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Taking the Escalator 

Substance Use Therapy Tools

Harm Reduction

12 Step Alternatives      Addiction and Substance Use Resource

      Non 12 Step Motivational Harm Reduction Tools for Substance Use & Mental Health

Taking the Escalator 


This page contains regular updates with brief group therapy modules, discussion points, icebreakers, . Unlike the  Group Activities by Topic page, the materials here are for shorter discussions, warm- ups and close outs as part of longer group sessions, as well as occasional articles and other resources from around the web

Past Taking the Escalator Forum Compilations:

Brief Group Module and Icebreaker Collection 1 - October 2020 through March 2021

Brief Group Module and Icebreaker Collection 2 - April through June 2021

Brief Group Module and Icebreaker Collection 3 - July through September 2021

NEWBrief Group Module and Icebreaker Collection 4 - October through December 2021

FORUM ENTRIES - (Most recent/newest on top)

1/17/22 - Icebreaker - "Who Do You Think I Am?

Warning - This may be difficult for a newer group as there needs to be some degree of trust and comfort

Directions - Select a brief scenario and read it to the group. Then ask the group to (honestly but kindly) share how they feel others would respond to this scenario. Explain to the group that mean or provocative answers should not be shared. Keep it light and fun

Example - The chosen scenario is: 

  • "Kim Kardashian shows up in this group"

Examples of group responses -

  • "I think Johnny would try to get her number"
  • "Susan would probably go for a selfie with her"
  • "Lawrence would probably just ignore her and act like she wasn't there

Now try it as a group. You can come up with your own scenarios but here are a few for ideas

  • A famous person (select who) joins the group
  • You come to group and other people are there talking but no counselor shows up
  • You smell a really putrid scent in the room with the group but don't know where it came from
  • A limo driver shows up with the most beautiful car you ever saw and just says "Get in, let's go" but doesn't give any other information

1/12/22 - Article "100 Ways to Slightly Improve Your Life Without Really Trying"

This interesting list of simple but creative and helpful ideas for self improvement has something for everyone. For a brief group discussion, have group members look through the list for a few minutes and share a few ideas that stuck out to them 


1/7/22 - Brief Discussion Module: "Adulting"

"Adulting" is an informal term to describe behavior that is seen as responsible and grown-up, if mundane and unpleasant—like bills and chores.

People often say amusing thoughts about adulting (or behaving like an adult). Read and discuss your thoughts about a few examples found publicly on Twitter:

  • "The older I get the more I understand why my mom was always saying "I'm going to lay down"

  • "Sorry I gotta be up early for work" is the adult equivalent of "my mom said no"

  • Getting older involves waking up every day wondering if you're coming down with a cold or if this is just how you wake up now

  • Adulthood is making an involuntary grunt when you do anything that involves movement

  • When you're a little kid, all adults seem they they are the same age and when you are an adult, all little kids seem like they're the same age

  • Age 17: Sneaking out of a house to go to a party - Age 37: Sneak out of a party to go home


What are some of your personal thoughts about life as an adult? (Or if you are not an adult what do you think that adulthood may be like?)

What do you wish they would have taught you about "adulting" when you were still young enough to be prepared for it?

In all seriousness, how are you personally improving when it comes to accepting and completing adult goals and responsibilities?

1/2/22 - Icebreaker "Good Old Days or Nowadays"

This a simple but interesting icebreaker discussion for groups. Simply bring up various topics and allow the group to select which version of this topic they like better, NOWADAYS (today's version of the topic) or GOOD OLD DAYS (the version of the topic from the past)

Here are a few topics to get started:

Music (Do you like the music of today better or the music of the past?)





Etc...Allow the group to choose some more and continue...