many programs that are based on the concept of helping ex-offenders to help themselves, either being carried out within the prison or carried out by the local authorities, that sustain and offer guidance to ex-offenders in their endeavors of being self-employed and starting a business. This is why it is of high importance to know and find out more about these programs and get involved. Also, there are many NGOs that carry out such programs and help ex-offenders seek jobs or get started on being self-employed. This program is a proposal that can be adapted and improved by teachers, training providers depending on the specific objectives and concrete conditions of learning.

2. TRAINING PROGRAM OVERVIEW 2.1.

Purpose of the training program

The training program purpose is to help offenders to strengthen self-confidence and social competencies with the aim of increasing the chances for social inclusion. 2.2.

General objectives 1) Inform inmates about the steps to follow after release from prison in order to enhance their social integration; 2) Familiarity with social support items that can assist in returning to the community; 3) Psychological preparation of the individual who executed a custodial sentence on the negative influences that he can endure upon returning to thecomunity.

EPRSCO

Page 9


2.3.

Training sessions 6) Better understanding myself 7) Strengthening self-confidence 8) Strengthening interpersonal competencies 9) Development of communication skills 10) Training program evaluation

2.4.

Beneficiaries

The beneficiaries of the training program (the trainees) will be the inmates, particularly those finalizing the convictions but also the released offenders as the case. 2.5.

Resources

Human resources: -

Social assistant/social worker/teacher; Psychologist; Trainer.

Material resources: -

Participant notes (if appropriate); Instructor guides; Individual worksheets/handouts; Pencils; Sheets; Questionnaires; Informational materials such as brochures/leaflets.

Collaborators/partners: -

Representatives of local, regional or central employment authorities; Representatives of civil society, NGOs.

2.6.

Teaching methods and tools

We recommend the use of learner-centered methods and participative tools such as: -

Debate; Simulation/Role playing; Case study; Brainstorming; Questionnaires; Tutorial/Coaching; Demonstration etc.

We also recommend compliance with the following structure of delivering activities within a session: -

Spatial arrangement of participants to facilitate good communication; Ice-breaker (mainly for the first session) and community time (a game or a practical activity) aimed to stimulate the group dynamics when starts a new session; Introducing the session learning objectives;

EPRSCO

Page 10


-

Defining the basic concepts used if the case; Carrying out the session activities; Summarizing the knowledge, information delivered; Assessing the knowledge transfer and skills acquisition as the case.

Putting in place these recommendations is depending on the concrete conditions of each unit, the teachers/trainers skills and tactics as well as on the age, education, health, values of the target group.

EPRSCO

Page 11


Session 1: BETTER UNDERSTANDING MYSELF

Explain participants: Social reentry of ex-offenders is a complex and difficult process. To succeed in their efforts for social reinsertion they have to start by knowledge of themselves and by strengthening the self-confidence. Explain participants the purpose of this session: This session is aimed to provoke participants to reflect on themselves in order to identify personal characteristics to increase their confidence. Ideally this activity will be carried out with a psychologist. 1.

Who I am? 1.1.

Ask participants if they reflected so far on the question: Who I am?

1.2.

Explain them that this question will introduce activities aimed to involve them in activities aimed to:  Evaluate their personal characteristics and social situation and  Create a „personal map” of strenghts and weaknesses. 1.3. Distribute to each participant the Questionnaire 1.1. 1.4. Ask participants to fill in individually, in 30 minutes. 1.5. Draw the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) template on the flipchart and explain the SWOT analysis. 1.6. Distribute a paper for each participant and invite him/her to develop his own SWOT diagram, with personal features.. Encourage participants to be honest. Allow 15 minutes for drawing the diagram. Explain that they will be invited to present the diagram in front of the classroom. 1.7. Invite participants to present their diagrams. Each participant will have 5 minutes. 1.8. Discuss on each case in large group and underline the strengths and the opportunities for each situation. 1.9. Offer your support for specific cases. 1.10. Collect the questionnaires and keep them for further discussions (in classroom or in private).

EPRSCO

Page 12


2. What I want in life? 2.1.

Start a discussion with participants by saying:

“All people want different things. Some want cars, others a house yard, other electronic devices, other careers, others a family with many children, etc. Some get them quicker, some more slowly or not, some honestly, some do not.” 2.2. 

What you want in life?

Is there any connection between these desires and the offense for which you are in prison?

What you want to do after getting out of prison?

What are the chances you'll realize your desires honestly, without having to commit crimes?

2.3.

3.

Ask participants to answer individually, on a paper, the following questions:

Gather the papers and propose, as appropriate, some answers to be discussed in the classroom, without making nominations. As the case is offer to discuss individually some cases.

My poster 3.1.

Distribute to each participant in the group a flipchart paper and colored markers and ask participants to sketch a poster answering the question: How it would look a poster advertising me?

3.2.

Invite one by one to present the poster.

3.3.

Consider if appropriate to hang the posters on the wall.

At the end of the session each participant should be aware of positive features positive behaviors that come from each of those.

EPRSCO

and

Page 13


Session 1: BETTER UNDERSTANDING MYSELF Questionnaire 1.1 Full name: _____________________________ Date of birth: __________________________ Domicile/Residence: ____________________ The offense: ___________________________ Conviction: ____________________________ Recidivism status: _______________________ Years of schooling: _______________________ Professional qualification before arrest: ____________________________________ Professional qualification in penitentiary: ___________________________________ Length of employment: ________ in the field ____________________________________________________________________ Occupation at the time of arrest: __________________________________________ Civil status upon arrest: _________________________________________________ Civil status at present: __________________________________________________ Number of children and their age: _________________________________________ Activities you participated in penitentiary: __________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ Connection with the outside during your detention 1. Who visited you and how often

2. You have benefited from social services during detention?

EPRSCO

Page 14


3. What kind of services?

4. There is a person who will support you after release?

5. In your opinion, what chances do you have for employment and in which field?

6. What do you intend to do for finding a job?

7. Do you have valid identity documents?

8. Do you have a place to live after release?

9. Do you have hobbies, special talents? How did you exploited them?

10. What problems do you think you will face after release?

EPRSCO

Page 15


11. In your opinion, what are your strengths?

12. In your opinion, what are your weaknesses?

13. Evaluate your chances of reintegration into society on a scale from 1 to 10

1 _______________________ 5 _______________________ 10

Date __________

Signature

EPRSCO

Page 16


Session 2: STRENGTHENING SELF-CONFIDENCE

Purpose of the session Introduce to participants the purpose of the session: This session is aimed to provoke participants to reflect on self-confidence and self-esteem as prerequisites for personal development. The session is focusing on becoming aware of the own set of values and appropriate ways for strengthening self-confidence and self-esteem.

1. Self-Confidence 1.1.

Tell participants that simply, the self-confidence could be defined: Self-confidence is the confidence in oneself or one's own abilities.

1.2.

Ask participants to answer by “yes”, “no” or “I don’t know/understand” the question:

Do you consider being self-confident is important? Draw a table on the flipchart with three columns and count the number of participants answering “yes”, “no” or “I don’t know/understand” and insert the results in the corresponding columns. 1.3.

