Monday, April 9, 2012

Some Closure (Ideas)

Groups, groups, groups. Do you realize just how many groups you are a part of? A lot probably. More than you actually think about if you sit down and list them.
Part of counseling of course is working with groups on a plethora of things. Anger, Friendship skills, College prep, and Addictions just to name a few.

I'm in the last stages of some of my academic and social groups up here in Athens. There is more to be said about that at a later date. The emotional stuff, you know, the feelings that come up for me surrounding having to leave a great place and people.

Today really quickly I wanted to jot down some ideas for closure with a group. Maybe you will find them helpful. Or have ideas to share with me.

Of course you could have food. To me food is comforting and kinda happy. So whether having a breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert extravaganza, food does help mellow the atmosphere. People don't always want to discuss leaving and by eating, there is something else to do besides grab onto someone and make them promise to never, ever leave you;)

Poetry/Quotes are another avenue. This of course depends on the depth of the group. However, almost everyone has a favorite quote or life saving. Poetry can also be used to express what we can struggle to say. I loved the idea that someone gave in class of using the Frost poem The Road not Taken, and having the group members sign it and then framing it for a group member who had to leave the group early.

Different venue. It is at the end, when it can be important to change things up a bit. If the group has been meeting at a specific location. Find somewhere new for the last meeting. Some groups follow a certain pattern, shake it up a bit and introduce something new at the end of the journey. It just makes everything more memorable.

Book Swap! If you have readers in your group, this one is fun. Have everyone bring a book that they already own. Or they could buy a book if need be. Then during the last group meeting put 'em all in a pile and swap. Have each person give a little blurb about the book they bought. Everyone leaves with a "new to them" book. And hopefully another reminder of something tangible that they got from being in the group.

Positive Affirmations. This is probably my most favorite way to close. Again, you need a certain type of group for this to really hit the spot. The same type of thing could be accomplished with a scrapbook if only one or two members of the group are leaving. Anyway, positive affirmations are a time to take the things that we are always thinking about a person and actually write them down so that person can keep the words. From quick sentences, one word tidbits, to long letters, sharing positive affirmations about other people is freeing. You know that girl who is the most caring person you have ever met? Well now you get to let her know that!

Like I said to start, groups, groups, groups. They are special, unique, and lovely. Taking time to close them and bring them to a successful end is refreshing:)

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