Instant session plans - for essential life skills: HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
By Robin Dynes

To see sections of this book in a PDF, please click here.

  • To help meet demands, perhaps at short notice, for provision of appropriate material for work on essential life skills...
  • To enable you to respond quickly and effectively, when it becomes apparent that a carefully planned programme that you are facilitating will not meet some of the needs that are emerging...

  • This resource-bank of Instant Session Plans can enable both inexperienced and experienced facilitators to make 'instant' and timely changes to programme sessions, and respond positively to specific requirements of group members for: coping with the events and situations they face daily; having their personal needs met; and achieving their ambitions.

    Instant Sessions Plans for Essential Life Skills: Health and Well-being contains:
  • pointers on setting up a group, avoiding discrimination, health and safety, organising sessions, preparing for role-play, homework.
  • an introduction session to use when starting to work with a new group
  • a session to bring the group to an end
  • 4 sessions on each of these 10 different life skill topics: managing worries; looking after your mental health; coping with depression; dealing with a crisis; healthy living; bereavement and loss; staying positive; changing your habits; taking risks; learning to relax.

  • Each session can be used: on its own; as a supplement to other material; as part of a programme of several sessions tailored to meet particular needs; as part of a comprehensive course. Each session requires minimum preparation and lasts about one hour. Each contains aims, plans, homework assignments, photocopiable handouts, plus clear step-by-step instructions for the group leader, with timings, for activities that involve participants working as a group, on their own, in pairs and in sub-groups.

    In addition to these 40 sessions on health and well-being, there are (in separately published manuals) 40 sessions on self-management, 40 sessions on learning and development, and 40 sessions on relationships. Visit and search on Instant Session Plans for full details, publication dates, and how purchasers of the manuals can subsequently obtain electronic copies of handouts.

    For youth workers, therapists, counsellors, social workers, nurses, psychologists, care staff, prison and probation staff, and teachers... This flexible and adaptable 'toolkit' resource has been tried and tested over many years of work with people in diverse groups. It can help facilitators address issues of mental ill health, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, alcohol and drug addiction, anti-social and offending behaviour, and preparing to return to work after a long absence. It can be used in work with young people at the cusp of adulthood, and with adults of all ages. Discussion and practical exercises are related to group members' everyday experiences to make the learning and development both dynamic and enjoyable.

    A4 wirobound. 192 pages. 978-1-905541-35-5. Published 2008. £34.95


    Youth workers, therapists, counsellors, social workers, nurses, psychologists, care staff, prison and probation staff, and teachers.


    Introduction. Introduction session for essential life skills. Photocopying permission for use of the handouts. Electronic supply of the handouts. The sessions. Managing worries. Looking after your mental health. Coping with depression. Dealing with a crisis. Healthy living. Bereavement and loss. Staying positive. Changing your habits. Taking risks. Learning to relax. End session for essential life skills.


    Robin Dynes
    is Social Inclusion Officer for Adult Learning in his local authority. He has managed a mental health day centre, worked in a number of psychiatric hospitals and is a trainer and qualified counsellor. He is the author of several books including Creative Games in Groupwork, Positive Interaction Skills and The Group Leader's Toolkit.


    "This resource pack contains a host of activities to help people deal with issues ranging from depression to bereavement... a wide selection of activities to explore emotional well-being and mental health issues with groups of young people.

    "Divided into 10 sections, the book includes specific topics, such as coping with depression and bereavement, as well as more generic activities that suggest relaxation techniques and effective ways to cope with stress. Author Robin Dynes clearly knows his subject...

    "There are lots of things to recommend in this resource. The exercises have clear aims... and each activity is laid out with an introduction, main activity and an idea for how to close the session. I particularly like the emphasis placed on building resilience: there is a whole section on Staying Positive, which I think would add real value to any health and well-being curriculum.

    "I loved the fact that there is a tear-off section, which on return to the publisher will be exchanged for a PDF of the materials... Instant Session Plans for Essential Life Skills: Health and Well-being is a practical resource that could be used effectively in a wide range of youth work settings." Vanessa Rogers in Youth Work Now