As a mental health counselor, working with adolescent boys between the ages of 14 and 18, I was able to implement the Spotlight Values Project into some of my group sessions. During the first week of September, in a 70 minute group session, I began a discussion with the 15 gentlemen on my caseload regarding the concept of peace. Through the use of brainstorming skills, the group members were able to identify their own understanding of what peace means to them individually.
In addition, I used the facilitator’s guide to create a handout for the youth to be able to follow along with some of the inspiring questions offered in the packet. The group members articulated individuals throughout history which remind them of peacefulness. They also began to explore what the program they are currently in would be like should all people, both residents and staff, were peaceful. This exploration was done aloud and the group members had the opportunity to write down their thoughts onto their sheet of paper. Interestingly, the youth all had similar ideas for how the program would run, they mentioned that there would not be any arguing or physical altercations among residents, they would talk to one another respectfully, and would listen to one another with genuine attention. They also explained they would feel calmness and would not be as tense as they are. The ‘Can of Worms’ activity was inspiring as well. Each resident received one of the challenging questions and their responses were peaceful solutions. The group members offered one another constructive feedback as they shared their peaceful resolution to the challenging situation.
The next activity we explored during this session, was story of the Stone-Cutter. One of the youth read the story aloud as the others followed along on their handout. Once the story was complete, the residents began a discussion about what they gained from the story and some of the themes present which they could apply to their current life. To conclude the session, I invited the youth to explore the value of peace in their own time and in their own way. I explained that I would be posting their creations on the international blog should they desire it to be placed. I also explained to them that they could also just share their creations to one another during the follow-up session of this group at the end of the month.
Since the first session, I have the gentlemen on my caseload inform me on their sign in sheet, how they were able to implement peacefulness into their day. It is fascinating what they shared and I am looking forward to reviewing their creative arts inspired by peace this coming week!
- Daisy (Mental Health Counselor)