To start our tree we yarn about our ways of staying strong. We always write down all of our ideas (in small groups, on scrap paper first). Then they go onto the whiteboard (or flipchart) to keep everyone’s words so we can put them on our group tree and then pick the ones we want for our own Personal Trees. The list helps us fix up our spelling too!

We think about:
• What keeps us going when we feel down/helps lift us up when times are hard?
• What activities make us feel good about ourselves, make us feel stronger, calm us down and/or keep us going?
• What places do we go to or think about that make us feel stronger?
• Are there any people we feel strong with, who help to keep us strong?
• Who are the people in our past who were strong for us? Who showed us how to be strong?
• Is there anything we say to ourselves that lifts us off the bottom, that gets us thinking more positively?

After the words have been reported back and put onto the Group Tree and Personal Trees, it’s time to tell stories. This yarning time makes the experience more powerful. After one person has been interviewed, others may tell each other a story.


Yarning time about ‘roots’: Questions to expand the stories.

Each week we will tell stories from our tree. We will ask some questions. We start with the whole group.
Here are some examples of possible questions. We would rarely, if ever, ask this many!
• Where/how did you learn this way of keeping strong?
• When is earliest/first time you can remember …
• If it’s going to, or thinking about a place, where is it?
• Are there family connections to this place?
• What is it about that place/person/activity/thinking that makes you feel stronger?
• Do you have a picture in your head? Is there anything you smell/hear/feel that helps to make these good memories stronger?
• Do the people who showed you, or took you to that place, know how important this has become for you?
• If they heard this, how do you think they would feel to know that you were still so connected to it? What would their faces tell you?

‘Home Yarning’ for Tree Roots

Every week we will go home and yarn with family about what we have been doing here. Together, think about what you want for your family. Then you can bring their ideas back to the group.
• Yarn to your family about your stories and their stories.
• What makes them feel stronger? What keeps them going? Where or how did they learn this?
(In one group some members asked for ‘home yarning cards’ as a reminder)