Engaging Young People – Working with Individuals

Engaging Young People – Working with Individuals

Engaging Young People – Working with Individuals

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Subscribe to this site, for free, and I will be able to let you know more about the work I will be doing, the resources I’m developing, and most importantly to answer the often asked question “how do I engage with young people?

Videos to help you engage with young people.

This series of videos is a subset of the Engaging Young People – 30 videos course, aimed specifically for those working with Individuals to give you activities you can use to engage with young people, connect with them and build a relationship They are conversational and interactive activities so that, together, you can then begin to discuss matters that are important to your young person.

I invite you to take a look at these strategies, and to share your experiences either with other members of this site or just with me if you prefer, and let me know if the videos and the activities are helpful to you. Go well!

View Engaging Young People – All 30 Videos


  1. This is an exercise in the development of curiosity, empathy and compassion. An extremely versatile activity you can use in a classroom, a counselling room or walking down the street. It invites a young person to wonder about ‘the passing parade’ of people; who they are as people, where they might have come from, and the circumstances of their life.
  2. An activity that encourages a young person to think about the tricky balance of being true to their feelings and embracing these, while being mindful of what they are projecting to the world around them, and the impact this will have on how the world will respond to them. A physical activity, both playful and serious.
  3. 'A week in words' offers a young person a way of reviewing their week by choosing from a list, a number of words that best describes that week, and then adding a few more of their own. The activity opens a door onto a discussion about what a person can control, what they can't and what they want to do with those things they can.
  4. This activity asks a young person to explore their hopes and dreams…a ‘hope’ being a sort of : ‘Gee, I hope this happens…’ and a ‘dream’ having a bit more energy to it: ‘OMG! Wouldn't it be amazing if…!’ With both ideas in mind, the activity asks a young person how they might pursue each, and look at just what they might be able to do to make each become a reality...and what help they might need along the way.
  5. This activity, ‘Life is…’, asks a young person to respond to four questions/statements about four elements essential to wellbeing: belonging and connection, sense of self, relationships and a sense of being in control. The activity opens the door to a discussion as to the presence or otherwise, of these elements in the life of a young person, and how they might develop and strengthen.
  6. ‘Inside-outside’ looks at the internal and external resources that a young person has available to them to manage the hardships of life; their own talents, qualities and skills; plus what their world around them has to offer, from human connection, to football to music... ‘Symbols’, the next video in 30 x 30 x 30, offers a development of this activity in a more complex and intimate manner.
  7. ‘Symbols’ is a powerful activity, which, while embracing the ideas offered in the previous video ‘Inside-outside’ of asking a young person to identify their internal and external resources to manage hardship; presents a way of exploring, with a young person, the impact and place of ‘struggle’ in their life. The activity makes use of the immediate environment you find yourself in with a young person, and asks them to choose an object from around them to symbolise that struggle; and explores, at some depth, their feelings about their struggle and its place in their life.
  8. An activity of imagination. As playful or as serious as you would like it to be. 'Snippets' are snatches of conversation overheard while jogging. 'How would you finish this sentence?' 'What do you think is on the mind of the person speaking?' 'If it was you, what would you be thinking?'
  9. Imagine overhearing a conversation about...er...you! What would you hope to hear? And if it was someone you had just met, what sort of impression would you hope you made? And if you were overhearing someone who knows you and likes you, talk about you...what would you hope to hear?
  10. 'Frames' shows footage of a real - life conversation with Dylan; and demonstrates how a Frame, which contains and focusses a conversation, can, if used creatively and carefully, result in a pretty interesting and worthwhile interaction. This video is 6.30 minutes long so find a time when you can fully appreciate how terrific Dylan is, grab a cuppa, and put your feet up.
  11. 'Four questions' is by far the longest video I have posted, but it seemed to need it, so I hope it works for you. It's an activity about deeper engagement. Who you ask the questions of, when and how all matter. With four important questions in mind, the video and the activity explore the importance and power of 'containing' a conversation in ways that can intensify and concentrate a conversation. All a bit serious, and all quite important.
  12. This final video of the 30, explores an idea or an approach...which asks you to make a decision as to how you might start to help a young person engage with some sensitive aspect of themself or their life. The video explores the idea of going directly and straightforwardly to that delicate area...or alternatively, start by exploring a person's external world; that is, what is happening in their life around them; and secondly by exploring their internal world, their thoughts and feelings at this moment in life. This video also includes footage of a conversation with Anna, a wonderful young woman who shows the value, for her, of a straightforward direct approach.

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