Explain participants:

Confidence is used in your everyday life to do all kinds of cool stuff. It manages your fears and it lets you do more of the things that really matter to you. Not many people realize that their self-confidence works just like a muscle – it grows in response to the level of performance required of it. Either you use it or you lose it. That’s why we have to learn some ways to grow our confidence so that we can become “a giant”. Self-confidence means a lot to us as it is a central feature of the mysterious floating sense of self we call me. Self-confidence takes place in our mind by living through experiences and learning from them. It is our ability to know with certainty that we can cope with life circumstances and adapt relatively effectively, while at the same time enjoying our life’s progress.

EPRSCO

Page 17


Learning from experience takes place in separate lines of development from the physical to the spiritual. We have to learn to pull these lines together into one sense of self. 1.4.

Discuss on the subject trying to clarify the main issues.

1.5.

Ask participants: Would you like to become more confident in yourself?

1.6.

Tell participants that there are different ways for increasing the self-confidence.

2. Ways for Strengthening Self-Confidence 2.1.

Tell participants that you will discuss in small groups on some ways for strengthening self-confidence.

2.2.

Divide participants in groups of 3-5 persons, depending on the total number of participants.

2.3.

Prepare 7 handouts (below) explaining ways for increasing self-confidence and distribute in each group 1-3 handouts. Invite people to read them carefully and discuss about in each group. They have to try answer the following questions: Did you apply so far this recommendation? Do you think acting this way is useful? Do you intend to act in future as recommended? At the end of the activity, a person chosen by each group will present in front of the classroom the group conclusions.

2.4.

Conclude the activity by underlying that self-confidence is essential in our lives and we have to take care of strengthening and keeping it at a high level. 1. Healthy habits. It’s important to prepare your brain. This includes feeding your body nutritious foods, participating in physical activities, getting enough sleep and treating medical or psychological conditions.

2. Recognize how you’re attacking yourself. Identify what you may be doing to perpetuate your low self-esteem. For instance, you might choose to surround yourself with toxic people who low your self-esteem. Or you might encourage others to talk down to you. Many people don’t voice their needs and let others speak for them. Once you can recognize the ways you sabotage yourself, you can work through them. Take the example of articulating your needs. If you’re too passive to do so, learn how you can become more assertive. Start small: Ask your roommate to turn the music down, say no to an event you don’t want to attend or ask your server to have a cold entrée reheated.

EPRSCO

Page 18


3. Identify and challenge self-critical thoughts. Certain thought patterns enable low self-esteem. A common distortion is personalizing. Seeing yourself as more involved in negative events than you really are. First, remember that you may be able to influence someone’s behavior but you certainly don’t cause it. “The final decision is theirs, not ours”. Next, look for other influences in a situation. Instead of believing that you can’t accomplish a certain project, acknowledge that it’s a tough task and you’re in a noisy environment. You also can learn to challenge other negative thoughts, such as: “I’m a loser,” “I can’t do anything”.

4. Find out who you are. A healthy self-esteem also means having a quiet gladness about who you are. You need to know who that person is. “Every individual must determine his or her own values, principles, and moral standards and live by them”. What do you value in life? What matters to you? Once you can point your values, you might even realize that the very things you beat yourself up about have nothing to do with your goals. Getting to know yourself better also helps you assess your traits and determine which are in line with the kind of person you’d like to be. A healthy self-esteem doesn’t mean thinking you’re flawless; it means knowing realistically what you need to work on and making the necessary changes.

5. Learn what lights you up. People with low self-esteem often have a long can’t-do list. They may have incorrect ideas of what they’re capable of. What helps is to challenge these thoughts and try new activities.

6. Appreciate your body. The way we experience our bodies often parallels the way we experience our core selves. So if you’re tough on your body — bashing your weight, shape or wrinkles — you’ll likely be tough on your core and have a conditional self-esteem. Appreciating your body with all its imperfections can help you cultivate a more accepting view of yourself as a whole.

7. Accept your imperfections. Think of your best friend, partner or kids. Why do you love them? Undoubtedly it has little to do with their flawless traits. We don’t wait to love others until they’re perfect. What helps cultivate self-acceptance is mindfulness, which teaches

EPRSCO

Page 19


compassion for the self and others along with the ability to accept emotions. Therefore, having a positive self-esteem isn’t selfish. It’s important for leading a fulfilling, healthy life, which in turn helps you help others.

3. Strategies to Build Self-Esteem 3.1.

Explain participants: Self-esteem is a term used in psychology to reflect a person's overall emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self.

3.2.

Discuss with participants about their self-esteem level. Likely, all of them have a low level of self-esteem. If there are some with a higher level ask for them to explain “the secret”.

3.3.

Based on the group statistics (low level of self-esteem given participants status) there is a necessity for improvements in this field.

3.4.

Explain participants that there are many strategies they could apply for building the selfesteem.

3.5.

Prepare 50 handouts (tickets – see below) containing “strategies” to build self-esteem. Put them in a basket and invite each participant to extract one ticket. Allow them 10 minutes to think about the strategy recommended in his/her ticket and to present his/her opinion about this proposal in front of the group in no more than 5 minutes. Encourage participants to ask questions to their colleague and make short relevant comments.

3.6.

Clarify with participants in this activity all issues they faced.

3.7.

Tell participants that there are in the course support (Participant Notes – PN) all the 50 strategies for building self-esteem. 1. Hit the gym. The physiological effects will leave you feeling great.

2. Go to a networking event and focus on how you can be helpful to other people rather than being nervous about your own stuff.

3. Get crystal clear on the things that truly matter to you. If they’re not in your life, you need to bring them in.

4. Write a list of the things you’re tolerating and putting up with in your life, then write down how you can remove, minimize or diminish each one.

EPRSCO

Page 20


5. Look at a great win or success you’ve experienced and give you credit for your part in it.

6. Next time you’re at a social event, don’t just stick with the people you know – go and have a conversation with someone you don’t know and you never know what – or who – you’ll discover.

7. Next time you talk yourself out of doing something (a party invite, a challenging project or whatever else), and go do it anyway.

8. Does one thing each day that makes you smile (on the inside or on the outside).

9. You have to keep your mind well fed, so write a list of 20 things that keeps your mind feeling fed and make sure you’re giving them room in your life.

10. Stop playing different roles and squeezing yourself into boxes based on what you think people expect you to act like.

11. Learn to catch yourself every single time you tell yourself that you can’t have, won’t get or aren’t good enough to get what you want.

12. Make deliberate decisions on what really matters to you.

13. Next time you come up against a risk or a challenge, listen to what you tell yourself and look for a way that that inner dialog can be improved.

14. If you are scared of looking silly, don’t let it stop you.

15. If you’d already done everything in life you’d have no need to be scared. Don’t ever think that being scared means you’re not confident, it simply means you’re going somewhere new.

EPRSCO

Page 21


16. Don’t think for a second that you can’t be confident. There are already loads of things you do with natural self-confidence, you just have to notice them and get familiar with how it feels.

17. Listen to your doubts but be ready to make deliberate decisions once you’ve heard them. Sometimes your doubts are there to let you know what you need to prepare for, so you can use them to your benefit as you move forwards.

18. You’ve got a whole bunch of out-dated rules that determine what you do, don’t do, should do and shouldn’t do. These rules limit your thinking and limit your behavior. Tear up your rule book and notice how free you are to make great decisions.

