Programs that utilize a variety of techniques including information sharing, role playing, discussion and feedback to help participants more effectively stand up for their rights, confront situations, take responsibility for their actions, avoid being taken advantage of by others, and act in their own best interests while respecting the rights of others. Sessions may include information about the effective use of body language, the role of eye contact and different communication styles.
Programs that help participants develop or refine their communication skills, usually by focusing on communication in a particular context, e.g., helping parents communicate with their children, helping professionals communicate with their clients and so forth. Training may emphasize active listening skills, problem-solving skills, conflict resolution techniques, body language, empathy, sensitivity to the values and/or cultural background of others, genuineness and other facets of the communication process.
Programs that provide training for school children and others which teaches them techniques for resolving disagreements before they escalate to violence.
Programs that offer workshops, discussion groups and other types of training which focus on the knowledge and interpersonal skills that participants may need in order to work and live comfortably and effectively with people, for example, who have different cultural or religious backgrounds or sexual orientations, or who live with disabilities or represent a different age group. Cultural awareness training typically helps participants clarify their own values and attitudes and understand how these condition their expectations of and reactions to others. The training may also include material that addresses the similarities and differences between two (or more) specific cultures and helps participants understand the perspectives, customs, history, use of language and other aspects of the other culture in order to help prevent cultural differences from becoming barriers to communication, interaction and appreciation.
Organizations or programs which focus on the topic of death and/or the process of dying and which may provide information about death and dying from different historical, philosophical, spiritual, religious, medical or mental health perspectives through classes, workshops, speakers, printed materials, or other modalities which may assist interested people to develop their own way of viewing and dealing with these experiences.
Programs that offer workshops, discussion groups, activities and other types of training that sensitize participants to people with disabilities or others with visible differences such as scarring that set them apart from their peers, help them experience what it is like to have a disability, and share techniques for positive communication and interaction with people who have disabilities.
Programs that offer educational workshops that cover a range of family-living issues and help participants develop the knowledge and skills they will need to better handle life transitions and crises, improve overall self-esteem, promote growth, strengthen coping mechanisms and avert situations that can lead to family dysfunction. Topics may include parenting and step parenting skills, human growth and development over a life span, the physiological and psychological aspects of human sexuality; communication skills, couple and family relations, stress management, intergenerational issues, elder care, family and community relations, family and work relations, the impact of money and time management on daily family life, personal development, self-discovery and self-motivation. Family life education programs are offered by a wide variety of organizations including social and community service agencies, hospitals, schools and after-school programs, employee assistance programs or wellness programs in business organizations, learning centres and religious institutions.
Programs that provide opportunities for individuals of all ages to develop their leadership and management skills through participation in activities which require planning a workscope, organizing ways to achieve planned objectives, motivating members to complete tasks they have agreed to perform and evaluating the group's progress; or through training which addresses these skills.
Programs that offer the services of a "life coach" who helps people articulate their dreams, clarify their mission in life, identify specific goals, develop concrete action plans, take advantage of feedback and support and move beyond barriers and self-sabotage. Life coaching differs from psychotherapy in that it is not designed to treat diagnosable mental disorders such as depression, anxiety or substance abuse, but rather draws on people's strengths and inner resources to create a life of fulfillment, accomplishment and balance. It is usually offered over the telephone with weekly appointments, but face-to-face, email and instant message sessions may also be available.
Programs that offer training which focuses on the knowledge and skills an individual may need to live independently or make a successful transition to independent living. Participants may include runaway youth who are living on their own, youth who because of age can no longer be maintained in foster care, new widows, victims of domestic abuse, people who have previously been homeless, and others who have lived in an environment in which decision making and responsibilities of daily living have been handled by another as well as people currently living independently who want to be more effective. Training may address job search and retention, money management, insurance, taxes, rental agreements, vehicle purchase, nutrition, home management, health care, legal emancipation for teens and other similar topics.
Programs that teach participants competencies that improve their ability to access, enjoy, interpret, analyze, evaluate and produce messages in a wide variety and combination of print, visual and digital formats. Media literacy programs encourage people to develop a critical understanding of the way media messages are constructed; recognize the role of the audience in processing messages and creating meaning from them; develop an awareness of the political, social, cultural and educational role of the mass media in society including knowledge of how media organizations operate; and through these understandings, acquire the ability to assess their own relationship to the media and assign value, worth and meaning to media use and the media messages they encounter. The principles and practices of media literacy education are applicable to all media — from television to T-shirts, from billboards to the Internet.
Programs that explore the meaning of contemporary relationships; the attitudes, feelings and interpersonal behaviours that can facilitate or hinder the development of intimate relationships; and strategies for letting go of past relationships, leaving present relationships that cannot work, enhancing current relationships that have potential for success, and entering into new relationships that are personally satisfying. Workshops may focus on evaluating past relationships, developing the confidence to approach potential partners and initiate new relationships, learning to love and maintain commitments, developing sexual intimacy, problem solving and communication in relationships and other similar topics.
Programs that offer workshops, discussion groups and other types of training which focus on helping participants develop a sense of self-worth and importance as a means of strengthening their character, supporting their ability to resist peer pressure and helping them to act more responsibly toward others.
Programs that provide training in social interaction skills for young children, youth and/or adults with the objective of helping them overcome shyness or aggressiveness, engage in constructive play or other group activities, develop positive peer relationships and feel comfortable in both business and social situations. Sessions may focus on politeness, cooperation, negotiation, problem solving, taking turns, sharing, winning and losing, sportsmanship, body language, eye contact, using appropriate language, telephone manners, peer situations, consequences of actions and initiating, conducting and concluding conversations.
Programs that utilize a variety of techniques including demonstration, exercise and discussion to help participants increase their understanding of the conditions and habits that lead to stress, to learn more about the effects of stress on the body, to identify the stressors in their own lives, and to develop better ways of reducing or managing stress in their personal relationships and work environment. The program may include instruction in and practice of physical exercises, relaxation techniques and other mechanisms for coping with stress.
Programs that sponsor group activities, games and/or guided adventures (such as ropes courses) which are designed to build trust, hone problem-solving and decision-making skills, develop respect for others, enhance self-esteem and improve the participant's ability to work cooperatively in a group.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.