In this section you will find some theoretical input, videos and method sheets to tackle the question of good distance / good proximity in the practice of youth workers.

 

We propose four different resources:
1.  Our theoretical texts present the conceptual and methodological background on which we built our practical educational tools.  Here you will find a short introduction to our conceptualization of “good distance”, how it is related to cultural differences and what are its challenges.   We also offer a brief introduction to our two methodological pillars: “rainbow of desires” and “Process work”.

2.The « workshop outline » shows you one possible flow of activities that we tried out.

3.You can check out our videos that illustrate the whole workshop (“learning path”) and three activities: “safe distance”, “what bothers me” and “inhabiting roles”

4. You can also use our materials to create your own workshops to develop relational skills. The method sheets give you the necessary information to carry out or adapt the activities we developed.

Relationships are created through the process of different interactions, and in all our relationships we find the same dynamic of moving towards and away from the other. Through this process, we negotiate the appropriate distance or proximity in between us. The end results or phases of such a negotiation can even have a visual representation. Aron et al propose the pictures below to illustrate different degrees of intimacy, described as inclusion of other in the self. To read more: link the related pdf

Rainbow of desires

Rainbow of Desire (RoD) is one of the branches of Theatre of the Oppressed. Through RoD, Boal uses a specific configuration of tools of TO (image theatre, games, forum theatre, etc.) to help individuals and groups unveil, explore, analyse and find alternatives to internalized oppressions, also called cops in the head. Boal argues that internalized oppressions are unconscious, yet have a visible manifestations in the form of individual and social unrest, such as depression, loneliness, hopelessness, inability to communicate, social fragmentation, among other obstacles to overcoming systemic oppressions that show themselves one way or another in our personal spheres.  To read more: link the related pdf

Process work

Process Work or Process Oriented Psychology (POP) is a method that provides a model that integrates and uses contributions from various disciplines to facilitate the transformation and growth of individual and collective groups. Process Work focuses mainly on developing a state of consciousness by helping individuals and groups to realize how they perceive and live their experiences, learn to change their approach and find the information which is not noticed or marginalizing and hence limits a person’s ability to respond. To read more: link the related pdf

Here you find a learning path of 20 hours that is suitable to develop the self-awareness and the skills necessary for youth workers to negotiate a good distance and proximity with young people.

20’ / 40’ Welcome

Arrival of participants, presentation of the workshop and of the facilitators. Ice-breaker of choice.

10’ / 20’ Ritual

Set-up a ritual together with participants to begin each session. This allows participants to connect to the learning space and to each other. Examples of rituals can be a 5 minute sharing circle expressing how we are, or it can be a set of movements without words. You can propose a ritual, or build one together. You can be as creative as you wish, as long as the group is comfortable and engaged.

30’ / 45’ Warm-up

Ice-breakers, warm-up exercises and/or teambuilding activities of choice. This might be an adequate moment to talk about group expectations (both participants’ and facilitators’) in relation to the workshop.

40’ / 90’ Switched presentations

This presentation and teambuilding activity will help participants get to know each other, while reflecting on identity, diversity and representation.

60’ / 60’ Self-perception

Reflecting on the perception we have of ourselves is key to understand the way we relate to others. This exercise helps us explore known aspects of ourselves and discover new ones.

60’ / 60’ Micro-contexts

How aware are we of ourselves (our bodies, our identities, the way we communicate, etc.) and the impact we have on others? This exercise helps us explore how our bodies respond to different contexts.

 

5’ / 5’ Ritual

Repeat the ritual established at the beginning of the day, or create a new one specific to closing the sessions.

 

30’ / 30’ Ritual and warm-up

Ritual created during the first day and warm-up, ice-breaker or team-builder of choice.

45’ / 60’ The imaginary journey

In pairs, participants will lead each other (only with sounds and movement) through a personal journey: a day working with youngsters. This activity helps us reflect collectively to gain awareness about ourselves in relation to our professional contexts

45’ / 60’ The high dream and the low dream

The high dream and the low dream focus on that which we desire and that which is difficult in our work with youngsters. We explore these polarities to bring attention to different elements that can be of use in our professional life.