19. Do you get annoyed with yourself because you didn’t make the most of something or stepped back form an opportunity? Don’t beat yourself up because that’s just going to make you feel worse. Instead, be brutally honest and ask yourself what you gained from the situation and what you lost out on. Based on this win/lose balance, what’s a different choice you can make next time?

20. If there’s someone in your life who makes you feel small, you owe it to yourself to let them know that you expect something different from now on.

21. Acknowledge and welcome all of your experiences – the good stuff as well as the bad stuff. It’s all equally valid and hiding things away because you don’t like them is just creating conflict.

22. Always recognize that you’re more than a match for any situation you might find yourself in, no matter how tough the going gets.

23. When you feel like stamping your foot and yelling “I deserve better than this!” take a step back and say “I can BE better than this.”

24. Confidence sometimes means admitting you’re wrong – be always ready to hold your hands up and change your mind.

25. Trust your instincts. They know what they’re talking about.

EPRSCO

Page 22


26. Fear is a way of letting you know that you’re about to stretch yourself and grow your confidence. That’s a good thing, so use it to take you forwards rather than run away.

27. Don’t feel like you have to do everything yourself – sometimes the most confident thing to do is ask for help.

28. Take a chance on something tomorrow. Anything, big or small, just takes a chance.

29. You need to be around people who make you feel like YOU, so spend more time with the people who support and encourage you and less with those who undermine you. 30. Stop struggling against the things you don’t like in your life – create a congruent environment around you that flows and allows you to be you.

31. Forget the pros and cons – do something bold in the face of your challenges and fears.

32. Work on developing the skills you need to win at the things that matter to you. What can you practice that would radically improve your chances of winning?

33. The body is a mirror for the mind, so shifting your body into a confident state can have surprising results.

34. Keep comparing yourself to others? Stop it, don’t try to validate yourself through comparison – you’re just peachy as you are.

35. Put your head above the parapet at work and speak up if there’s something you think could be improved or if you have an idea you think has legs.

36. If there’s something you’ve been struggling to understand for a while, stop trying to understand it. Accept it just as it is.

EPRSCO

Page 23


37. Shy with new people? Not a problem, there’s nothing wrong with being shy and it doesn’t mean you’re not confident. Just don’t over think it, start beating yourself up or thinking you’re less than because you’re shy – the more you think like that the worse it gets.

38. Your environment directly impacts your self-perception, so if you’re surrounded by clutter, paperwork and rubbish put a morning aside to clean up your stuff and get organized.

39. Write yourself a list of the amazing things you’d love to do in your life, and make a start by simply looking into the first one or two things that leap out at you.

40. Don’t make your happiness or self-worth dependent on being in a relationship or being validated by someone else. Find your inherent value first, and your relationships and confidence will be immeasurably better.

41. Your strengths can be used to overcome any of your weaknesses. We all have weaknesses but they only undermine your confidence if you let them.

42. The longer you leave that big thing on your to-do list the more it’ll drain you and the bigger it’ll seem – get it done and free yourself up.

43. What golden threads, themes, patterns and passions have always been in your life? If those things aren’t present in your life right now, you need to shift your priorities.

44. Your body image does matter, because if you have a bad relationship with your body you won’t be feeling confident in yourself. Get trim if you need to; just make sure you get along with your body.

45. Try a new path. The well-trodden paths of your life can easily turn from familiarity to apathy and disconnection. A new path wakes you up.

EPRSCO

Page 24


46. Don’t say “Yes” to taking on a task simply because you don’t want to rock the boat – you can politely decline requests you can’t meet and don’t need to create an excuse for it.

47. Look at the people you respect who seem confident – don’t copy them, but identify what it is they do differently that conveys confidence and what you can learn from it.

48. Make a plan to do something, and then make deliberate choices to follow through. Seeing progress gives you important self-reinforcement.

49. When you feel yourself focusing inwards and becoming paralyzed with doubt or fear, switch to focusing outwards at what you can engage and interact with.

50. Being confident is an ongoing process. It isn’t a goal or an end-point that you reach and then stop. Keep playing to the best of your ability and your confidence will always be there to support you.

4. Ending the session 4.1.

Remind participants that they have to strengthen the self-confidence and build the selfesteem; there are methods and strategies they should know and start practice.

4.2.

Ask them how they felt during the activities in this session and if they consider useful the strategies proposed.

4.3.

Distribute the Participant Notes, thank the participants and announce the next session: strengthening the social competencies.

EPRSCO

Page 25


Session 2: STRENGTHENING SELF-CONFIDENCE / PARTICIPANT NOTES

This session is aimed to provoke participants to reflect on self-confidence and self-esteem as prerequisites for personal development. The session is focusing on becoming aware of the own set of values and appropriate ways for strengthening self-confidence and self-esteem. 5. Self-Confidence

Self-confidence is the confidence in oneself or one's own abilities.

Confidence is used in your everyday life to do all kinds of cool stuff. It manages your fears and it lets you do more of the things that really matter to you. Not many people realize that their self-confidence works just like a muscle – it grows in response to the level of performance required of it. Either you use it or you lose it. That’s why we have to learn some ways to grow our confidence so that we can become “a giant”. Self-confidence means a lot to us as it is a central feature of the mysterious floating sense of self we call me. Self-confidence takes place in our mind by living through experiences and learning from them. It is our ability to know with certainty that we can cope with life circumstances and adapt relatively effectively, while at the same time enjoying our life’s progress. Learning from experience takes place in separate lines of development from the physical to the spiritual. We have to learn to pull these lines together into one sense of self.

6. Ways for Strengthening Self-Confidence There are many and different ways for strengthening self-confidence. We’ll propose few of them. 6.1. Healthy habits. It’s important to prepare your brain. This includes feeding your body nutritious foods, participating in physical activities, getting enough sleep and treating medical or psychological conditions. 6.2. Recognize how you’re attacking yourself. Identify what you may be doing to perpetuate your low self-esteem. For instance, you might choose to surround yourself with toxic people who low your self-esteem. Or you might encourage others to talk down to you. Many people don’t voice their needs and let others speak for them. Once you can recognize the ways you sabotage yourself, you can work through them. Take the example of articulating your needs. If you’re too passive to do so, learn how you can

EPRSCO

Page 26


become more assertive. Start small: Ask your roommate to turn the music down, say no to an event you don’t want to attend or ask your server to have a cold entrée reheated. 6.3. Identify and challenge self-critical thoughts. Certain thought patterns enable low selfesteem. A common distortion is personalizing. Seeing yourself as more involved in negative events than you really are. First, remember that you may be able to influence someone’s behavior but you certainly don’t cause it. “The final decision is theirs, not ours”. Next, look for other influences in a situation. Instead of believing that you can’t accomplish a certain project, acknowledge that it’s a tough task and you’re in a noisy environment. You also can learn to challenge other negative thoughts, such as: “I’m a loser,” “I do anything”.

