Relationships & Self Esteem - Case Studies
- Created: Tuesday, 29 March 2011 09:25
Case Study 12
S is a quiet young woman. She attends the sessions, but only speaks when she is spoken to. The other group members are friendly to her, but comment on her shyness and her blushing red cheeks. S spoke to a facilitator about how her shyness stops her from doing things. Her comment caused other girls to talk about their shyness and how they are afraid of doing things. Focusing on this issue, the facilitator spoke about how impressed she was of the confidence that all group members seem to have, given that they have all presented and shared personal information to the rest of the group. The facilitator helped the group of girls to understand that they are all confident and not shy, but reflective. During an agree/disagree debate the following week S decided to oppose the decision of other group members and disagree with a controversial statement. S confidently reasoned her argument with the rest of the group.
Case Study 11
A facilitator developed and delivered activities that looked at the issue of young males engaging with pornography. After a lot of inappropriate comments D,Z,C,A and J were challenged to think about ‘fantasy verses reality’ and the impact and influence pornography has on young people and their relationships. The young males were able to identify the false image that pornography portrays of women. They were also able to identify how pornography distorts the reality of sexual relationships. At the end of the session the young males spoke about the importance of trust in a relationship and choosing a girlfriend that has a good personality as well as looks.
Case Study 10
J is a very loud, enthusiastic and confident young woman who engages very well with all activities. Unfortunately, J’s vibrant, self-centred personality often keeps other group members quiet and in fear of answering questions and getting them wrong. J likes to answer all of the questions; sadly, her answers are often based on hearsay and parental persuasion and are often stereotypically racist. To support J and other group members understand the importance of having an argument grounded in factual information or personal experience, the facilitators facilitated activities based on assumptions and prejudice. During the activity the group members were able to discuss, explore and challenge each other’s thoughts, views and opinions. This activity helped the young people to ascertain the importance of ‘checking out’ the views that they hear and often adopt without reason. Unfortunately, although J was challenged by her peers, she did not reconsider her personal racist opinions.
Case Study 9
M is often on report and in trouble with the school. She is very rude to the facilitators and other group members; talking over them, chatting to her friends, using her phone and giggling. The facilitators pieced together the evidence and eventually found out that M is in care and is often moved about causing her life to be very unsettled. Unfortunately M is easily influenced by her peers and has very little respect for adults. The facilitators decided to introduce a special person award and give it to M. At the beginning of a session M was given the award which informed that she was a helpful and caring person. The award had quite a dramatic effect on M, this became evident in the way she began to actively engage with activities and become more attentive to others.
Case Study 8
B and K are very close friends. They always sit together and quietly chat and giggle with each other throughout the session. It soon became apparent to the facilitators that B and K chat and giggle about other group members. This made other group members very paranoid and quiet. To expose the effect of bitchiness the facilitators delivered an activity that helped the group to openly discuss the effects of bitchiness. One young woman spoke about how the bitchiness had caused her to feel depressed and cry a lot. This session caused B and K to reflect on their behaviours and actions and consequently put an end to their quiet chats and giggling.
Case Study 7
P was placed in the group because the teachers believed that she was a loner at school. She likes to be different and stand out from other girls; she wears a lot of black make up and describes herself as being pagan. During discussions about ‘what traits are important in a relationship’, P said that she finds it difficult to trust anyone. The following week the facilitators decided to focus the activity on trust. During the activity P was challenged by the nature of the activity and began to identify the people that she trusted; giving reasons why she found them trustworthy.
Case Study 6
D joined us on the 2nd session as he had been in isolation during the 1st session. He came in late and was very disruptive in the lesson. He talked over the facilitators, didn’t engage with the group, gave no eye contact when speaking and generally did not listen to others when they were speaking.
D was unable to articulate his thoughts, opinions or even simple factual information about himself. He didn’t respond to any of the instructions that the facilitators gave. He made it very difficult for the facilitators to deliver the planned material.
The facilitators spoke to D, one to one, and chatted about his behaviour and how it was disrupting the rest of the group and making it very difficult for the facilitators to deliver the session. During this conversation D gave eye contact, listened and agreed that he would leave the group if his behaviour did not improve. He then said that he really liked being part of the group and didn’t want to leave.
