Looking glass
A positive communication workbook
By Lynda Regan, Carole Pelling, and Sally Jones

Here are ideas and guidance on building positive relationships with young women, for anyone doing direct work with them- and practical exercises to help the process. Developed through work with young women in residential care, and evaluated by them, the exercises are transferable to work in a wide variety of settings and could be adapted for work with young men.

Presented in a framework for 8 sessions, each with guidance notes, Looking Glass leaves space for workers' own creative skills in adapting ideas presented here and from a range of other sources. It can offer a starting point; or a specific focus of work; or a complete piece of work. You can dip in and out of the material provided, or work through from end to end.

Looking Glass includes an opening session where boundaries for the work are set, and agreement reached on issues such as recording, confidentiality, content- and a closing session where work can be reviewed, sessions formally ended or further sessions planned and agreed. The remaining sessions focus on: exploring with the young person their wishes, expectations and feelings, about themselves, their lives and their relationships; identifying their strengths and positive attributes; being a forum for discussing relationships, both positive and negative; exploring choices and dilemmas; keeping safe and making informed choices.

The exercises can be photocopied and given to young people. Rather than providing solutions for specific issues or behaviours, this workbook will enhance the ability of the young person to deal with one-to-one relationships and provide opportunities for them to:
  • feel listened to
  • have their views recognised and valued
  • explore the dynamics of relationships.

  • The exercises will encourage the young woman to express her views, build confidence and begin to make informed choices. The process is achieved by the worker and the young person having a period of time to focus on the young woman's views, feelings, emotions, friendships, individual situation, past, present, future- or any other issues that she may choose to share.

    A4 wiro. 96 pages. 978-1-903855-17-1. 2002. £19.95.


    Positive communication

    The sessions
    Getting to know you
    Who am I?
    Friendships and relationships
    Keeping relationships
    Making informed choices

    References and reading list


    "A jumping off point for an imaginative worker to use both practical and creative skills to explore the complexities of relationship dynamics, expressing emotions, informed choices and positive identities." Youth Justice.

    "Offers ideas and guidance to help young people to develop constructive and rewarding relationships with others. It is designed to be used in eight sessions by trainers or those working with young people, and although the session structures are clearly laid out, each session can be refined or altered by those running the course. Key themes include self image, confidence, perception of relationships, forming and keeping relationships. The material is presented for young women, but is easily adapted for work with young men.' Care & Health.

    'Offers a progressive framework to help young people examine and express their feelings. The sessions were developed in work with young women in residential care, but could be useful for workers in a wide range of settings.' Young People Now.