By Dan O’Reilly-Rowe, 2009.

Members of production crews have lives outside of the group, but sometimes we act surprised when outside factors affect the way that group members act in the group. Highs & Lows can help bridge the gap between the group and the outside world by opening up a space for participants to talk about what’s going on in their life. This sort of temperature check can be invaluable for a facilitator’s ability to understand the dynamics at play in the group.


  • Open a space for participants to speak about what is going on in their life.




None required


1-3 minutes per participant


  1. One at a time, participants talk about a HIGH and a LOW in their life since they last saw the group.
    • A HIGH is something that the participant felt good about: an accomplishment, a pleasant moment, a piece of media they enjoyed, etc.
    • A LOW is a difficult or challenging moment that the participant experienced.
  2. Facilitators should keep each speaker to a strict time-limit that they have worked out ahead of time by considering the number of participants and the total amount of time available to this activity.
  3. Note that this can be a fairly high-risk activity as participants are asked to reveal personal information about themselves. Revealing a LOW can be particularly fraught with exposing vulnerabilities. Before trying this activity, be sure that your group have developed some degree of trust, are clear on the group’s norms for respectful behaviour, and consider how you would react if something of concern was raised by a participant.

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