can’t

6.4. Find out who you are. A healthy self-esteem also means having a quiet gladness about who you are. You need to know who that person is. “Every individual must determine his or her own values, principles, and moral standards and live by them”. What do you value in life? What matters to you? Once you can point your values, you might even realize that the very things you beat yourself up about have nothing to do with your goals. Getting to know yourself better also helps you assess your traits and determine which are in line with the kind of person you’d like to be. A healthy self-esteem doesn’t mean thinking you’re flawless; it means knowing realistically what you need to work on and making the necessary changes. 6.5. Learn what lights you up. People with low self-esteem often have a long can’t-do list. They may have incorrect ideas of what they’re capable of. What helps is to challenge these thoughts and try new activities 6.6. Appreciate your body. The way we experience our bodies often parallels the way we experience our core selves. So if you’re tough on your body — bashing your weight, shape or wrinkles — you’ll likely be tough on your core and have a conditional self-esteem. Appreciating your body with all its imperfections can help you cultivate a more view of yourself as a whole.

accepting

6.7. Accept your imperfections. Think of your best friend, partner or kids. Why do you love them? Undoubtedly it has little to do with their flawless traits. We don’t wait to love others until they’re perfect. What helps cultivate self-acceptance is mindfulness, which teaches compassion for self and others along with the ability to accept emotions.

the

Therefore, having a positive self-esteem isn’t selfish. It’s important for leading a fulfilling, healthy life, which in turn helps you help others.

7. Strategies to Build Self-Esteem

EPRSCO

Page 27


Self-esteem is a term used in psychology to reflect a person's overall emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self.

To build the self-esteem is important. Below there are 50 “strategies” for improving your attitude. 3.1.

Hit the gym. The physiological effects will leave you feeling great.

3.2.

Go to a networking event and focus on how you can be helpful to other people rather than being nervous about your own stuff.

3.3. Get crystal clear on the things that truly matter to you. If they’re not in your life, you need to bring them in. 3.4. Write a list of the things you’re tolerating and putting up with in your life, then how you can remove, minimize or diminish each one.

write down

3.5.

Look at a great win or success you’ve experienced and give you credit for your part in it.

3.6.

Next time you’re at a social event, don’t just stick with the people you know – go and have a conversation with someone you don’t know and you never know what – or who – you’ll discover.

3.7. Next time you talk yourself out of doing something (a party invite, a challenging project or whatever else), and go do it anyway. 3.8.

Does one thing each day that makes you smile (on the inside or on the outside).

3.9. You have to keep your mind well fed, so write a list of 20 things that keeps your mind feeling fed and make sure you’re giving them room in your life. 3.10. Stop playing different roles and squeezing yourself into boxes based on what you people expect you to act like. 3.11. Learn to catch yourself every single time you tell yourself that you can’t have, aren’t good enough to get what you want.

think

won’t get or

3.12. Make deliberate decisions on what really matters to you. 3.13. Next time you come up against a risk or a challenge, listen to what you tell yourself look for a way that that inner dialog can be improved

and

3.14. If you are scared of looking silly, don’t let it stop you. 3.15. If you’d already done everything in life you’d have no need to be scared. Don’t ever think that being scared means you’re not confident, it simply means you’re going somewhere new. 3.16. Don’t think for a second that you can’t be confident. There are already loads of things you do with natural self-confidence, you just have to notice them and get familiar with how it feels. 3.17. Listen to your doubts but be ready to make deliberate decisions once you’ve heard them. Sometimes your doubts are there to let you know what you need to prepare so you can use them to your benefit as you move forwards.

EPRSCO

for,

Page 28


3.18. You’ve got a whole bunch of out-dated rules that determine what you do, don’t do, should do and shouldn’t do. These rules limit your thinking and limit your behavior. Tear up your rule book and notice how free you are to make great decisions. 3.19. Do you get annoyed with yourself because you didn’t make the most of something or stepped back form an opportunity? Don’t beat yourself up because that’s just going to make you feel worse. Instead, be brutally honest and ask yourself what you gained from the situation and what you lost out on. Based on this win/lose balance, what’s a different choice you can make next time? 3.20. If there’s someone in your life who makes you feel small, you owe it to yourself to them know that you expect something different from now on.

let

3.21. Acknowledge and welcome all of your experiences – the good stuff as well as the bad stuff. It’s all equally valid and hiding things away because you don’t like them is just creating conflict. 3.22. Always recognize that you’re more than a match for any situation you might find yourself in, no matter how tough the going gets. 3.23. When you feel like stamping your foot and yelling “I deserve better than this!”, take a back and say “I can BE better than this.”

step

3.24. Confidence sometimes means admitting you’re wrong – be always ready to hold hands up and change your mind.

your

3.25. Trust your instincts. They know what they’re talking about. 3.26. Fear is a way of letting you know that you’re about to stretch yourself and grow your confidence. That’s a good thing, so use it to take yourself forwards rather than run away. 3.27. Don’t feel like you have to do everything yourself – sometimes the most confident to do is ask for help.

thing

3.28. Take a chance on something tomorrow. Anything, big or small, just takes a chance. 3.29. You need to be around people who make you feel like YOU, so spend more time the people who support and encourage you and less with those who undermine you.

with

3.30. Stop struggling against the things you don’t like in your life – create a congruent environment around you that flows and allows you to be you. 3.31. Forget the pros and cons – do something bold in the face of your challenges and 3.32. Work on developing the skills you need to win at the things that matter to you. you practice that would radically improve your chances of winning?

What can

3.33. The body is a mirror for the mind, so shifting your body into a confident state can surprising results. 3.34.

fears.

have

Keep comparing yourself to others? Stop it, don’t try to validate yourself through comparison – you’re just peachy as you are.

3.35. Put your head above the parapet at work and speak up if there’s something you could be improved or if you have an idea you think has legs.

EPRSCO

think

Page 29


3.36. If there’s something you’ve been struggling to understand for a while, stop trying to understand it. Accept it just as it is. 3.37.

Shy with new people? Not a problem, there’s nothing wrong with being shy and it doesn’t mean you’re not confident. Just don’t over think it, start beating yourself up or thinking you’re less than because you’re shy – the more you think like that the worse it gets.

3.38. Your environment directly impacts your self-perception, so if you’re surrounded by clutter, paperwork and rubbish put a morning aside to clean up your stuff and get organized. 3.39. Write yourself a list of the amazing things you’d love to do in your life, and make a by simply looking into the first one or two things that leap out at you.

start

3.40. Don’t make your happiness or self-worth dependent on being in a relationship or being validated by someone else. Find your inherent value first, and your relationships and confidence will be immeasurably better. 3.41.

Your strengths can be used to overcome any of your weaknesses. We all have weaknesses but they only undermine your confidence if you let them.

3.42. The longer you leave that big thing on your to-do list the more it’ll drain you and the bigger it’ll seem – get it done and free yourself up. 3.43. What golden threads, themes, patterns and passions have always been in your life? those things aren’t present in your life right now, you need to shift your priorities.

