Trust your sense of smell

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Why should you do this exercise?

Often persons with disability have low self-esteem.
The aim of the exercise is to increase self-esteem.

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What can be the role of a Peer-Trainer with intellectual disability?

Prepare sheets of paper with figures.
Prepare questions together with the trainer.
Ask / read the questions.
The co-trainer can also perform the task with other participants, but in this case he/she cannot help the trainer to prepare the task.

What is the objective of the exercise?

The aim of this exercise is to encourage a person to express an opinion, not to be afraid to express your thoughts, improve self-esteem, not to be influenced by other people’s stress.

What is the method to be used?

Before the session, the trainer must prepare a sheet of paper on which two shapes are drawn – a triangle and a circle.
A drop of water is dropped on one figure, but participants in the group does not know about it. When participants sit in a circle, the trainer sends a sheet with painted figures in a circle, and each participant carefully smells both shapes. When all participants have sniffed the paper, participants tell what odors they felt. If they are doubtful, they can sniff once again. At the end the group members discuss what everyone felt. The meaning of this part is the fact that both figures have paper odor. Moistured figures smell is a little sharper, but the odor difference is actually very subtle and not always it is easy to feel it. Most people are susceptible to suggestion. Most often participants say what has already been said. Often they are afraid to say about absence of difference between the smells. When everyone tells what he/she has felt, the trainer reveals the “secret.” He explains why it is difficult to smell these odors and distinguish.
The task is discussed:
• What has everyone smelled?
• What thoughts came while sniffing the paper?
• Did I express those thoughts about the smell and etc.?
• Have the participants self-esteem, or did they listen to others‘ opinion?
• Why did they trust themselves? Why did they listen to others?
• Why it is important to trust yourselves.

What are the materials needed?

Sheets of paper with painted figures.
The liquid to perform the task (that will be dropped on one of the figures).

Tips for the trainers/additional information

The water can be dropped on one of the figures; the difference should be subtle; but it is also possible to use some other liquid, for example, tea, light perfume or any other transparent liquid.