 

90’ / 90’ Create an activity (Part I)

As Youth workers, it is important to know how to design activities that are relevant and useful for our groups. This activity focuses on developing this competence. The task? To create a fun and inspiring ice-breaker that helps us set the mood to work with our groups in a comfortable and safe environment.

 

40’ (only for offline) Activity try-out

Choose two of the ice-breakers created by participants in “Design an activity (Part I)”. Reflect together on what worked and what needs revision, as well as what to take into account when creating activities for youngsters to assure a good proximity.

10’ / 35’ Checkpoint

In a circle, take a few minutes to check how participants are doing, what their feelings are and address questions or concerns that might have arisen during the initial sessions.

5’ / 5’ Ritual

Repeat the closing ritual of the previous day.

30’ / 30’ Ritual and warm-up

Ritual created during the first day and warm-up, ice-breaker or team-builder of choice.

40’ / 40’ Activity try-out

Choose two of the ice-breakers created by participants in “Design an activity (Part I)” from the previous day and try them out. Reflect together on what worked and what needs revision, as well as what to take into account when creating activities for youngsters to assure a good proximity.

50’ / 60’ Safe distance

This movement-based exercise will allow participants to feel the tensions generated by closeness and distance when relating to others. Participants will experience and reflect on what “safe distance” means to them.

30’ / 45’ Make it big

With this activity, participants will experience using their bodies and their voices theatrically to explain something that is important to them. This exercise will help Youth workers gain awareness of how they relate with others.

25’ / 50’ Present, desire, future

Using image theatre, participants will reflect on how they feel at the present moment, what they desire, and how they foresee the future in their professional contexts, and how these visions impact the way they relate to others in their work.

45’ / 90’ Inhabiting roles (Part I)

Youth workers must take on different roles while working with youngsters (educator, mentor, friend…) and each role has its own “good proximity”. With this exercise we explore the complexity of how these roles and proximities interact to be able to identify and negotiate safe distances.

5’ / 5’ Ritual

Repeat the closing ritual of the previous day.

30’ / 30’ Ritual and warm-up

Ritual created during the first day and warm-up, ice-breaker or team-builder of choice.

90’ / 90’ The form

Participants will reflect individually on the easiest and most difficult parts of the workshop so far in order to engage in a group discussion about the difficulties and alternatives to establishing good proximity in Youth work.

60’ / 60’ The norms

Participants will create and discuss a set of norms that could help them establish a good proximity with their  groups of youngsters. We will explore the implications of having (or not having) pre-established norms to assure safe distances in our professional context.

40’ / 45’ What bothers me

Being able to recognize and address what bothers us in our relationship with others is an important social skill. In this activity we explore conscious and unconscious feelings of discomfort and redirect this energy to better connect with others.

90’ (only offline) Create an activity (Part II)

Continuation of the “Design an activity” exercise. The task? To create an activity that helps us negotiate safe distances with our youngsters.

5’ / 5’ Ritual

Repeat the closing ritual of the previous day.

5’ / 5’ Ritual

Repeat the closing ritual of the previous day.

30’ / 60’ Ritual and warm-up

Ritual created during the first day and warmup, ice-breaker or team-builder of choice.

90’ (only online) Create an activity (Part II)

Continuation of the “Design an activity” exercise. The task? To create an activity that helps us negotiate safe distances with our youngsters.

70’ / 195’ Inhabiting roles (Part II in both online and offline and Part III only in the offline version)

Continuation of the “Inhabiting roles” exercise.

30’ / 60’ Closing together

Participants share their thoughts, feelings and lessons learnt in a circle of trust.

5’ / 5’ Ritual

Repeat the closing ritual of the previous day.

Here you find a selection of activities serving four different pedagogical objectives: creating first contact and warming-up, developing verbal and non-verbal communication skills, reflecting on our relationships, understanding and working through conflicts

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