D’s preferred learning style was definitely being ‘tactile.’ He really focused well when given hands-on activities. Unfortunately, D struggled to engage in group discussion.
During the next couple of weeks D engaged much better with the group activities. However, it became evident to the facilitators that D had a very short attention span and found it very difficult to listen to others for any period of time. D and another individual were often winding each other up and retaliating, which caused further disruption to the sessions. However, when the facilitators intervened, D would give eye contact and listen to what was being asked of him. He was obviously starting to show more respect for the facilitators.
D demonstrated lots of positive qualities and lots of potential during the next couple of sessions. He really focused on the tasks, he used his initiative and demonstrated some great leadership skills during team building activities. He was keen to do well in the group tasks and really tried to motivate the team. Unfortunately after his best session, D got into a fight with another individual that had been winding him up.
Towards the end of the sessions D was managing to articulate himself much better and he made a real effort to participate. He told the facilitators that ‘the sessions have helped me think about what I really want in life, I’d never thought about it before’. This comment, together with his evaluated improved behaviour, has indicated D has made a huge personal development.
During the last couple of sessions, D was much calmer and respectful; he was comfortable sitting between the 2 facilitators and not with his friends, he joined in all of the activities and was refraining from winding up his fellow classmates.
Case Study 5
L attended seven out of the eight sessions provided.
At the onset of the programme L was a very disengaging member of the group - constantly talking whilst the facilitator was talking and not listening to her peers. She demonstrated behaviour of not wanting to engage and participate within the group unless continuously prompted and reminded about the group contract. L spent a lot of her session time texting on her phone and playing around with the tattoo on her wrist. L was clearly not interested at joining in with the sessions during the first half of the programme and actually said so.
As the weeks progressed L continued to use her phone and chat during the session but did engage and communicate ideas during sessions if she was interested in the activity. She started to become more chatty and talkative with others in the group and stopped chatting and put her phone away when asked.
In week six, L particularly engaged well with the pyramid activity and wrote on her evaluation that she had enjoyed the activity and she had actually learned what she really wanted in a relationship. L began to open up about her friends and family. During ‘pass the parcel’ on her last session, L was fully engaged and on task. She answered questions with thought and commented that she was sad it was the last session - asking if she could join again next time around.
Evaluation quotes from young people that have attended the 14 week programme:
- The RAiSE Project was really good because you can talk about your problems and learn about things that happen in relationships.
- It taught me how to be safe in a relationship and the importance of talking more.
- The activities that we did were really good, they were fun and they got us talking about stuff. You wouldn’t think that we would talk about stuff like that, but the activities helped us talk and open up and learn about each other.
- If we need to speak to our workers in private about an issue or something that was on our minds we could. It was good that they weren’t teachers, it felt more open.
Evaluation quotes from teachers that have experienced the programme:
- The staff have noticed that since their return to lessons, the majority of students have better speaking and listening skills and are generally more accepting of others and their opinions. They appear to be more prepared to look at issues another way – rather than their way!
- Having the RAISE team with their Youth Work approach is invaluable. They have a different teaching style which complement our learners. The pupils tell us that they really love this approach and some wish that our teachers could be more like this.
- The school achieved a grade 1 for safeguarding in its OFSTED inspection in February 2011. This is due to the fact that as a school we will engage with projects that we feel will support vulnerabilities.
- There has been a reduction in the incidence of pupils falling out with each other.
- The group that worked with the RAiSE team were identified as having behavioural problems which impact on learning in the classrooms. Behaviour has improved with this group and, as a result, I have a reduced workload - director of Inclusion.
Case study 4
SA has been attending the RAiSE Programme for the last eight weeks. During the first few weeks the facilitators soon realised that she was ostracised from the group and was lacking in self confidence. They noted that she would walk into the room with her head hung low, she would not talk with her peers or the facilitators, and she would sit away from other group members and would not engage in the activities.