If

3.44. Your body image does matter, because if you have a bad relationship with your body you won’t be feeling confident in yourself. Get trim if you need to, just make sure you get along with your body. 3.45. Try a new path. The well-trodden paths of your life can easily turn from familiarity apathy and disconnection. A new path wakes you up.

to

3.46. Don’t say “Yes” to taking on a task simply because you don’t want to rock the boat – you can politely decline requests you can’t meet and don’t need to create an excuse for it. 3.47. Look at the people you respect who seem confident – don’t copy them, but identify it is they do differently that conveys confidence and what you can learn from it.

what

3.48. Make a plan to do something, and then make deliberate choices to follow through. Seeing progress gives you important self-reinforcement. 3.49. When you feel yourself focusing inwards and becoming paralyzed with doubt or fear, switch to focusing outwards at what you can engage and interact with. 3.50. Being confident is an ongoing process. It isn’t a goal or an end-point that you reach and then stop. Keep playing to the best of your ability and your confidence will always be there to support you.

EPRSCO

Page 30


Session 3: STRENGTHENING INTERPERSONAL COMPETENCIES/SKILLS This session is aimed to introduce theoretical concepts on interpersonal competencies or skills and to provide activities for practicing and developing specific skills. The teacher will introduce the basic concepts and theoretical issues by lecture – slides could be used. Most part of the session will be interactive. The group will be involved in activities aimed to practice and discover through personal experience different types of skills as well as to build interpersonal relations. In supporting the theoretical issues, there are many activities proposed to be the teacher during the session as appropriate. 3.1

used

by

Defining interpersonal competences

Interpersonal competences comprise all forms of behaviour that must be mastered in order for an individual to be able to participate in an efficient and constructive way in social life, and to resolve conflict where necessary. Interpersonal skills are necessary for effective interaction on a one-to-one basis groups, and are employed in both the public and private domains. 2

or in

Explain some theoretical issues for better understanding the definition and the importance of developing the interpersonal skills. The term “Interpersonal skills” refers to character traits possessed by an individual rather than skills that can be taught in a classroom. Within an organization, employees with good interpersonal skills are likely being more productive than those with poor interpersonal skills, because of their propensity to project a positive attitude and look for solutions to problems. Interpersonal skills include how we communicate with others and our confidence and our ability to listen and understand. Problem solving, decision-making and personal stress management are also considered interpersonal skills. 2

EUROPEAN COMMISSION, Directorate-General for Education and Culture, KEY COMPETENCES FOR LIFELONG LEARNING, A EUROPEAN REFERENCE FRAMEWORK, NOVEMBER 2004

EPRSCO

Page 31


People with strong interpersonal skills are usually more successful in both their professional and personal lives. They are perceived as more calm, confident and charismatic, qualities that are often appealing to others. Being more aware of your interpersonal skills can help you improve and develop them. We all learn how people are likely to react to what we say, how we say it and what we do, as well as how these actions make others, and us, feel. These skills are easily further developed with a little time and effort spent working, thinking and practicing them. Remember it is worth spending time developing these skills as good interpersonal skills can improve many aspects of your life. Interpersonal skills are also sometimes referred to as social skills, people skills, soft skills or life skills, although these terms can be broader and may also refer to other skills. 3.2

Working in a group

Explain: Working effectively in groups is not easy. Difficulties that include keeping focused the task, coping with inter-personal conflicts, making decisions, etc.

on

Small group success depends on three types of functions being performed - task, maintenance, and personal functions:   

Task functions help to keep the group focused and directed towards achieving its goals. Maintenance functions help group members to stay involved, and ensure that everyone is able to contribute to their maximum potential. Personal functions address the personal needs of group members to ensure that the group functions in the best possible way - these activities include the ways in which conflicts and disruptive behaviors are handled.

These functions are complementary, which means they must all be performed if a group is to work well. Underline: Responsible for seeing that these functions are performed rests, on the whole, with the group leader, but each group member also has a responsibility to support the leader, to improve their personal group-work skills, and to help the group achieve the best results possible. Explain: Knowing how to work in a team involves working with others in a group towards a common goal. This requires cooperating with others, being responsive to others' ideas, taking a collaborative approach to learning, and taking a responsibility for developing and achieving group goals.

EPRSCO

Page 32


It is imperative to appreciate and understand that the working group is intended to forum for cooperation and participation. Working cooperatively and productively with team members contribute to the outcomes of the team's work.

be a other

Explain: All groups need a mentoring. A mentor has to be a trusted advisor and helper with experience in a particular field. Actively supporting and guiding someone to develop knowledge and experience, or to achieve career or personal goals. A mentoring relationship may be formal or informal, but must involve trust, mutual respect, and commitment as both parties work together to achieve a goal. Explain: Many times making decisions is compulsory for groups. If the group wants to reach the goals, it is necessary to identify appropriate evidence and weighing up that evidence to make a choice, taking responsibility for a decision and its outcomes. Explain: Delegate and distribute task is basic in a team. That means: Taking responsibility for determining when to ask someone else to make a decision or carry out a task; furthermore, distributing responsibility and authority in a group by giving someone else the discretion to make decisions that you have the authority to make. Explain: One of the most important matters working in a group is to achieve incentives and motivations. In this field, the first step is to generate enthusiasm and energy by being positive, focussing on finding solutions and maintaining a positive attitude even when things are not going well. The second step is to encourage others to come up with solutions, listening their ideas and offering constructive feedback.

carefully

to

Finally, is being prepared to support others in taking calculated risks, and not blaming others when things go wrong.

The teacher will highlight the activities values and will link the practical the theoretical aspects.

experiences

with

3.3. Session evaluation Taking into account that this is the core session of the training programe, is really important to evaluate the manner in which the inmates have assimilated and are able to put into practice the information and interpersonal skills presented in this programme.

EPRSCO

Page 33


Moreover, although the recommendation is to evaluate in a continuous manner through questions and discussions at the end of each activity the final evaluation may include a discussion on the topics of the programme. Example questions for the discussion topics: 1. What do you think are the main three motives for “frustration” in your life and how can you identify the cause and the solution for this feeling? 2. How do you think that your manner in which you resolve a conflict has changed? Please give examples and discuss. 3. How would you try to differentiate between a dangerous thought and a dangerous action? Please give examples from your experience. 4. What do you think are the consequences of calling each other “names”? Please give examples and explain how you would try to control your emotions. 5. What would you do if you were presented with a “risk” situation? (it is recommended here that the teacher would use examples offered by inmates in the previous sessions) 6. Can you please give me different difficult situations that you think you will encounter before or after you will be released? (Then discuss with the group ways of resolving or answering those situations)

EPRSCO

Page 34


Session 3: STRENGTHENING INTERPERSONAL COMPETENCIES/SKILLS PARTICIPANT NOTES

Interpersonal competences comprise all forms of behaviour that must be mastered in order for an individual to be able to participate in an efficient and constructive way in social life, and to resolve conflict where necessary. Interpersonal skills are necessary for effective interaction on a one-to-one basis groups, and are employed in both the public and private domains. 3

3.1.

or in

About Interpersonal skills

The term “Interpersonal skills� refers to character traits possessed by an individual rather than skills that can be taught in a classroom. Within an organization, employees with good interpersonal skills are likely being more productive than those with poor interpersonal skills, because of their propensity to project a positive attitude and look for solutions to problems. Interpersonal skills include how we communicate with others and our confidence and our ability to listen and understand. Problem solving, decision-making and personal stress management are also considered interpersonal skills. People with strong interpersonal skills are usually more successful in both their professional and personal lives. They are perceived as more calm, confident and charismatic, qualities that are often appealing to others. Being more aware of your interpersonal skills can help you improve and develop them. We all learn how people are likely to react to what we say, how we say it and what we do, as well as how these actions make others, and us, feel. These skills are easily further developed with a little time and effort spent working, thinking and practicing them. Remember it is worth spending time developing these skills as good interpersonal skills can improve many aspects of your life. Interpersonal skills are also sometimes referred to as social skills, people skills, soft skills or life skills, although these terms can be broader and may also refer to other skills.

