The Resiliency Program is a group intervention designed on principles of Cognitive- Behavior Therapy. Grounded in work of Martin Seligman, pioneer of Positive Psychology, this program is aimed to make the participants more successful in professional and personal life.
The skills taught can be applied to many contexts of life, including relationships with peers and family members as well as achievement in academics or other real-life issues.
Self-talk, what is self-talk? Is self-talk good or bad? We all talk to ourselves and more often than not, to criticize ourselves. Whether it’s a student who takes his poor exam grade as a predictor of his career or a parent who challenges his parenting style when the child disobeys them, negative self-talk is everywhere.
Self-talk is considered to be basis of behavior, hence a positive self-talk could motivate a student to work towards their well-being or a negative self-talk can demotivate them about life.
This journey was spread over six months with students of Second Chance School, Delhi and we employed various mediums of expression such as skits, discussions, role plays, short stories, cartoons to work on themes like:
Establishing link between Thoughts and Feelings
In order to think rationally, it is essential that we first learn how decisions are made. Decisions are based on our thoughts and emotions associated with the situation.
Often we act out of emotions rather than rational judgment. We worked on identifying type of selk-talk (positive or negative). With this as the basis, the journey was carried forward.
Alternatives to Negative Self-Talk
The key to building resilience is identifying negative self-talk and coming up with constructive thoughts. I think this is what optimism is about. With students, I provided them alternatives to possible negative thoughts and later provided them an opportunity to re-define their thoughts in a positive manner.
The goal is to be the detective to your mind, identify your thoughts, emotions and test the accuracy behind the same and generate alternative positive thoughts.
Evaluating Thoughts and Putting it in Perspective
In life, there are many situations that seem like impossible to deal with. Whether it is an assignment due for submission or a mistake done at work, such situations might make one think that there is no moving on from that.
The concept introduced here is of de-catastrophizing an event. The students were asked to give their biggest challenge, how they felt during that time and if they were able to move ahead in life.
Assertiveness and Negotiation
Assertiveness is the art of standing up for yourself in a calm and positive way. With the help of this module, the students were taught how to communicate with others regarding their needs.
They were also taught how to deal with a person who disrespects them, how to convey to the other person that their behavior is unacceptable.
Procrastination & Goal Setting
Procrastination is the biggest roadblock towards achieving our goals. We think of so many goals but not even 20% of it gets done. Through a discussion, we discussed how we set goals but keep delaying them for a future time. The key learning was to set goals with a definite timeline and measure your success at regular intervals.
The students were given art supplies and with basic instructions by the facilitator, they were encouraged to draw their Past, Present and Future Self.
During the activity, it was observed that the students did not dwell much on drawing their past self and they were very excited to draw the future self.
All the students were so attentive to detail, drawing out their dreams.
A building that a student desires to design, a café one dreams to open, house one dreams to make back in his hometown with a car and bike.
After drawing the future self, the students with hope in their eyes came back to the present self and started setting year marks that they will take to achieve their goals and promised to review it regularly.
Coping is the ability to channelize your energy in the right direction, also to be able to assess the thoughts that are constructive and take the actions that will benefit us. Coping is being able to see life events as opportunities to grow and learn from.
Over the period of six months, we worked on various life issues and different ways to approach life. The program witnessed participation by students on all levels- mental, emotional, and physical.
A simple and complex topic that life is, students always had something to share from their personal lives and also enthusiastic about learning new ways to look at life.
September 16, 2016