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Home > Ideas for better communication. A collection of materials for leading counseling sessions on ways to improve relationships through communication.

Bartholomew, Norma G and Simpson, D Dwayne (2005) Ideas for better communication. A collection of materials for leading counseling sessions on ways to improve relationships through communication. Texas: Texas Christian University. Institute of Behavioral Research.

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This manual includes a series of “topic-focused modular applications” designed particularly for counselors and group facilitators working in substance abuse treatment programs. The collection of applications contains focused, easily accessible, and brief adaptive strategies for engaging clients in discussions and activities on communication.

This manual includes a collection of materials for leading counseling sessions on ways to improve relationships through communication.

Modular applications in this manual include:
• Communication Roadblocks is part of the Straight Ahead: Transition Skills for Recovery manual developed at TCU. This session features a leader’s script, with notes and handouts for leading a solution-focused or strengths-based discussion of dealing with perceptions that interfere with communication. Participants are invited to think about things they do and are aware of in others that get in the way of effective communication. Materials for a “mini-lecture” highlight healthy and unhealthy reactions to communication problems. Guidelines for leading an exercise to improve listening also are included.

• Repairing Relationships provides worksheets and group leader instruction for facilitating a session on strategies to examine and begin to repair past relationship problems, including listing and reflecting on specific issues. Taken from a core set of materials developed by Matrix, Inc. (at UCLA), and adapted by NDRI, the intervention features an informational handout for participants as well as leader questions designed to encourage discussions about the situational aspects of communication problems.

• Communication Styles is adapted from the Straight Ahead: Transition Skills for Recovery manual developed at TCU. This session features a leader’s script, with notes and handouts for leading a discussion on different communication styles and their impact on relationships. Participants are invited to think about communication habits that can get in the way of sustaining healthy relationships. Materials for a “mini-lecture” highlight problems that arise from passive and aggressive communication. Brief role-plays are used to help participants identify aspects of different communication styles.

• Mapping Worksheets -- These Mapping Worksheets were selected from the manual TCU Guide Maps: A Resource for Counselors because of their specific focus on relationships and communicating with others. Each mapping worksheet follows a “fill in the blank” format to encourage participants to consider various cognitive aspects of how we communicate and manage problems with others. Once participants complete their worksheet, group discussions and commentary on the causes and effects of communication problems and strategies for overcoming unproductive habits are facilitated.

• Links of Interest -- Websites featuring materials on anger.


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