Creating a culture of positive change should be the focus of every Criminal Thinking group. Shaping a culture that supports change can be done intentionally with rituals that frame the group process. Many groups begin with a short reflection or recitation of group rules or code of conduct. Including a group memorization process can help cognitively embed positive principles of change, as well as victim recognition, in the minds of group participants.
The Following group reading helps support the accountability and victim awareness that most offenders lack at the beginning of the thinking change process. It also ends with a commitment to positive change for themselves and their victims.
A group participant reads the each line of the reflection and the group repeats each line in return.
“Crime Hurts People”
“I Will Not Hurt Others Or Myself Again”
The Five Deterrents are also a good source for group memorization. When participants commit these deterrents to memory they can be more easily accessed and remembered when negative thoughts and situations present themselves. A good memorization technique is to have the group recite the first word in each deterrent to help remember the content of each deterrent, i.e Stop, Stop, Plan, Exam, Do.
- Stop and think of who gets hurt
- Stop and think of the immediate consequences
- Plan ahead, think ahead, make another choice
- Exam-ination of conscience
- Do not dwell on it
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