3

EUROPEAN COMMISSION, Directorate-General for Education and Culture, KEY COMPETENCES FOR LIFELONG LEARNING, A EUROPEAN REFERENCE FRAMEWORK, NOVEMBER 2004

EPRSCO

Page 35


3.2.

Types of skills required

Working effectively in groups is not easy. Much has been written about the difficulties of group or teamwork. Difficulties that include keeping focused on the task, coping with inter-personal conflicts, making decisions, etc. It is possible, however, to summarize many of the things that need to happen in order for small groups to be successful, and to give guidelines on how to approach or handle each of these. Small group success depends on three types of functions being performed - task, maintenance, and personal functions:   

Task functions help to keep the group focused and directed towards achieving its goals. Maintenance functions help group members to stay involved, and ensure that everyone is able to contribute to their maximum potential. Personal functions address the personal needs of group members to ensure that the group functions in the best possible way - these activities include the ways in which conflicts and disruptive behaviors are handled.

These functions are complementary, which means they must all be performed if a group is to work well. Responsible for seeing that these functions are performed rests, on the whole, with the group leader, but each group member also has a responsibility to support the leader, to improve their personal group-work skills, and to help the group achieve the best results possible.

3.3.

Working in a group

Knowing how to work in a team involves working with others in a group towards a common goal. This requires cooperating with others, being responsive to others' ideas, taking a collaborative approach to learning, and taking a responsibility for developing and achieving group goals. It is imperative to appreciate and understand that the working group is intended to be a forum for cooperation and participation. Working cooperatively and productively with other team members contribute to the outcomes of the team's work. All groups need a mentoring. A mentor has to be a trusted advisor and helper with experience in a particular field. Actively supporting and guiding someone to develop knowledge and experience, or to achieve career or personal goals. A mentoring relationship may be formal or informal, but must involve trust, mutual respect, and commitment as both parties work together to achieve a goal. Many times making decisions is compulsory for groups. If the group wants to reach the goals, it is necessary to identify appropriate evidence and weighing up that evidence to make a choice, taking responsibility for a decision and its outcomes. Delegate and distribute task is basic in a team. That means: Taking responsibility for determining when to ask someone else to make a decision or carry out a task; furthermore, distributing responsibility and authority in a group by giving someone else the discretion to make decisions that you have the authority to make.

EPRSCO

Page 36


One of the most important matters working in a group is to achieve incentives and motivations. In this field, the first step is to generate enthusiasm and energy by being positive, focussing on finding solutions and maintaining a positive attitude even when things are not going well. The second step is to encourage others to come up with solutions, listening carefully to their ideas and offering constructive feedback; finally, being prepared to support others in taking calculated risks, and not blaming others when things go wrong.

EPRSCO

Page 37


Session 3: STRENGTHENING THE INTERPERSONAL SKILLS Activity 1: This is I! The purpose This is a team-buliding activity. Its purpose is to provoke interaction in the group and to create occasion for people better know each other.

The activity Have members team up with someone they are not sitting next to in the meeting. Instruct each duo to take turns asking each other three questions: 1) name a moment in your work or personal life of which you are very proud 2)

name something that most people do not know about you;

3) Interviewer’s choice of any question. Then, have each person share with the larger group what they discovered about their partner.

The value: The duo and group learn a lot more about each other.

Alloted time: 30 minutes

EPRSCO

Page 38


Session 3: STRENGTHENING THE INTERPERSONAL SKILLS Activity 2: Shoes The purpose This is a team-buliding activity. The proposed task can be accomplished only through cooperation of the group members.

The activity Have everyone line up in a straight line. Then, blindfold everyone. Instruct them to re-organize themselves according to shoe size without stating their shoe size to each other.

The value: The team will need to work together on communicating without saying their shoe size and without vision. Teamwork is a must to succeed at this one.


Alloted time: 30 minutes

EPRSCO

Page 39


Session 3: STRENGTHENING THE INTERPERSONAL SKILLS Activity 3: Woolen line The purpose This is a team-buliding activity. The proposed task is aimed to make group members interact physically ans emotionally.

The activity Have everyone sit across from one another; as close to a circle as possible. Holding a ball of twine, state something embarrassing about yourself and then, once the laughter dies down a little, hold onto the end of the twine and toss the ball across to the other side of the circle. Every person shares an embarrassing story and passes the twine across to someone else, while holding a connected piece. After everyone has gone, you will have a spider web connecting all of you.

The value: Point out that you are all connected. Although you are different, you share similar experiences and emotions in your life. You are more alike than you are different.


Alloted time: 30 minutes

EPRSCO

Page 40


Session 3: STRENGTHENING THE INTERPERSONAL SKILLS Activity 4: Idol The purpose This is a team-buliding activity. It is aimed to reveal group members’ values.

The activity Have everyone share the name of someone they admire (current or historical figure). They also share why they believe this person is admirable.

The value: Everyone will learn more about each other's values and what they believe is important. It will also bring people closer together when they realize they respect the same people.


Alloted time: 30 minutes

EPRSCO

Page 41


Session 3: STRENGTHENING THE INTERPERSONAL SKILLS Activity 5: I trust you! The purpose This is a team-buliding activity. It will create occasion revealing the importance of comunication in performing a task.

The activity Have a volunteer hold a sheet you have created with different shapes drawn on it. With their back to the group, the volunteer describes the shapes on the paper; everyone else tries to draw the same design based on only the verbal instruction of the volunteer. The group's pictures will not be exactly the same as the original and some will be really far off. If you would like, try having a second person describe another sheet of paper with different shapes. Then, discuss the difference in the approach.

The value: Everyone will be reminded of the importance of communication.

Alloted time: 30 minutes

EPRSCO

Page 42


Session 3: STRENGTHENING THE INTERPERSONAL SKILLS Activity 6: Coping in frustrating situations The purpose This activity is aimed at developing empathic skills by practicing patterns of response to situations where others will label. The operational objectives The activity is intended to encourage participants to reflect and discuss on coping in frustrating situations: - To describe their own experience of a frustrating and stigmatized situation; - To identify desirable attitudes that can be used in such situations; - To express concerns about labeling. The activity The teacher/psychologist will explain the terms: copying, stigma, frustration, labeling. Afterwards the teacher will ask volunteers among participants to describe a situation where he/she have been labeled by those around him/her and to answer the questions: - How did you feel? - How can I avoid this situation? The participants in the group will be encouraged to discuss, to make comments based on the given examples. The teacher will outline the positive and appropriate responses to frustrating situations. The value Participants identify patterns of response to impulsive behaviors, frustrating and stigmatizing situations.

