Creative events or workshops can be educating, entertaining and improving for all: facilitators, mentors and the rest of participants. Sharing experiences and ideas, learning from each other can be a great way to discover more. However, we need to bear in mind that some common problems and challenges might occur during this fun and creative process also. Special psychological exercises have been developed within Chic & Craft in order to reduce the risk of such problems and help to improve several areas.
One of the main things to bear in mind is to try to create a comfortable and warm environment where the group feels safe and all the ideas, thoughts and feelings are respected. Then, you have to test the mood of your group and try to adapt the creative workshop to it, if the group is downcast, implement dynamic exercises, something fun that makes the people feel better. Or if everybody is nervous, implement exercises that calm the group down, thus facilitating the learning process.
In the Chic & Craft guide you will find six sections to improve different areas: leadership, communication, self-confidence, concentration, motivation and team work. Feel free to use those more appropriated for each moment and to adapt them to your concrete needs.
From the technical point of view, you have to have all the tools and materials that you are going to need during the workshop ready to be used, this will make easier for the learners to concentrate in the tasks to be done. The mentors can help you organizing all the required materials the day before, being a great exercise for them to train responsibility and organizational skills. It is very important that you adapt the difficulty of the sessions to the abilities of the people you are working with to avoid frustration and loss of motivation.
We really recommend the implementation of creative workshops to work with people with mental illness, it is a very relaxing therapeutic activity that helps them to train their concentration, memory and social skills.