John Suler's Teaching Clinical Psychology

The "Empty Your Pockets" Exercise

empty your pockets




This exercise is simple, but very effective as a way for students to get to know each other as well as learn about the personal meaning of the things we carry with us everyday.

Break the class down into small groups. The students take turns emptying their pockets (or pocketbooks, backpacks, etc.) to show their group what they are carrying with them.

No one is required to show anything that they would prefer NOT to show.

The person and the group then discusses what the objects say about the person. Does it reveal something about one's personality and lifestyle? Is there any one object that stands out as a reflection of some aspect of that person?

Sometimes what is MISSING also says something about the person.

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