The Power of Perception

(and Positive Ball)

Treatment Focus: Reality Orientation

Group Size: 1+Equipment: Basic


45-60 minutes



– White Board
– Beach Ball
– Markers
– Optical Illusion Pictures


Treatment Objectives

  1. Learn how our perception affects how we feel, think, and behave

  2. Learn helpful coping skills that can be used to test our perceptions

  3. Learn how easily our perceptions can be alerted

Intervention Description

  1. Prepare “Positive Ball” prior to group. Write questions or tasks on the ball that require a person to think of something positive.
    -What is something that you are looking forward to?
    -What is something positive that has happened in your life recently?      -Pick someone in the room and give them a genuine compliment            -How are you going to help others today?                                                      -Free choice

  2. Prepare whiteboard for group

  3. Greet people and take attendance

  4. Introduce the group and goals for the group

  5. Ask everyone in the group to give their mood a rating between 1-10 (10 being the best and 1 being the worst that they have felt)

  6. Introduce the Positive Ball as a tool to demonstrate how a mood can be altered simply by introducing a new thought.

  7. Ask the group if they believe if perception is, or is not, reality to spark discussion.

  8. Toss the Positive Ball to a random person in the group and ask them to read aloud the question or statement that they landed on. Have them then answer the question or complete the task on the ball.

  9. Debrief the group about how their mood was altered due to the thoughts that they had going on in their head when answering the questions. Ask them if their perception was altered.

  10. Educate group about brain plasticity and how our brain at a neurological level works in 3s. (feeling, thought, action)

  11. Introduce the group to optical illusions and how our perception affects what we see and believe.

  12. Show each individual in the group an optical illusion picture.  (Optical Illusions Handout)  Ask each group member to describe what they see. Note that in each group you will get a variety of answers.

  13. Ask group why they all saw something different if they were looking at the same picture.

  14. Point out how their perceptions changed once they were shown a different way of looking at the picture. Relate this experience to getting help at the hospital and how having someone else’s perspective can help them with altering their false or negative perceptions.

  15. Demonstrate this principle again with other optical illusions. Each time point out something new about how perceptions were altered.
    – Past experiences
    – Other people’s ideas
    – Mood

  16. Ask group to come up with solutions to help manage false and negative perceptions based on these discoveries.

  17. Debrief group about how perceptions can be altered and how they can better manage their beliefs


Intervention submitted by Nathan Lamaster, CTRS

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