These Two Things

Group size:  5 - 25

Purpose:  Explore change process, create group cohesion, increase awareness

Props Needed

  1. Natural items found outdoors

Activity Preparation

None needed

Time needed

  • Directions: 5 min
  • Activity: 40
  • Debrief: 15

Set Up:  none needed

Activity Directions:

  • Instruct participants that this is a silent activity.
  • Each one is to go outside.
  • They are to pick up two things. One will represent their addiction. One will represent their recovery.
  • If a participant is not a person in recovery from a substance use disorder, ask them to think of an experience or situation in which they made a positive change, and pickup something that represents before the change experience and something that represents the after or current change.
  • Give them 10-15 minutes to find their 2 objects.
  • Instruct participants to gather in a circle when they have gathered up their two things.
  • Going around one person at a time, each participant will explain to the group with their two things are and what they each represent.
  • Participants are to then run or walk briskly around the inner circle, high-fiving every participant to receive and give props!


Facilitator script: “Ok everyone we are about to get started. In a moment we are going to go outside and finish group out there. Once we leave the group room this will be a silent activity until we are all circled up. You will have 10 minutes to find 2 objects. One object that represents your addiction and one that represents your recovery. Be as creative as you want to be. Don't just pick up a cigarette but to represent your addiction. While you are looking for objects remember this is a silent activity. Don't share your objects will others until the second part of this activity. Once you have both objects bring them with you and let’s meet at __________________ (pick a meeting spot where you have enough room to circle up and not be disturbed by cars). Any Questions?

Ok let’s go outside and we will meet at the ___________ once you have your objects. 

(Once everyone has their objects form a circle and introduce the next step in the group)

Ok circle up everyone. Please place your objects behind you so you have your hands free. Here is what we are going to do. You will introduce yourself with Hi my name is _______ and I found this (hold hand up) to represent my addiction, I picked this because, and tell us why you picked it. And I picked this (hold other hand up) to represent my recovery, and I picked it because… and tell us why. Then everyone is going to clap like they just heard the most amazing thing (start clapping) everyone start clapping, and you’re going to do this (Run around the circle and give everyone a high 5) Ok any questions?


  • What were your feelings when explaining the different two things?
  • Do we simply toss away the one thing identified as the before thing? Why is it important to remember both?
  • What does it mean if we chose to avoid one over the other thing?
  • How did it feel to run around and receive props for your new change?
  • What did you notice about yourself when instructed to go around and get your props? If you were hesitant, what might that have been about? What was it like when you did it anyway?


Recovery/Wellness Metaphor: It is powerful to think about our addiction and recovery using the other half of our brain. Entering into the world of metaphor we are able to gain a different vantage point and thus arrive at a deeper inner knowing.

Role of Facilitator: Keep group on task and ensure we are laughing together rather than at anyone.

Variations: if participants cannot venture outside feel free to bring in prop’s or pictures that represent lots of objects one might find outside and you can disperse them around the room.

These two things can represent:

  • One represents relapse and one recovery
  • Career change. Life change.
  • Geographic change / relocating to a new town or state