Connection Before Content


The use of the classic “Ice Breaker” activity can often backfire, making it more of an “ice-maker” experience for groups;  meaning-a well intentioned activity offered for the purpose of tone setting and participant engagement can have the effect of creating discomfort and provoking anxiety. 

The concept of Connections before Content takes the value of an ice breaker (to laugh, connect, create a sense of anticipation for what’s next) and removes those aspects that can feel awkward, perhaps isolating and most significantly-disconnected from the overall objective of the gathering. This engaging workshop will cover over a dozen simple and effective connection activities that are designed for a broad audience (age, setting and so forth) We will also explore the components of quality connection activities, and participants will leave with a toolkit of activities to use with their groups.

This workshop is participatory. While all participants will determine when and how they participate in the experiential activities, folks should be prepared to be actively involved. Wear comfortable clothing, bring water, sunscreen and other items that will help you be ready to learn and engage in an outdoor setting.

The workshop will be tailored to meet the unique needs of clinicians, case workers and other youth serving professionals offering traditional therapeutic or psychoeducation groups.  Connections Before Content will offer strategies to add a spark of creativity to group therapy to enhance youth engagement and foster trust, teamwork, and connection.

Led By
MA Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Addiction Services, Office of Youth and Young Adult Services & AdCare Educational Institute, Inc.
Event Type
In Person

MetroWest YMCA
280 Old Connecticut Path
Framingham, MA 01701
United States

Resource Topic
Evidenced-based Strategies and Programs