BAM! Boys Advocacy and Mentoring
A Leader’s Guide to Facilitating Strengths-Based Groups for Boys - Helping Boys Make Better Contact by Making Better Contact with Them
Over the past decade, our understanding of the fundamental differences in child development, behavior, and emotional maturity between boys and girls has increased dramatically, and as a result, many gender-specific interventions and support programs have been developed to meet the needs of parents, teachers, and mental health professionals. However, these all take the form of responses designed to minimize an already disruptive behavior pattern. What has been needed is a pro-active program whose goal is to instill positive skills and patterns in 'at-risk' boys, rather than waiting to address problems after they are already visible.
The BAM! Boys Advocacy and Mentoring program fills this need by providing the first guidebook for group facilitators who want to lead preventative boys groups designed to foster communication skills and emotional connections. Based on years of research and refined over the course of countless sessions run by the authors, the program has been field-tested and tailored for use either in the school setting or outside. Over a series of group sessions, participants are encouraged to understand their emotions and interpersonal interactions without losing a sense of 'maleness' as a result of emotional growth and communication with peers about personal issues. The activities are designed to be engaging across age groups, and the individual exercises and program structure can be modified to fit into any existing school- or community-based mentoring system. The guidebook contains all of the information and tools a facilitator needs in order to implement and maintain these boys groups.
Table of Contents
BAM! Orientation. The Challenges Boys Face. The Necessity of Good Contact. The Social Influences: The Impact of Dysfunctional Aspects of Traditional Masculinity on Boys’ Relationships. The Biological Influences: A Different Kind of Contact for Boys. Seeing Boys’ Strengths and Addressing Their Challenges. Five Goals for BAM! Leaders: Making Better Contact with Boys. Five Goals for BAM! Participants: Helping Boys Make Better Contact. A New Experience for Boys: Walking the Talk in BAM! Groups. Making Contact Through Strategic Storytelling. Making Contact Through Physical Challenges. BAM! Example. Week One: Lost in the Woods. Week Two: Alligator Swamp. Week Three: Haunted House. Week Four: Sitting Circle. Week Five: Willow in the Wind. Week Six: Making Lists. Week Seven: Treasure Hunt. Week Eight: Trust Falling. Week Nine: Talking Cards. Week Ten: Found in the Woods. BAM! Instructions. Initiating a BAM! Group. Facilitating a BAM! Group. Session-by-Session Instructions. BAM! Appendix. BAM! Group Evaluation: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods. Additional Activities and Discussion Topics.
Peter Mortola, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and the author of Windowframes: Learning the art of Gestalt play therapy the Oaklander way (Gestalt press/Analytic Press, 2006).
Howard Hiton, LPC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice who specializes in working with boys.
Stephen Grant, LCSW, is a seasoned provider of boys’ groups in elementary and middle schools.
"This important book offers a useful gude for counselors and youth workers undertaking the vital task of mentoring young boys...This inspiring book provides much food for thought. It offers assistance to professionals from a broad range of disciplines and backgrounds desirous of meeting the challenges of working with boys in considered, mindful, and heartful ways." - Jon Blend, British Gestalt Journal