Alloted time: 50 minutes

EPRSCO

Page 43


Session 3: STRENGTHENING THE INTERPERSONAL SKILLS Activity 7: How to renounce socially inadequate behaviors? The purpose This activity is aimed to identify the consequences of adopting socially undesirable behaviors and to determine means to avoid these behaviors. The activity The teacher/ psychologist will introduce the theme by saying: "Many times in certain situations, something in our minds makes us do certain actions dangerous to us or those around us. If I do not want to do dangerous actions I need to know what can help me to stop them. If I learn to think about the consequences, the consequences of my actions, then I will be able to stop. " The teacher will present the following case studies to be discussed: Example 1: Situation: A driver drinks a few glasses of alcohol before setting off. The dangerous thought is: "Nothing can happen to me", "I am cool", "I drove drunk times and nothing bad has happened�

many

The dangerous action: The drunk driver goes up at the wheel. Consequences: The driver makes an accident. Do not confuse a dangerous thought with a dangerous action! For individuals who are deprived of liberty, the dangerous thought is "Making an accident", but this is the dangerous action. Dangerous thoughts are the thoughts that we need to work with because they cause dangerous actions. These thoughts are a part of the criminal behavior. Doing dangerous actions means to do things that jeopardize your safety and the safety of others. Example 2: Situation: X is very fat. He has 200 kg and the doctor said he is to eat very little. He is always thinking about food and always hungry. Dangerous action: Eat a lot and often. Consequences: it increases body weight. The thoughts that stop us from doing dangerous actions are called thoughts of intervention. If we see the dangerous consequences of an action, then we will have in mind the thoughts of

EPRSCO

Page 44


intervention. The more consequences you will identify, the more thoughts of intervention will come to mind. Example of questions to guide the discussion: 1. What in X's mind can stop him from eating so much and very often? 2. What other consequences could be identified as a result of such behavior? 3. What is X losing and gaining as a result of eating this way? 4. Could X solve the problem so that the consequences are minimal or none?

The activity evaluation The coordinator will use independent work sheets for each task. The participants will write a letter to X to give some tips on how it could help make a plan and not to be in those dangerous situations. The responses will be analysed.

The value Participants could - identify the thoughts that make dangerous behaviors; - learn to evaluate and dismiss these thoughts; - differentiate between thoughts and actions.

Alloted time: 50 minutes

3. Evaluation The coordinator will use independent work sheets for each task. The participants will write a letter to X to give some tips on how it could help make a plan and not to be in this dangerous situation. The responses will be analysed.

EPRSCO

Page 45


Session 3: STRENGTHENING THE INTERPERSONAL SKILLS Activity 8: Learning to find solutions The purpose This activity is aimed at: identifying problems that an individual may encounter after release from prison and determining how best to avoid / resolve such situations. The activity 1. The teacher/psychologist will present the following case study: "X was released on parole from prison after serving 3 years for theft. He sought and found employment as a laborer on a construction site. There he found a room in which to live in. After 6 months, while walking, he passed a luxury car that had the window open and saw a car stereo. Immediately leaned through the window and stole the radio cassette. He came to the room where he lived but something was bugging him. He went to the police and denounced himself. The stereo was returned to the owner. A judge asked him why did he stole the stereo and he replied that he saw the open car window and was too big a temptation he could master. He was sentenced to the minimum sentence. " A discussion will be initiated in which each participant will have to answer: How they would behave in such a situation? What longer could have done x in the given situation? The answers given by each person shall be noted on a flipchart and then discussed group. Recommendations could be done by the teacher.

in the

2. The teacher will ask each participants to write on a sheet of paper an example of a problem that he/she think will have after release from prison and specify how he/she plans to fix it. The paper sheets will be collected by the teacher and the answers will be debated

in

group.

The value Participants identify solutions for facing potential problems occurring after release.

Alloted time: 50 minutes

EPRSCO

Page 46


Session 4: DEVELOPMENT OF COMMUNICATION SKILLS

This session is aimed to present the experiment made by „3rd Second Chance School in State Prison of Diavata in Thessaloniki, Greece”. They organized a group counseling team in the prison. The group’s theme was Development of Communication Skills. The training programme included this counseling experiment as an example that could be repeated by other schools/training providers . Students’-Inmates’ Counseling One of the novelties of the 3rd Second Chance School in State Prison of Diavata in Thessaloniki is its Counseling Service that consists of a career counselor and a counseling psychologist. The counseling psychologist’s duties involve providing psychological support to students regarding their personal and social development. She provides one-to-one and group counseling to those students who wish to undergo this process, she intervenes in a supportive manner to persons and groups that have a difficulty in functioning effectively in this particular educational setting and finally, she offers support to teachers. In this context, a group counseling team was organized. The group’s theme was Development of Communication Skills. The choice of the particular theme was made after exploring the needs and interests of the students-inmates. The participation in the group was voluntary and the basic prerequisite was the student’s commitment of attendance. Introduction: Communication Communication is a natural process and we practice it from the moment we are born, just think the way infants communicate to their careers their hunger, pain or emotional state. As we grow older we enrich our ways and repertoire of our communication skills and we learn to communicate in different ways depending on the situations we face. However, what we also observe is that there are few people who actually have the ability to communicate effectively. Interruptions in communication often occur and usually they end up in a wide range of social problems, from hurt feelings and anger to divorces and even violence. Saying what you mean in a way that is respectful both to yourself and to others is a skill that can be learned, and so is hearing what others are trying to share with you. Consequently, the development of our communication skills is perhaps the most important condition in developing and maintaining healthy intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships. Communication in Prison The concept of communication and the skills required for its effective application, takes an important meaning in the context of prison. Many of the school’s students-inmates face difficulties both in their

EPRSCO

Page 47


communication and expression of their needs, wishes and thoughts and in recognizing the thoughts, wishes and needs of others. At the same time, and due to the specific living conditions in the correctional institution (minimal response to inmates’ basic rights in good physical and mental health, no effective use of leisure time, overpopulation, conflicts, etc), institutionalized behaviors are being observed. Group’s Aims and Process Therefore, the particular group aimed at helping the students to: a) understand the concept of communication, its elements and processes, b) understand the role of communication in their interpersonal relationships, c) improve their communication skills and d) improve communication among the group counseling members. The group’s duration was 7 sessions and each session lasted 2 hours. Nine male students-inmates participated and the counseling psychologist undertook the role of the group’s coordinator. The group meetings took place in a school’s classroom. The process of the group was divided in three Stages. Following is the analysis of each Stage and also a reference to the aims and some of the techniques applied. Stage A: The acquaintance of members - Contract The group’s first session had two basic goals. The first was to let the members get acquainted with each other and second, to identify the aims of the group and create the group’s contract. Member acquaintance - Experiential Activity: Counselees were asked to be divided in pairs and talk to each other for themselves for about 2 minutes without interrupting one another. Then they presented their pair to the rest of the group. The aim of this activity was to have a first more personal acquaintance of the members. Group’s contract - Brainstorming: Counselees were asked to say spontaneously what they thought that would help the function of the group, what sort of rules would be helpful. The central idea was that in order to function and communicate effectively, we had to define and agree on our ground rules and boundaries. In this way we would have the right and privilege to express ourselves, have our own space and time and also the required respect within the group. At the same time through this activity, members had the opportunity to express their expectations and fears regarding the group process and content. Stage B: Theme Development The next 5 sessions revolved around the concept and the role of communication in our everyday life. In specific, each session aimed at exploring and answering in one of the following themesquestions: 1. What is communication, which are its elements and in what ways does it take place? 2. When communication is not effective? 3. When our communication becomes effective and what does it take to achieve it?

