When I ran groups it was often hard to motivate clients to attend. I love the idea of the talking stick. Do you ever use any other props to help with groups?
That is a really good point. I think buddy systems work really well. If you can get people who are already in your group to buddy up with someone who is reticent to attend and can kind of be their partner for the day, that really helps. It also helps not to have any distractions. Why are people not motivated to come? Remember I said one of my pet peeves is televisions? If it is a little too easy for them to be a couch potato, then it may be hard to get them there. One of the things we did at the wellness center, and this may seem a little harsh, but I do believe it was the right therapeutic thing to do, is say, "No one can force you to go into that room and go to the group, but when we are having groups, even though they are in other rooms, the television is off." Find out what is distracting them.
Yes, I use props all the time, which is why I like the talking stick. I think that is part of the OT orientation. Things that people can manipulate and handle. One you may or may not know is called the web of life. You have a ball of yarn and you have people stand in a circle. You hold into the yarn and throw the ball when you ask a question or make introductions. With these throws, you make a spiderweb pattern each time someone throws it to another person. Another example is using an artifact to enhance a group.