Motivation, Inspiration and Self (MIS) workshops
The ‘Motivation, Inspiration and Self’ (MIS) workshop series was developed in December 2017 by Junior Atkins (Recovery Community Link Worker) from The Harbour Recovery Service and Kelly Charge (Trainee Clinical Psychologist) from the Lambeth Drug and Alcohol Service for the clients of Lambeth addictions services.
The idea began through partnership working with The Black Prince Trust (BPT) in Kennington and ‘Fight 4 Change’, a local sports for development charity who provide sports programmes to promote individual wellbeing and social change within the local community. The BPT began offering clients of Lambeth addictions services free memberships to their gym. However, despite clients showing huge interest, it was fed back that many didn’t feel confident enough to go and walk through the gym doors. This highlighted a need to ‘bridge the gap’, and to support our clients to feel more comfortable with integrating back into their community and accessing available resources.
We worked alongside the BPT to develop a series of four therapeutic workshops, which are delivered at The BPT sports centre itself on a weekly basis. The 90-minute workshops are then followed by a one-hour boxing session with a professional coach from ‘Fight 4 Change’, which clients are encouraged to attend alongside the facilitators.
The workshops focus on supporting our clients to build motivation, confidence and self-esteem; improving their overall psychological wellbeing within a community context by promoting integration of both physical and mental health. We wanted to support our clients to feel more able to engage in resources available at the BPT, and to re-connect with their local community as part of their recovery journeys.
The four workshops use a combination of reflective discussions, and individual and group-based exercises, to explore the following:
Workshop 1: Client’s goals, barriers to achieving goals, what we understand by self-esteem & factors that influence how we feel about ourselves
Workshop 2: Client’s strengths and positive attributes, the impact of critical self-talk & development of a more compassionate voice
Workshop 3: Client’s values and value-based action
Workshop 4: Goal-setting and looking ahead to the future
At the end of the four weeks, clients are presented with certificates to acknowledge their hard work and commitment, and all are given free membership to the BPT sports association, where they can access a personal training session 3 times a week as well as use of the gym Mondays-Fridays!
After the first series, Steve McComb (client of Lambeth drug and alcohol services) expressed an interest in helping out with the workshops, and was subsequently invited to train as a co-facilitator. Steve is now doing a fantastic job of co-facilitating the workshops alongside Junior, and hopes to continue further developing the idea of community-based recovery support within addictions services in the future.
Feedback from clients:
“It has given me a lot more confidence!”
“I feel hopeful for the future!”
“An enjoyable, inspiring and motivating course.”
“It has made me feel that I can come to the gym without feeling like I shouldn’t be here!”
“The best features are having fun! It has made me feel more comfortable and confident about myself and I feel uplifted!”
“The small group size and location was really nice as we got to know each other really well. And the activities were really fun!”
“I always leave feeling upbeat. I came in this morning very upset.”
“The staff members joining in with the gym was a really big thing for me… there was something really powerful about that connection… it made me feel equal.”
“Having the group out in the community and not in the drug services – The Princes Trust couldn’t be a better place. We were mixing with a diverse range of people… people who are nothing to do with services and who we wouldn’t normally mix with…”
“After the first week I couldn’t stop smiling and phoning people to say “Guess what! I’ve been boxing!”
“Doing this course has been huge for me… My inner critical crowd started to loose supporters, and my cheerleader had started to get a bit bigger… To be asked to co-facilitate and to be able to give back to my peers is so rewarding, it’s great.” (Steve McComb, MIS co-facilitator)