The goal of the exercise is to learn more about that feeling of frustration and helplessness that often results in “wailing” and that may deal the operator and the youth we work with.

The exercise is not a technique, but it is an experience, which tells us something about the reassurance question that there is in “wailing” and in the possibility to go forward on its circular and closed structure.

The facilitator divides the group in many couples, one person of the couple has to find something in his everyday life that she/he does not like and want to complain, nothing too serious (the facilitator can do as an example the traffic to get to work or the co-worker that always leaves the window open etc.). It is important to specify that it is not useful to bring too painful or serious problems. At this point in all couples there is a person  that complains while the other actively listen, without giving solutions at list only few questions to better understand and meanwhile observe the  aspects of verbal communication (words and common saying), not verbal (posture, gestures) and para-verbal (voice tone, rhythm, speech rate). After the first three, four minutes the wailing is interrupt. The facilitator asks to those who were complaining to identify the body part where they feel that the lament resides (often people identify the chest or throat but sometimes also belly or the legs etc.). Now the facilitator will ask to repeat exactly the same lament on the same theme, but this time asking the person who complains to put a hand on the precise part of the body where he/she had identified the lament. At this point, the observer observes the person complain again, trying to identify in what the communication is changed from the point of view of the voice tone, words, etc. of the non-verbal.

In debriefing it will be asked to observers what they saw different between the first and second experience and especially to those who complained how it changed their perception after putting his/her hand on the “painful part.” In many cases the intensity of the complaint will decrease, the forms of communication will relax and some may even see solutions to his/her problem or see the comic aspect. The experience can also be repeated by asking couples to swap the parts if the participants want.

30 to 45 minutes debriefing included at no. of participants and the choice whether or not to make all the experience.
Listening and containment of the emotion of helplessness