Table of contents module 7
Trainer’s manual 3
- Intent of this meeting 3
- Planning 3
- Materials 4
- Introduction 5
- Discussion of homework/theory 5
- Exercise to recognise the elements of phase 4 5
- Adding to the small steps method 6
- Core exercise 6
- Subsequent discussion 6
- Completion 7
Checklist phase 4 8
Small steps method 9
Exercise a problem-solving discussion 10
Many children have a problem they want to solve. Involving the child in coming
up with a solution is in keeping with the principle of self-reliance. In order to
make the child truly self-reliant, the solution must also be viable. The better the
solution fits the child, the greater the chance that the child will actually
implement it. For this to happen, the child must want to, dare to and be able to
implement the solution. The small steps method provides a realistic and viable
solution for the child and increases the self-reliance and independence of the
This module is located in this point of the training because this is a phase 4
strategy. It is worth noting that working out a solution is only one method of
developing phase 4. This strategy is in keeping with the goal, 'the child wants a
solution for his/her problem'. We have also trained with other phase 4 strategies,
such as in the module on sex, by providing explanations and information. This
strategy is in keeping with the goal of 'the child wants to know how/what…’ .
Next week we will practice active referral, a strategy that suits the goal of 'the
child wants to get out of the difficult situation'.
In their learning process, participants ought to make a change in their way of
thinking from solution-oriented thinking (‘how can I solve the situation with this
child?’) to targeted thinking (what does this child want to have achieved by the
end of the conversation (determine the objective) and with what strategies can I
achieve this? For this, it is important that participants understand that not every
conversation needs to be resolved.
Intent of this meeting
This meeting is about phase 4: how do you reach a practical and viable solution?
The participants have previously assessed dialogues that 'stumble' in this phase.
You start by discussing the homework. On that basis, you explain the essence.
You then demonstrate the steps by having a conversation with a participant.
Getting further into it, you briefly discuss how to unravel a goal in small steps.
The participants subsequently practice with each other to see how to work out a
goal in small steps. They bring their own problem to the table, which they would
like to resolve. You start the next time by asking whether they have actually
done anything about their intention from this exercise. This provides good
feedback on how concrete and workable the solution was.
Time Contents Form planning
5’ Introduction Details 19.00
20’ Discussion of Explanation/group 19.05
25’ Recognising the phases Plenary exercise 19.25
10’ Small steps method Exercise in four 19.50
15’ Break 20.00
60’ Solution-oriented Exercise in two or 20.15
conversation three steps
10’ Subsequent discussion Plenary 21.15
5’ Completion 21.25
Checklist Phase 4: determine the objective. Towards a viable solution.
2 sets of cards with the elements of the checklist
Assignment: a problem-solving discussion.
Explain the purpose of the evening;
How often have you made a good plan but nothing comes of it? Why is the
gap between wanting and doing something sometimes so big? Children
experience the same problem…
Marieke is teased at school, and while she would prefer it to stop
altogether, this is obviously not realistic; how can you help Marieke
anyway? Frank has decided to ask his parents for more spending money,
he feels it is ridiculous that he receives so little. Frank's father becomes
angry rather quickly and Frank is therefore afraid to ask, how do you help
Frank ask anyway?
In order to actually do something, it must be realistic, and you need to be able to
do it and not be afraid of doing it. Tonight we will practice developing solutions in
small steps. We will look at what is viable and how you ought to approach it so
that the step to actually doing it comes closer.
Discussion of theory/homework (20’)
Discuss the homework assignment. What did they think of the sample
dialogues? Compare their answers and give additional explanations.
Conclude by passing out the answer sheet.
Go through the steps of the checklist.
Exercise: recognising the elements of phase 4. (25’)
Aim of the exercise: recognising the various elements in phase 4 of the
As trainer, demonstrate a conversation in phase 4. Ask one participant to
bring their own problem to the table.
Pass out the cards: each participant receives a card. The cards are in
duplicate, so everyone can receive one. Show who receives what card.
While you are talking, the participants hold up the card that reflects the
relevant conversation element.
If there is a second trainer, he/she checks whether the cards are correct.
If not, ask the group to call for a 'time out' if they disagree.
Stop the conversation if people disagree and discuss what you are doing
and which step it is.
Stop when the conversation is finished.
The steps ‘mirror’ and ‘confront’ are only used if the other person suggests an
unrealistic solution. If this has not happened, then demonstrate it by whispering
the solution to the other person and then discussing it.
Addition: the small steps method (10’)
Ideally, the demonstration should make clear how to divide a solution into small
parts. This is an important precondition for success: rather something small that
someone can actually do than something big that will lead to nothing.
Carry out a brainstorming exercise: write a goal on the board and get
people to state as many small steps as possible to achieve that goal (you
can also give them all a pen and let them write it themselves).
