Text Yourself Before Your Wreck Yourself – (Group close-out homework and follow-up activity)
This is a fun and interesting way to end a group session that provides group members with fun and easy homework to think about until next group. It also then supplies interesting content for discussion for the following group session when this group meets again. All that is needed is for each group member to have a phone that allows them to send a text to their own self (Simply text your own phone number to do a self-text)
The directions for Text Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself” are outlined below. Just read and follow these steps as a group:
First, pick a topic that is appropriate for your group. The topic should be focused on something positive that group members can try to accomplish during the upcoming week. Some suggestions are provided in this exercise however it may be a good idea for the group to pick an original topic based on what the group is currently working on. The topic selected for this exercise needs to be something that group members can try to work on at least once between the end of this group session and the next group session. Some suggestions provided:
If this is a substance use treatment group an appropriate topic might be: “Avoiding Triggers”, “Crushing Cravings”, or “Successfully Seeking Support”
Mental health topic suggestions: “Anger Management”, “Calming Myself”, “Successful Coping”
General positive topics: “Making the Right Choice”, “Grateful Moments”, “Proof of Progress”
Next, after the group has decided on a topic, everyone should text themselves the topic on their own phone. (For example, if the topic chosen was “Anger Management” then each group member should just text themselves the words “Anger Management” – If possible, group members should try to leave the text notification unanswered on their phone as a reminder to complete the task for the week explained next:
Everyone in the group is now assigned as homework to stop and record a moment during the next week (via self-text) where they successfully fulfilled the topic of the assignment chosen by the group
For example – If the group chose “Anger Management” as the homework assignment then the actual assignment would be to stop and record (via text to oneself) a moment during the week when anger was successfully managed. An example for “Anger Management” is provided here:
“Just now my brother was really getting on my case and then he started insulting me. I felt the urge to either curse him out or punch him but instead I counted to 10, took a few deep breaths and then I just got up, left, and took a walk outside to cool off rather than let my brother bait me into a fight which I would later regret. Then before going back into the house I called my sister for support and she helped me to calm down even more”
Finally, the next time the group meets, group members should all share and discuss their “assignments” by reading their homework self-text to the rest of the group and discussing how things went
Some suggested discussion points:
What was it like to successfully fulfill this assignment?
How do you feel about what was going on then and how do you feel about it now?
What did you learn from the experience and how will you use this experience in the future?