Instant session plans for essential life skills: RELATIONSHIPS
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: Relationships 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: communication skills; relationship skills; resolving conflicts; building a support network; expressing feelings; making friends; working with other people; being part of a team; networking skills; interview skills.

  • 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 relationships, there are - in separately published manuals - 40 sessions on self-management, 40 sessions on health and wellbeing, and 40 sessions on learning and development.

    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. 208 pages. 978-1-905541-42-3. Published 2009. £34.95


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


    Photocopying permission for use of the handouts
    Electronic supply of the handouts
    What are essential life skills?
    Why 'Instant Session Plans'?
    What is offered?
    How to use this book
    Setting up a group
    Avoiding discrimination
    Health and safety
    Preparing for role-play
    The importance of homework
    Organising the sessions

    Introduction session for essential life skills
    Communication skills
    Making conversation
    Difficult conversations
    What does your body language say?
    Active listening
    Relationship skills
    Overcoming barriers to good relationships
    Good boundaries make good relationships
    Establishing healthy relationships
    Being open to forming new relationships
    Resolving conflicts
    Resolving conflicting roles
    Dealing with personal conflicts
    Group solutions
    Examining relationship beliefs
    Building a support network
    Strengthening your support network
    Being true to commitments
    Building trust
    Ensuring relationships are supportive
    Expressing feelings
    Taking responsibility for feelings
    Influencing feelings
    Different ways to express feelings
    Reaching out to others
    Making friends
    People you know
    First impressions
    Making friends in the community
    Reducing unfriendly behaviour
    Working with other people
    Interacting with colleagues
    Expressing gratitude and changing attitude
    Working with conflicting personalities
    Taking advantage of feedback
    Being part of a team
    What is a team?
    Learning to negotiate
    Co-operation works
    Being an effective team member
    Networking skills
    Reviewing and maintaining your network
    Exploring networking skills
    Personal skills and qualities I can offer
    Using your network when things go wrong
    Interview skills
    Preparing for interviews
    Under the spotlight
    Managing the interview
    Survival tactics

    End session for essential life skills
    Electronic supply of the handouts from Instant Session Plans for Essential Life Skills: Relationships


    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.


    "Valuable resources on group topics that are common in relationships.

    "It is a practical workbook which is very user friendly, for both seasoned and less experienced practitioners. Materials needed for the group are minimal; most require only a whiteboard or flipchart and markers. Each session is clearly outlined with step-by-step instructions on how to facilitate the group, as well as photocopiable handouts for group participants.

    "As a practitioner working in the addiction field and mainly in groups, this is a welcome addition to my 'toolkit' which I will revisit again and again, as the topics covered are particularly relevant to the individual recovering from addiction.

    "As an added bonus, when you buy the book you are entitled to a free electronic supply of all handouts." Addiction Today