Conclusion

My aim is to get the boys in the group to realize that if they learned to control their own behaviors, then others would not have to control them. Then they would be more likely to accept responsibility for their own behaviors and not blame others for their misfortunes. Provocative, existential questions are nonthreatening and allow boys to elicit some self-awareness in a relaxed setting. If one boy gains an insight and shares it with his peers, it carries more weight than if an adult had said it. If the boys criticize one another, we can process the criticism, for that is the "stuff' that makes groups invaluable.

Thirty minutes is not much time, so the following day I present a new responsibility question from a different angle: "What sacrifice would you be willing to make to gain your immediate freedom?" The first boy said he would give up his drugs, another would give up television, another was willing to give five prior years of his life returning to the age often, another was willing to give up his prideā€”a different existential view than yesterday, indicating perhaps they could exercise some control over change in their lives.

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