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Your Favorite Techniques

From Therapists and Counselors like you!

Technique Submitted by: Amanda Reese, MS

Original Source: adapted from Teen Mania Training www.teenmania.com.

Target Population: Group: Adolescents, especially teenagers without a date on a Friday night.

Materials Needed: Paper and something to write with.


Draw a picture of a fish. Inside the fish put in adjectives of characteristics that you would like from your date (e.g., kind, honest). Then draw a hook and near the hook, write the word "bait".

Next ask the participant(s) what characteristics would attract a fish like this? Write these characteristics near the hook.

At the top of the page, the participant is to write the characteristics she/he already has.

At the bottom of the fish, the participant is to write in the characteristics that he/she will need to develop.

Finally the participant should write on the back of the page, what steps can be taken to develop at least one of the desired characteristics. Process the activity with the group.

Not Intended For: Children ages 0 to 10

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Technique Submitted by: Amanda Reese, MS

Original Source: adapted from a technique described in Kevin Leman's book Bringing Up Kids Without Tearing Them Down How To Raise Confident, Successful Children.

Target Population: Ages 4 to adult.

Materials Needed: many pennies


The goal of this technique is to increase polite behaviors at the dinner table. The first step is to clearly define what good manners at the table are (e.g., no burping, not chewing with mouth open, asking for food to be passed). Next, three pennies are give to everyone eating at the table. When someone catches anyone practicing poor table manners, they get to take away one penny from the person committing the violation and keep the penny. When the person loses all three pennies they are excused from the table and have to wait until everyone is finished eating before they return to eat. At the end of the meal, everyone is allowed to keep their remaining pennies.

Repeat this technique at each meal until manners are consistently practiced by the participants

Not Intended For: The elderly or children who have no control over their facial muscles.

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