Building inner peace as a therapeutic activity – specifically for troubled teenagers
Main aim: Troubled teens learn to develop inner peace by taking a journey using a journey map. The journey should ideally take around 4-6 weeks (or as long as necessary) and can be broken into different stages.
Name: Inner Peace Journey Map
Type: Therapeutic activity for teenagers
Participants: Individuals (can also be individuals in a group of around 6-8 participants)
Duration: 45 – 60 minutes per session
Materials per participant:
- plain sheet of paper
- 3 sheets of different colored paper
- one large sheet of cardboard (at least A3 size)
- pen and pencil
- pencil colors or crayons or colored markers
- blu-tack (or reusable adhesive)
- scissors and ruler
- Explain to the participants the aim of the activity – that the participants will be embarking on a journey to seek inner peace and that at the end of the journey, they would have reached their goal. The journey should take at least 4 weeks to complete.
- Discuss with the participants what inner peace means, being the peace of mind they need to achieve at the end of their journey. Developing a peace of mind does not mean that their problems are solved but that they gain skills to cope with their problems.
- Each participant is then required to list on a plain sheet of paper:
- difficult issues and feelings they have;
- problems they are facing at the moment;
- any possible solutions to resolve the issue or problem – see our section on Troubled Teenagers e.g. self help activities, family support and support for depression;
- obstacles they feel that may cross their paths on the journey to success;
- people they can reach out to to help them on the journey;
- rewards to overcome the obstacles; and
- finally, the goal of the journey and their measurement of success.
- Once done, the participants draw their own journey map on the cardboard:
- the journey begins with listing the issues and problems they are facing at that time
- obstacles: the participants then use different colors to draw in the possible obstacles they may face along the journey
- stepping stones: stepping stones representing possible solutions are written on a colored sheet of paper, with each solution cut out and pasted on a corner of the journey map with blu-tack
- backup: people to rely on are listed on a different colored sheet of paper. Again, each name is cut out and arranged at the corner of the journey map with blu-tack
- rewards: finally, rewards are drawn out on the third colored sheet of paper, cut out and pasted on the journey map with blu-tack
- At the end of the journey (which could be symbolized by the drawing of a cloud or the mountain top), the participants draw or list out their goals.
- At the end of the activity, each participant should be told to take home his or her journey map and stick it up on the wall. At least one cut-out colored paper (representing a stepping stone, a backup or a reward) should be used everyday by the participant as a measure of their progress on the journey.
- The participants should then be called back at the end of the time period for the journey to discuss their feelings and whether they achieved their individual goals.
The activity enables the participants to develop a way to build peace of mind. Gaining inner peace does not mean that their problems are solved. However, it offers troubled teens a way to cope with the problems and to seek help and support where possible.