ART – Agression Replacement Training GAMES (Iceland)
Games to create a good atmosphere and have fun.
These games are mainly to ease upp the tension in the group and do something just for fun. Some of these games coincidentally train mutiple skills as for instance attention and reflexes, as well as just beeing for fun.
„the winking game“ , „the chair game“  „the fruitbasket“ and „finding the leader“ and more....
ART – Agression Replacement Training in Víkurskóli
Aggression replacement training (ART) is a cognitive behvioral intervention for reduction of aggressive and violent behaviour, originally focused on adolescents. Today it is also used in schools teaching younger students as well as teenagers. In our school ,as in many other schoools in iceland , it is used as a preventive program to enhance the social and moral skills of the students with the goaI to reduce bullying and other communication problems.
It is a multimodal program that has three components; social skills, anger control training and moral reasoning.
In iceland ART it usually taught in a 12 week program three times a week, or as in our school has it´s own place in the schedule with one lesson every week throughout the year.
Social skills:
Many of the conflicts and social difficulties that students encounter in their daily school – life are due to a lack in their social skills, giving rise to misunderstandings and confilcts.
The ART intervention focuses on the following social skills that are particular to reducing aggressive behavior:
Making a complaint
Understanding the feelings of others
Dealing with someone else's anger
Getting ready for a difficult conversation
Keeping out of fights
Dealing with group pressure
Dealing with an accusation
Helping Others
Expressing affection to others
Responding to failure
These social skills are broken down into various steps (both thinking and action steps). The facilitator discusses the day's skill, bringing out relevant examples. Then the facilitator demonstrates a situation to give the youth a picture of how to perform the skill. The youth are asked to point out each of the steps. Then each of the youths is asked to use a relevant situation that they have recently had using the skill. Again, the other youths go through and discuss each of the steps each time.
Anger control training:
Anger control training is the affective component of ART. This moves from the teaching of social skills, to losing anti-social skills and replacing them with pro-social skills. The anger control training uses the anger control chain. This is a process taught to the youth to deal with situations that cause them to get angry.
The anger control chain is as follows:
Triggers (external and internal)—The situation that starts the slide into anger and the self talk that perpetuates it
Cues—physical signs of becoming angry
Anger reducers—three (deep breathing, counting backwards, and pleasant imagery) to help reduce or take our mind off of the situation
Reminders—short positive statements that we say to ourselves to further reduce the angry impulses
Thinking ahead—Identifying the consequences of our behaviors
Social Skill—Implementing a pro-social skill into the situation
Evaluation—Looking back over the use of the anger control chain and evaluating how was implemented
Moral reasoning:
This part of the ART training tends to be the most popular with teenagers.
Is the cognitive component of ART. This component provides adolescents opportunities to take other perspectives other than their own thereby learning to view their world in a more fair and equitable way. Group Facilitators also identify four thinking errors to facilitate perspective taking and remediate moral developmental delay. The thinking errors that are identified are:
Self-centered thinking—"it's all about me"
Assuming the worst—"it would happen anyways" or "they would do it to me"
Blaming others—"it's their fault"
Mislabeling / minimizing—"it's not stealing, I'm only borrowing it..." or "everybody else does it"
The activities undertaken in theese lessons vary, but they include for instance short stories describing some moral dilemma to which the students need to find a solution and back it up with arguments.
Another activity involves cards with statements written on them to which the students have to give argument whether they agree or not. This often give rise to very fruitful and engaging discussions in the group.
Other activities that are used in the ART training as icebrakers and to improve group dynamics are different kinds of ART – games.
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