Action Speaks Louder: A Handbook of Structured Group Techniques

Action Speaks Louder: A Handbook of Structured Group Techniques

Action Speaks Louder: A Handbook of Structured Group Techniques

Action Speaks Louder: A Handbook of Structured Group Techniques


Actions Speak Louder than Words has become recognised as an essential tool for all therapists working with people with communication difficulties. This new edition is a manual of over 50 structured group exercises for use when working with groups to help those taking part to overcome problems with interpersonal communication. The terminology and language in this new edition has been revised to explain the use of exercises in the context of the latest developments in psychiatric medicine. Each exercise follows a step by step approach making it easy to use in a practical situation. Specific problem areas are targeted and the aims and objectives clearly stated. Similar exercises are grouped together for easy reference and comparison. Suggested discussion topics encourage further exploration of particular subjects and allow the techniques to be adapted for individual situations.


Books should to one of these four ends conduce
For wisdom, piety, delight, or use.

John Denham

This little book is my old friend. I was a colleague of the authors at the time of its inception; I watched its growth and development, celebrated its publication and applauded its popularity. I have used it extensively with small groups of clients and introduced it to successive classes of occupational therapy students from 1977 to 1990. the old friend has endured the test of time because it meets not one, but three of the four ends proposed by John Denham: use, wisdom and delight.

The book is for people who help people to help themselves. It is for mental health workers who understand the healing effects of both doing and talking. It is not true that actions speak louder than words. Each has an equal potential to be harmful or helpful. Together, doing and communicating can be powerful therapeutic tools, if used with sensitivity. the techniques described in this book encourage the use of a delicate interplay of both actions and words in delightful group exercises. the layout is cookbook style for ease of access and use. Each group activity is described in detail, including materials, timing, procedures and problems for which the activity is recommended. Like a valued recipe, once the exercise becomes familiar, variations and innovations present themselves for repeated use. the chapter entitled Some basic concepts is packed with information for students and provides good reference for educators and clinicians.

The wisdom of this book lies in the attention to universal, enduring mental health concepts such as self-esteem, awareness of self and others and social interaction, etc. the experienced authors write with clarity, simplicity and insight about those states of being when people become locked into themselves, self-deprecating and uncommunicative. To assist another person out of such a state is an art, a science, an acquired skill. My old friend endures because the authors had the wisdom to provide practical guidance in the development of such skills.

This book is fun to read and use. Many of the exercises help people laugh at themselves and with each other. Try a debate about jelly beans or second-hand shoes; play the game of charades; or find out just who stole those cookies from the cookie jar. For wisdom, delight and use, this is a wonderful handbook of structured group techniques.

Minor changes occurred in the first four editions between 1977 and 1987. For the fifth edition, the authors expanded on the introductory content to include theoretical models of occupational therapy familiar to faculty, students and practitioners in the 1990s. in this new sixth . . .

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