Rock & WaterAddressing stigma and social isolation  + Michael Schmidt  HIV+ Peer Educator and Support (Acting)  WA AIDS Co...
Rock & Water: What is it?Lack of meaningful programs                                             Rock & Water provides:tha...
Body AwarenessEmotional Awareness                    Self Awareness
Rock AttitudeAwareness of ones own possibilities and personal journey in lifeExhibits:•Resoluteness•Being strong-willed•Se...
Water AttitudeRepresents insight and experienceValuing flexibility within human relationshipsDemonstrates:                ...
Dominant attitude: ‘rock’ or ‘water’?Appropriate use of both attitudes, challenging the negativecharacteristics of eachDee...
Why Rock & Water at WAAC?•Previous self-defence workshops•Combination of the physical and the emotional•Some feel their bo...
Rock & Water EvaluationIn your own words, what do you think you learnt from the workshop?•How to be more aware of myself•G...
Rock & Water EvaluationUse one word to describe the workshop                     Rewarding                                ...
Rock & Water EvaluationVerbal feedback in the checkout“With my health issues it was good to feel some confidence in my bod...
Rock & WaterLiving well: Addressing Stigma and Social Isolation•   Feedback mostly very positive•   Experiential: fun/play...
Thank you!What do you have more of?Rock or water?
Rock and Water program
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Rock and Water program

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“Rock and Water” is an activity-based program which aims to build on the complementary strengths of ‘rock and water’: one is firm and assertive while the other is flexible, flowing and willing to cooperate. Michael Schmidt (HIV Positive Peer Educator - WA AIDS Council), describes how this model has been used in a WAAC support program).

This presentation was given at AFAO's Positive Services Forum 2012.

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  • What is Rock & Water? In the mid 1990's, Mr Freerk Ykema, a school teacher from the Netherlands, became passionate about finding a program that would assist in reducing the level of sexual violence, crimes and aggression perpetuated by teenage boys. He noted that there was a lack of meaningful programs that targeted key aspects of young men's development. Rock & Water is a manual-based program that provides young people and adults a pathway to self awareness, and increased self-confidence and social functioning. The program is based upon a psycho-physical approach, that is, the program contains a large number of experiential exercises that support participants to develop self-awareness through physical exercises.
  • The "rock" quality represents awareness of one's own possibilities and personal journey in life. A person demonstrating "rock" traits will exhibit resoluteness, be strong-willed and self assured, and may close off to the opinions and offerings from others. The "rock" attitude may confront others in relation to their opinion or point of view, and people need to exhibit some "rock" qualities if they are to respond to and manage bullying.
  • The "water" quality represents insight and experience, and valuing flexibility within human relationships. A person demonstrating water traits has a strong awareness of their own feelings and ideas, but more importantly, is able to respond with understanding to people around them. "Water" is representative of sharing, co-operative behaviour, negotiating and being able to respond to a changing environment. Social harmony and positive relationships require an individual to exhibit "water" qualities.
  • The Rock & Water program teaches participants insight into their dominant attitude, that is, whether they are a "rock" or "water" dominant person. The program nurtures appropriate use of both attitudes, while challenging the negative characteristics of each. By the end of the program, each participant has a deeper level of self awareness into how they can apply each attitude in an effective manner.
  • Rock and Water is experiential and it is experienced as fun and playful...but at the same time valuable insight is gained into themselves and others. Rock & Water fosters success, especially people who previously have not experienced success or limited success. Research shows that when people learn while having fun (or any strong positive emotion) then their brains process the learning at a deeper level. People pick up on and love the use of symbolic language in Rock & Water. They are readily able to understand the difference between acting from either a ‘rock’ or a ‘water’ attitude. The most important part of this symbolism is that it fosters self-acceptance in people, which in itself, is fundamental to psychological well-being. People's behaviours can be described in terms of ‘rock’ or ‘water’ qualities, both of which have positive and negative attributes. By using this language, people experiencing challenging behaviours are more willing to reflect on their and other’s behaviours. Rock & Water is highly effective for people with backgrounds of trauma as the language used uses symbols that are easy, yet powerful in describing our behaviours. This facilitates a connection with self and with others. The aim of a ten-week program is to enhance people’s: Self esteem and help them develop a suit of armour of resiliency Self confidence Self awareness Awareness of their own and others personal space Conflict resolution and negotiation skills Ability to deal with strong emotions and stay calm Ability to effectively ignore stigma/bullies, when appropriate Ability to effectively walk away with strength from strength/bullies
  • Rock and Water program

    1. 1. Rock & WaterAddressing stigma and social isolation + Michael Schmidt HIV+ Peer Educator and Support (Acting) WA AIDS Council
    2. 2. Rock & Water: What is it?Lack of meaningful programs Rock & Water provides:that targeted key aspects ofyoung mens development •Pathway to self awarenessSchool program to assist in •Increased self-confidencereducing sexual violence, and social functioningcrimes and aggressionperpetuated by teenage boys A psycho-physical approach: experiential exercises supporting development of self-awareness through physical exercises
    3. 3. Body AwarenessEmotional Awareness Self Awareness
    4. 4. Rock AttitudeAwareness of ones own possibilities and personal journey in lifeExhibits:•Resoluteness•Being strong-willed•Self assurednessMay close off to the opinions and offerings from othersMay confront others in relation to their opinion or point of viewNeed to exhibit some ‘rock’ qualities to respond to and managebullying
    5. 5. Water AttitudeRepresents insight and experienceValuing flexibility within human relationshipsDemonstrates: Representative of:•Strong awareness of own •Sharingfeelings and ideas •Co-operative behaviour•Able to respond with •Negotiatingunderstanding to people •Being able to respond to aaround them changing environmentSocial harmony and positive relationships require an individual toexhibit ‘water’ qualities
    6. 6. Dominant attitude: ‘rock’ or ‘water’?Appropriate use of both attitudes, challenging the negativecharacteristics of eachDeeper level of self awareness into applying each attitude
    7. 7. Why Rock & Water at WAAC?•Previous self-defence workshops•Combination of the physical and the emotional•Some feel their body lets them down•Challenging physical capabilities•Developing emotional insight•Dealing with bullying (stigma) – emotionally•Developing resilience – physically and emotionally
    8. 8. Rock & Water EvaluationIn your own words, what do you think you learnt from the workshop?•How to be more aware of myself•Gaining a greater sense of control in a physical sense•More confident than I used to be•I can be strong•Reminded me of posture providing positive or negative image toothers and importance of strong and confident posture•Power of expression through the eyes•Reminded me of some things to let go•Technique and physical approach•Self confidence, centring and focussing
    9. 9. Rock & Water EvaluationUse one word to describe the workshop Rewarding Great Basic Mind lifting Confidence Invigorating Fun Bonding Well worth it
    10. 10. Rock & Water EvaluationVerbal feedback in the checkout“With my health issues it was good to feel some confidence in my body”“I was reminded of my strength”“I want to do some more hitting!”“I was reminded of some martial arts training I did”“I learnt how to punch”“I’ve got some confidence there”
    11. 11. Rock & WaterLiving well: Addressing Stigma and Social Isolation• Feedback mostly very positive• Experiential: fun/playful but also insightful• Addressing stigma/bullying• 70% of participants newly engaged
    12. 12. Thank you!What do you have more of?Rock or water?

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