Working with substance use groups, you usually are talking about heavy topics and it is difficult to have clients focus on the positive aspects of themselves as opposed to dwelling on the negative ones. In order to combat that, I have found affirmation stones to be a good group activity. In terms of supplies, everything you need is simple!
1) MAGAZINES – try to get a variety – especially if you have a heterogeneous group. I like to have some Men’s Fitness, Self, People, etc. Try to steer clear from Cosmo unless you want some unnecessary moments of them getting stuck on the sex section and before you know it, an hour has gone by and everyone’s still wanting to talk about the “just right” orgasm.
2) Scissors – get at least one for every two people
3) Tape or Super glue – I tend to stay away from the super glue after some unfortunate mistakes, but it does look nicer than tape.
4) Stones – if you are at a location like mine, you can just walk outside and have them pick their own! Make sure it’s dry and clear from dirt before starting or it will be a gross mess.
After you have all of the supplies, encourage people to look for words or pictures that make them feel good about themselves and that highlight the good they have within themselves. Make sure that if you suspect there are any literacy issues with group members, to offer the picture idea as well.
The rocks serve a purpose other than as a fun activity for a group. When clients start to feel overwhelmed and find themselves in a downward spiral looking only at the negative things they have done and internalizing that as being bad people, they can look at their rocks to remember the positive.
Have you tried affirmation stones with clients before? How was the experience?