RCCS Tidbit Of The Month: Past Friends

In meeting with and listening to staff, clients, and members, we hear that many individuals at ؼ programs seem to be alone in life. Making and building strong, supportive connections takes time. Past hurts and trauma can make it hard for clients and members to engage and trust others. Individuals need to re-learn skills and practice. In the video to the right, one Telecare HOMES member illustrates the power of connection through their story.

As clients and members begin taking those first steps and risks, we need to be aware of our judgment. Frequently, we hear staff using language like “healthy” or “unhealthy” relationships. Rather than judging and labeling individuals’ choices about relationships, we can instead listen with curiosity and attempt to understand what individuals are seeking in their relationships with others. We should seek to find a balance between offering opinions and at the same time, teaching choice-making skills.

Program staff are encouraged to partner with clients and members and use the example questions below:

  • Encourage clients and members to think back on past friendships that they enjoyed. Help them identify one to three friends from the past. Facilitate the following questions:

    • Who were your good friends in the past?

    • Where did you meet them?

    • What makes this friendship important to you?

    • What were the qualities that you liked in these friends?

    • Do you know anyone now that has similar qualities?

Finally, think of some possible next steps. Maybe you want to try and reconnect with a past friend. Maybe you want to strengthen your friendship with the people you know now that have important qualities.

More Learning:

Connecting with others can mean many things. It can mean making and keeping friends, reconnecting with friends or family — it can also mean connecting with a new group of people or a community (church, spiritual, hobby, work, etc.). Connections with others can also include having a pet or access to animals that bring you joy.