When was the last time I... ?

Group exercise
Required materials: 
Blank cards (prepared with questions in advance).

This is a moderately complex exercise that can be used to open up discussions of well-being strategies -- it requires some preparation beforehand and a good sense of the participants’ needs and experiences.

Key explanation points:

  • Prior to the exercise, facilitators design a set of cards, one per participant, plus a few extras. Each card is blank on one side and has one question on the other side. The questions are designed with the participants in mind, and are intended to reveal and release stories that need to come out at this stage (that is, before we move deeper into strategy development).
  • Examples of questions from past workshops include: When was the last time you: ‘screamed out your anger?’; ‘felt unconditional love?’; ‘wept for your loss?’; ‘had great, satisfying sex (with or without a partner)?’; ‘forgave a betrayal?’; or ‘laughed until you cried?’
  • Hand out the cards with questions face down and tell participants not to turn them over.
  • Explain that, while each card was written with a particular participant in mind, they are being distributed randomly so you do not know if you have received your own card or a card designed for someone else.
  • Then, ask each person (one at a time) to turn over their card and answer the question.

Facilitation notes:

  • Facilitators should use this exercise if they think they could comfortably design questions that would work for the group. One way of doing this is to sit quietly, think about each participant individually, and ask yourself -- what does this person need to feel or release?
  • A nice part of never knowing if you got the card that was meant for you is that you have an even deeper investment in everyone else’s answers – because every answer could have been meant for you.
  • This is a very personal exercise and it connects people in the group very quickly. However, it could be off-putting for participants who are not ready to move this quickly.