The following is an activity that was designed during a TA training weekend (Hay, 1999). It is an activity that will energise the group whilst at the same time increasing familiarity with the various forms of time structuring. Note that we do not include psychological games – we chose only to demonstrate positive forms of time structuring. Instead of games, we have added a time structure called ‘supporting’, where the stroking is partway between the level of intensity for activities and intimacy.
The activity is best performed to Cajun music – hence the name! Country and Western music would also work.
Have the group stand in a circle. The following are the movements used to represent each time structure:
Withdrawal: stand with backs to each other, with arms folded – to represent no contact, no stroking occurring.
Ritual: turn to face each, make Namasté (for those not familiar with this form of greeting, you press your palms together as you raise your hands in front of your face, whilst looking towards the person(s) you are greeting).
Pastiming: hold up your palms, facing towards the others, and rotate your hands (an optional extra here is to split your fingers as in the Vulcan greeting in Star Trek!).
Working or Playing (Activity): join by putting right hands into the centre to form a star, then move 8 paces to the right followed by 8 paces to the left (as in country dancing).
Supporting: cross arms and hold hands with those on either side of you, then all lean outwards to show you trust each other, and in this position repeat the movements of 8 steps to the right and 8 steps to the left.
Closeness (intimacy): all lean in a lot, and drop your hands so that you can hold hands with your neighbours.
Withdrawal: to complete the sequence of interaction, return to the position for being alone by stepping back, turning around, hold hands briefly then let go, step out one pace and fold your arms.
We had a lot of fun designing this activity. We hope you too will enjoy it as a demonstration of the different time structures.
Hay, Julie (1999) Cajun Team Meld INTAND Newsletter 7:4 14-15
© 2018 Julie Hay
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