The facilitators have worked hard to ensure that all of the young people feel comfortable and safe working as a group. This was achieved through the development of a group contract. The facilitators have also worked to ensure that the activities that they deliver are inclusive to all young people regardless of their abilities. In addition, the facilitators have made a conscious effort to ensure that they give individual attention to each young person; this is achieved through casual conversations, praise and giving positive comments about their work. For some young people, and especially SA, this initiative has helped them to feel a greater sense of self worth. Another method that the facilitators have been using is the direct questioning approach. The use of this approach has ensured that each individual young person is given a time to talk and be heard. It has encouraged SA to speak in front of her peers and for them to take notice of what she is saying.
I am pleased to say that SA now displays a greater confidence and self worth. She no longer sits away from the group and her body language is more positive with her head held high and her body less slumped. She readily offers answers to questions and her peers offer her a greater respect by not talking over her.
Case study 3
RP has been attending the RAiSE Project for the last eight weeks. The facilitators described RP as a rude and disruptive young woman. RP would give the facilitators sharp looks and sigh and tut as they would explain the RAiSE activities. RP would rudely chat and laugh with her friends whilst ignoring the facilitators and other group members as they tried hard to get their voices heard.
The facilitators decided to give RP a lot of praise for every contribution she made to the group. They also honed in on her interests and asked her engaging questions. In addition, they engaged her in discussions by asking her to give examples of real life situations. I am pleased to report that during the midway assessment RP was marked high in the following areas: developing positive relationships; contributing positively and working well in a team; having compassion and care for others; listening to others and establishing a rapport.
Case study 2
During the first three weeks of the RAiSE project, BO demonstrated that he was a very loud, dominant, rude and disrespectful person. He often displayed a lot of bravado in his body language and in some of the things he would speak about. The whole group of young males was very challenging however BO noticeably stood out from the group as he asserted his dominance and was often the most vocal of all the young males in our group. He rarely listened to the facilitators when we addressed the whole group and proceeded to talk over us and often purposefully wound up other members of the group.
In light of this we thought it best to use some of these negative characteristics and channel them in a more positive way. For example BO’s dominance and extrovert personality highlighted some strong leadership qualities. We sought to give BO a sense of responsibility by letting him lead activities and games and letting him give instruction to his peers. We also took a keen interest in BO’s hobbies and interests and always made a conscious effort to show a genuine interest in what he did by encouraging him with praise and affirmation. He often communicated views and opinions that were misinformed and seemed formulated by the influence of his peers and acceptance of common stereotypes. We made a point of challenging some of these opinions by asking him open questions so that he could explore and maybe break some of the stereotypes he clearly believed. We made a point of asking direct questions to BO even in a group situation; this seemed to focus his attention on the discussion topic instead of beginning his own conversation with another group member. All this was backed up by constant positive affirmation and encouragement of the positive contributions and character traits that he did display.
BO is still a very extroverted and dominant young male, however he has clearly developed more of an understanding of the importance of communication in relationships; he has become more open about his personal life and sharing things that are of importance to him. He has developed a greater respect for the facilitators and has gained the confidence to communicate his own future plans and aspirations.
Case study 1
SH was the quietest member of a very difficult and loud group of young males. He was the youngest and smallest and was often picked on and bullied by other group members. He retaliated by using very bad language and admitted during the first session, ‘I’m a very angry person.’ He often instigated some of the conflict by winding up group members.
We intended to really raise SH’s confidence by encouraging him at every possible opportunity. He often held different opinions to other group members for which he got a lot of stick – however we encouraged him and supported him in his opinions and values. We made this very obvious by chatting with him after class, by giving him praise and affirmation for having the guts to share his values and having such mature responses to the questions we asked the group. We were very firm when any sort of conflict or bullying arose, making sure SH was not being singled out and encouraged him to work with other group members instead of him choosing to work alone.
SH became calmer in dealing with conflict – he did not retaliate as much or as severely. He learned to communicate his emotion to the facilitators instead of letting it out in anger at his peers. He grew in confidence as he learned to stand up to his peers and hold his own values and beliefs despite sometimes being mocked by others. He moved away from simply conforming to the group to ‘fit in’ and was clearly mature in developing his own set of values and beliefs.