Purpose: To help patients understand the destructive nature of codependent relationships and encourage them to be more independent in their decision making.
Paper and Pencil for each participant
Give each patient a pencil and a piece of paper. Show them the jar of beads, letting them hold it and look at it if they wish. Ask each patient to write down how many beads they think are in the jar. them them they are to do this by themselves--there should be no discussion among the group.
Next, have the patients find a partner. Give each partnership a few minutes to agree on the number of beads in the jar. Have them write this agreed upon number underneath the first guess on their sheet of paper.
Have two partnerships join together to form a group of four, and repeat the guessing game. Continue until all the patients are in the same, and they have one group guess of how many beads are in the jar.
For the last round, have each individual make a final individual guess, based on the discussion and previous guesses.
Talk about if/how the guesses changed as more people were included in the group. Discuss why this might have happened. Which guess was closest to the actual number of beads in the jar. Consider the following questions:
- In which group was it easiest to make your decision? Explain.
- How was it decided what the correct guess would be for each group?
- What would you change about how the decision was made if we were to do this again?
- Which of your individual guesses was closer to the actual number, the first or the last guess?
- How can we relate this activity to the idea of codependence?
- Are group decisions always the best decision for every person in the group? Explain.
- What does each person need to do when a group decision is being made?
- What should you do if you don't agree with the decision the group is making?
- How does this relate to your life, right now? Explain.
You can also use a jar filled with candy to do this activity, and then give the jar to the closest guesser, or share the treats among the group.
Modified from "M & M Madness" from Tom Jackson's More Activities That Teach.