EPRSCO

Page 48


Initially and just before we discussed the definitions, we did an experiential activity that aimed at excluding the possibility of having what is called “non communication”. Experiential Activity: Counselees were divided in pairs. One was A and the other was B. They were asked to imagine that the two of them were in an airplane and were sitting next to each other without being able to move around. B wanted to communicate with A and he had to do anything to achieve this, on the other hand A did not want any sort of communication with B. The time given for the activity was 5 minutes. At the end of this activity we discussed on how was the experience for each group member and to what extend Bs communicated with As. We concluded that “There is no such thing as non communication”: whether we use words, movements, or we stay silent, we transfer messages. Even when the message is that we do not want to communicate. Following, with the method of brainstorming counselees expressed their ideas and defined communication and the elements that it is consisted of. Finally, in an attempt to explore and find those characteristics that help and enhance effective communication in our everyday life, the following experiential activity was applied: Counselees were asked to be divided into 2 groups (Group A and Group B). Each counselee of Group A had to remember a person with whom he believed he had a good, easy and effective communication. Then, he discussed with the rest of his group the characteristics of that person (i.e. manners, expressions, words used, etc). In the end and after each member expressed his experience, they noted down in a whiteboard paper the characteristics all these persons had in common. Respectively, in Group B each counselee had to remember a person with whom he believed he had a bad, difficult and ineffective communication. Then, he discussed with the rest of his group the characteristics of that person (i.e. manners, expressions, words used, etc). In the end and after each member expressed his experience, they noted down in a whiteboard paper the characteristics all these persons had in common. At the end of the activity, both groups presented their papers and discussed all they had noted down. Concluding, from this discussion the results were: firstly, the emergence of all these specific characteristics that the group members needed in order to communicate effectively in their everyday life and secondly, the emergence of all these aspects that they needed to avoid so they will not undermine their efforts for effective communication. Stage C: Closure-Evaluation The group’s last session aimed at the evaluation of the group and closure. Therefore, each counselee had the time and space to express their thoughts and feelings regarding the closure of the group and also, to evaluate the extent to which his aims and expectancies from the group were met. Furthermore, and after the consent of all group members, it was decided to present to the rest of the school’s students the content (and not the process) of our work. Following, the content of the group’s work is presented.

EPRSCO

Page 49


General group characteristics Place: the school’s classroom in the 3rd Second Chance School in State Prison of Diavata in Thessaloniki Duration: 7 sessions Duration of each session: 2 hours Members of the group: 9 students and 1 coordinator-school’s counselor Study subject: Human Communication The group is aiming at: 1.

Understanding the concept of communication, its elements and processes.

2.

Achieving better communication between people

3.

Improvement of communication skills

4.

Improvement of communication skills between the members of the group

Definition of “Communication” Communication is a process by which a transmitter sends messages and a receiver receives/gets these messages. That means, communication is an expressive process by which messages are being transferred and also a receptive process by which messages are being received. A critical question Is it possible that two people will not be able to communicate even though they are at the same place at the same time? 

No, “non-communication” does not exist!

Either we use words, moves, facial expressions or by being silent we always transfer messages (and probably the message that we do NOT want to communicate).

Communication can be achieved through many ways: 

Verbally

In written form

Through telephone

Mentally

Through art (music, painting, craft etc)

In this particular group emphasis was placed upon verbal communication.

EPRSCO

Page 50


Verbal communication consists of: 

Spoken language, Speech, Words

Non verbal communication (facial expressions, mouvement, body posture, tone of voice

Furthermore, Communication depends also on: 1. The context in which communication takes place, that is, the specific circumstances. For example, if someone says “I am going to take a walk” in the middle of a serious conversation it gives a totally different message when saying the same thing to your spouse when he/she is reading nicely and quietly a book. 2. Timing For example, “My wife usually wants to get into a serious conversation while I am watching TV”. Does “communication” means “acceptance and agreement”? 

Not always.

It is likely, that while communicating with other people, to deal with different points of view and not necessarily reach an agreement.

However, in good communication is important to have “respect” for oneself and others.

When communication is not effective? When a person: 

Tries to force his opinion without respecting the rights, thoughts and feelings of others; behaves in anger, selfishly and abruptly and has aggressive body language.

Is extremely introverted, does not share his/her thoughts and/or feelings with others and gives one-word answers; does not feel comfortable with anyone and does not trust other people.

Is unable to understand the “transmitter” because he/she is not paying any attention, is not in a good mood or just because he/she does not share the same interests or knowledge.

Uses a specific, specialized, non-understandable language, which the receiver does not understand (e.g. language that is used between layers, doctors, etc)

Is in a very noisy place.

In which way communication is more effective? When a person:

EPRSCO

Page 51


Expresses her/his feelings, thoughts and desires clearly, without ignoring/disrespecting the feelings, thoughts and desires of others.

Listens to the person he/she is talking to without interrupting him/her in order to express himself/herself.

Uses non-verbal communication effectively; that is, he/she keeps eye contact, uses facial expressions, smiles, nods and confirmation sounds, showing by this way that attention is being paid.

Asks for more information when a message has not been very clear

Criticizes in a constructive way about what is being said rather than just having a dry critical attitude. That is, asks for a specific change in the near future instead of underlying something negative in the present.

Does not characterize negatively people but focuses on specific attitudes/behaviors that made him/her feel uncomfortable.

Tries to gain more knowledge and expand his/her interests by reading books, newspapers or by keeping up to date (by following TV shows, internet, radio). This will help him/her to start and preserve a conversation.

In conclusion Good and effective communication, demands a plethora of skills, some of which are difficult to remember. However, in time and with practice becomes easier to conquer these communication skills.

EPRSCO

Page 52


Session 5: FINAL EVALUATION

The purpose This session is aimed to summarize the training programme as well as to assess its benefits for the offenders.

The activity The teacher will ask participants to place chairs in a semicircle to create a framework to boost communication. Working with the trainees, the teacher will summarize the social skills practiced during the traning programme activities. The teacher wil distribute each trainee a final evaluation form (Questionnaire S5-Q5.1). Each participant has to fill in the questionnaire in 5 minutes and return it - in principle, anonymous but it is up to the teacher to decide on this. Discussions will be conducted by the teacher, based on the participants answers. He/she will highlight the progress made by the participants.

EPRSCO

Page 53


Session 5: FINAL EVALUATION Questionnaire 5.1

1. To what extent you found useful the information provided in this programme? a. to a great extent b. largely c. little d. very little 2. How do you find the manner in which the information was presented? a. attractive b. unattractive 3. Personally, do you think you will use the information provided in this programme? a. Yes b. no 4. What was the most interesting thing you found out in this programme? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________ 5. What do you consider to be the chances of reintegration after completion? a. higher than at the beginning b. the same c. smaller than at the beginning 6. How many do you believe that the problems you will encounter in social reintegration will be? a. many b. very many c. few d. very few

Date __________

Signature (optional)

EPRSCO

Page 54


Eprsco Training Programme