Exercise: Prisoner in the Stone
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Exercise: Prisoner in the Stone



Psychoeducation Exercise focusing on personal development and identifying strengths.

Psychoeducation Exercise focusing on personal development and identifying strengths.



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Exercise: Prisoner in the Stone Exercise: Prisoner in the Stone Document Transcript

  • Prisoners of the StoneDescription:It is often difficult for individuals experiencing psychological and emotional problems to identify andbuild on their strengths. The stigma of having a “mental disorder”, years of receiving negativemessages from others and the traumas associated with psychiatric breakdown can leaveindividuals feeling they have no strengths. Many individuals are left with a shattered self imagefeeling there is little they can do. For many of these individuals, events and strengths from the pastare covered by a sense of futility and a pervasive hopelessness.The intent of this psychoeducation group session is to help participants identify positivecharacteristics and skills they feel is still part of their core person and explore ways they can moreeffectively utilize those skills and characteristics.GoalsAt then end of this exercise participants will be able to:1] Participants will learn identify a “positive quality” that they believe they have exhibited in thepast.2] Participants will discuss obstacles to becoming “in touch” with that positive quality.3] Participants will explore options they have to begin to re-develop that positive quality in their dayto day lives.Materials Needed:  Prisoners of the Stone Worksheet  The Phoenix Rising WorksheetNote for Facilitator:  There are two exercises that are similar in theme and process in this section. o Prisoner of the Stone o Phoenix Rising  The structures for both exercises are relatively identical. These exercises may used at different times during a psychoeducational group course. In an earlier session participants may be less willing to disclose some of their strengths or may be able to build on strengths identified in the first of these two exercises.Structure:1] The facilitator presents a brief lecture on how individuals start out in one direction but events,situations and even their own behaviors often change how they feel about themselves and respondto others.2] Briefly discuss the “prisoners of the stone” story on the attached worksheet.3] Have participants begin to think of how others, whom they had a special relationship with,described them when they were younger or as children.
  • 4] Hand out the Prisoners of the Stone worksheet to each of the participants.5] Ask the participants to briefly fill out the questions on the worksheet. Give participants about5-10 minutes to complete their worksheets.6] Ask each participant to describe the quality they think is hidden in the stone that they identified.Ask participants begin to describe these qualities begin to identify some common themes.7] Ask each of the participants to then identify 2 or 3 events, situations or behaviors that they thinkkeep that special quality hidden.8] Ask each of the participants to then discuss some ways they can help their lost quality re-emerge.Prompt Questions for ActivityBefore the actual activity starts list out on chart or board three questions you want participants tothink about during this activity.1] What do we mean when we say “personal strengths”?2] What are some strengths we have used in that have helped us in the past?3] How can we begin to use some of the strengths again and how can they help?
  • Prisoners’ of the Stone: Michelangelo’s DavidMichelangelo- Painter, Sculptor and Architect(1475-1564)When asked how he completed his sculptures Michelangelo replied, “I firststart with a big block of stone and then chip away at everything in the blockthat is not the statue.”The artist Michelangelo believed there was a work of art in every stone.This story also translates into how people have something buried deep inside them that is their“gift” to others. That gift is something that has grown in the person since childhood.It is the quality that as young children, people often commented on. Statements like “he is so easygoing” or “she wants to help others so much” represent those qualities.Often growing up events happen, situations and people change. That quality of the child that wasso special and remarkable becomes hidden.That quality and the person in many ways become their own “prisoners.” Events, situations andnew ways of behaving cover the special qualities 1] What was the quality that people often used to describe you as a child? 2] What are some of the events, situations and behaviors that have hidden that special quality? 3] What are two things you can do, right now, today, to remove some of the obstacles you have from being in touch with that special quality?
  • OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Phoenix RisingThe second activity in this session is optional. It builds on the first, but there might not be enoughtime to complete the exercise and it might not useful be for all patients.1] Hand out “The Phoenix Rising” activity sheet.2] Ask participants to take 10 minutes to complete the worksheet.3] Many participants will need help thinking of things they can do know to “recover” that lost quality.This part might require some individual attention for the participants.4] After completing the tasks ask participants what is was like to think about trying some “new-old”behaviors. Ask if any of them want to describe the personal contract. But remind the participantsthat it is their choice to talk about this part.Summarize Session  Reinforce the positive attributes the various participants identified in themselves and maybe identified in other group participants. Acknowledge that it is difficult to think of some ways that they can change. Review some of the changes that the members stated they thought they could make.  Let participants know that he following session they will be exploring some ways of making better decisions that might help them not just in prison but also in the community.  Ask two of the more oriented group members if they will do the report out next session on what was covered in today’s session
  • Phoenix RisingThe myth of Phoenix Rising is a story of hope and rebirth and is a commonstory I many different cultures. The story of Phoenix tells of a mythical, bird-like creature that is consumed by flames and rises new from the ashes.One of the meanings associated with the Story of the Phoenix is that of redemption, or of having asecond chance. It is very much a story of a creature that was beautiful and destroyed yet was ableto come back.In an other interpretation it represents a creature that has great vision and can see what is ahead. 1] What is the quality you identified as how people often used to describe you as a child? 2] What would be some behaviors you would exhibit to show that those qualities still can exist? PERSONAL CONTRACT: This is your contract, for yourself, in hoping to become regain a quality that has been hidden for a long time. It is a quality that others saw in you and you felt pride when others saw it in you. Fill out the contract form below. It is yours to keep. You may or may not share it with others in the group. That is your decision.I was often known for my ________________________________________________ and feltthat that quality was important and made me feel good about myself.Some of the behaviors I would often do to demonstrate that quality were:1]___________________________________________________2] __________________________________________________3] __________________________________________________For the next week I want to try to see what part of that quality is left and will try the followingactivities to see what can be done.1]_____________________________________________________2] _____________________________________________________3] _____________________________________________________