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Showing posts from April, 2010

WARM-UP EXERCISES FOR GROUP WORK - For Therapeutic, Educational or Training Groups

Nicholas Wolff, LCSW, BCD, TEP, Director of Training at Lifestage, Inc and Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, RMT, CGP, Trainer/consultant and writer/performer. Follow on twitter @JuTrWolff


   “To begin assembly one must have the right attitude,” goes a Japanese instruction for assembling a particular object, as quoted in Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance. The "right attitude" is one that best serves the action we are preparing to engage in, just as an athlete warms up his/her muscles before using them in the stress of a work-out or game. Psychological and emotional "muscles" that are properly warmed up will perform more effectively and make it less likely that we will experience strain or allow fear to produce a shut-out when things get rolling.
    The right warm-up makes everything learned in a training situation or classroom more accessible and immediately useful to the trainee/student. New skills and knowledge - in education, personal growth or a professional train…

MUSIC TALKS

by Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, RMT, CGP

Music represents everything good about being human, but it does not have to be fancy to be authentic. This is clear from the start when learning to play the piano. Talent is not required for this, any more than knowledge about the internal combustion engine is required to drive a car. That’s not as strange a comparison as you might think - both cars and pianos operate according to certain physical laws: The Law of Acoustics, which is the science of sound, The Law of Gravity, which is the science of steering clear of any area where a piano or a car are suspended from a crane, and the Law of Reciprocity, the principle that in learning an instrument and in life, we get back what we put in.


To start, some basics. Understand that the piano is in charge. It is pure potential when well-tuned, and can deliver Mr. Rogers’ theme song and Rachmaninoff with equal commitment. The musician-in-training might think of herself as the hands, foot and consciousness …

TURNING POINTS

by Nicholas Wolff, LCSW, BCD, TEP

The scene: A psychodrama and group psychotherapy training workshop intensive, conducted by a highly-respected trainer.
The situation: We have been assigned the task of creating an on-the-spot warm-up exercise for a group. Be spontaneous, but use what we have learned.
My dilemma: I am standing in front of this group of twenty-odd colleagues, some of whom are
brilliant and a bit intimidating, and here's the thing: My mind is blank.


I am supposed to be speaking. People are staring at me, patient and trusting. But I have
nothing. Nadda. No ideas, not even a hint. Time seems to slow down. The anxiety is
overwhelming. So I take action.
I drop to the floor of the stage. I lie there with eyes closed. Still nothing. Now my heart is pounding, because I've started something here and it has to go somewhere or I risk total
humiliation. I begin to roll around on the floor of the stage, eyes still closed, mind still blank. I
pretend to be in a deep sleep, and having a…