Rank the steps from small to large.
As an example, see the steps of the goal 'How to ask someone to go out
Try to link the small steps method to this exercise. What solution did it lead to,
and would an even smaller step be possible? What is the value of a small step
(greater probability of success, which in turn gives confidence for the next step)?
- I want to ask someone to go out with me.
- I am being hit at home and I want it to stop.
- I don’t do any homework and am afraid I will be held back a year.
Core exercise: a problem-solving discussion. (60’)
Goal: participants practice the steps of a problem-solving discussion.
Explain the goal and the purpose of the exercise.
Divide the group into threes and have them carry out the exercise to
practice the phases themselves.
This time everyone will work with his/her own problem or question. This is
so that we can hear next time whether your conversation partner has in
fact implemented the solution. The best possible feedback to your
Choose a problem that is really bothering you, but that is also not too big,
e.g.: My house is always such a mess, I have a girlfriend who constantly
nags, my dog never obeys me, I really should exercise, I always do my
homework too late etc.
Go straight to phase 3 in this conversation: What is your goal? And then
continue to phase 4: What can you do? You therefore do not spend time
thoroughly examining the problem.
Subsequent discussion (10’)
What is your plan?
How likely do you think you will actually do it (in %)?
Why is this? What helped in the conversation, what could have been
Finally, carry out the 'gift assignment': everyone buys a small gift for
his/her buddy, up to € 2.50. The next time we start by sharing the results.
If you have implemented your plan, you receive a gift!
Preview next meeting plus homework. Explain that the homework consists
of a lot of reading material about child abuse. Explain that the next time
we will talk about active referral. This is also a phase 4 strategy, where
kids really want help getting out of a serious or threatening situation.
Checklist: phase 4, developing the goal. Towards a viable
A viable solution is a solution that:
- The child can perform him/herself.
- The child trusts.
- You both believe will yield results.
You already have partial answers to some questions from the exploration in
phase 2. Summarise this and ask more questions if necessary.
1. Examine what the child has already attempted
Or summarise this if you already know it from phase 2.
2. Ask what the child has already come up with
3. Encourage the child to think of something him/herself
What would you most like to do? (watch out that you do not start an
extensive examination again and stay with the purpose of the
conversation; you can also ask this question at the end of phase two to
make a transition to phase three)
Hypothetical question: 'if you weren’t afraid of anything, how would you
approach it? (watch out that you do not start an extensive examination
again and stay with the purpose of the conversation).
Brainstorming: should we start by thinking things up and then choosing?
(Begin with the child: ‘What did you have in mind. ...or What are you
Ask for suggestions from the environment: have others given you tips
Suggest options yourself: maybe you can…
4. Suggest concrete solutions
Work out the solution in small steps.
What seems easy to you, what seems tricky?
How exactly will you approach it?
What kind of reactions you can expect and how can you respond?
If necessary, make the solution even smaller to a step the child can
definitely do. One successful small step gives confidence!
Practice a potential conversation.
What do you do when the child mentions a solution that you do not think
1. Mirror: what consequences could your behaviour have?
How would you feel if they said this to you?
Show what you think about the child.
Point out inconsistencies.
Small steps method: how to ask someone
to go out with you?
Steps: look what someone does/does not dare to do
1. Seek contact
Look at someone.
Look at someone, seek eye contact.
Smile at that person.
Bump into ‘accidentally’, ride/walk along with them, walk by his/her house.
Phone up and ask for help with something.
Try to get their attention, e.g. by finding out what his/her hobbies are and
e.g. going to watch football.
Accidentally touch them.
Find out things about a person, so you can arrange ‘chance’ encounters.
2. Find out how someone feels about you
Try to find out what he/she thinks of you through his/her friends,
or perhaps let your own friends do this.
Pay close attention to the way he/she reacts to you as well as to other
3. Let them know how you feel about them
Give a gift (sweets, CD).
Tease, e.g. play around with someone
Show interest, e.g. ask questions.
Send a letter, card or poem.
Make an appointment (swimming, cinema).
Make a compliment.
Give a sultry look, flirt.
4. Asking someone to go out with you
Write a letter, or send an e-mail.
Ask directly (by phone).
Ask via your friends.
Exercise: a problem-solving discussion.
A: Take your own question or problem that you would really like to solve.
B: you are going to help A find a viable solution.
You start by making the goal clear: what exactly does A want to achieve?
Then you start looking for a first step, using questions from the checklist.
Trust your instincts to help A come up with something they can actually do. If
you do not trust your instincts, mirror or confront.
Next time you will hear whether A did it.
C: write down what B says during the conversation. Stop the conversation
after five minutes and see what skills B has applied. What went right, do you
have any advice?
Start the conversation at a point that B can apply the advice.