Taking the Escalator
Harm Reduction & Motivational Tools
for Overcoming Opioids, Heroin & Other Drugs
Non 12 Step Motivational Tools for Substance Use & Mental Health

    Free Addiction Resources  

Taking the Escalator Toolsharing Database

(Classic Taking the Escalator Format - Click here to view alphabetically)

 

Subscribe to Taking the Escalator

Just add your name and email below

and you will receive Taking the Escalator site updates

including notifications of new group therapy materials

Thank you for contacting us. We will get back to you as soon as possible
Oops. An error occurred.
Click here to try again.

If some time has gone by and you are still not getting  Escalator updates, then you may have made an error when submittting your email - Just resubmit it again

(New group materials are introduced regularly through the blog)

 

Help Needed! - Click here to see how you can help Taking the Escalator expand and grow!

Escalator Assessment and Sceening Tools

 


Escalator Chapters 1 - 4: Essential Background Information

 
ABOUT Taking the Escalator
 



Escalator First Floor: Finding Your Way through the Escalator

 
Helpers - Identifying who is out there to help you with the change process

Assessing Your Change Initiative - Getting started learning about insight, internal motivation and external motivation

 

 


Escalator Second Floor: Acknowledge and Reinforce Strengths

BUILDING UP EXISTING INSIGHT

Simple Insight Inventory - Strengthening existing insight to build motivation

Simple Insight Inventory II - (External/Support) - Working on external motivators and supports
The Insight GameWho knows the group?

Pick a Card  - A variety of questions for insightful discussion

Accept-Cope-Adapt - An approach for dealing with life struggles

READ - Unfollowing the Nonsense - A brief discussion on how media can influence perception

Why am I Here? - Getting honest about the real reasons for coming to treatment

INTERNAL MOTIVATION - Increasing existing motivation further

Dissecting the Heart - Enhanced internal motivation building

Outside In - Building yourself up on the inside by developing a solid plan

EXTERNAL MOTIVATION - Strengthening existing supports and outside motivators

External Motivation - Looking at what pushes us to change and ways to increase support
Support Report  - Assessing and maximizing exisiting potential support system

Healthy Families - Looking at positive family qualities

Family Match Game - An icebreaker discussion for multii-family therapy group

 


Escalator Third Floor: Enhancing Areas of Need

Enhancing Insight From the Ground Up-

Check In - A basic tool for checking in where you are today
Taking a Trip to the Other Side - Again exploring insight and motivation building from new perspectives
Change Analysis - Examining the actual, the real and the ideal
Point of View Adjustment - Looking at other viewpoints to gain awareness
Shielding - Looking at how we may try to protect ourselves from incomfortable realities
A Journey Through Change - Looking at change from various perspectives

Enhancing Internal Motivation - Stoking the flames of motivation

Flammable Areas - Early stage insight and motivation building
Decreasing the Negative & Increasing the Positive - (Love the Good, Hate the Bad)

Enhancing External Motivation and Support - Getting started with building a serviceable support system

Goal Setting - Using goals to build motivation
Support Zones & Interpersonal Boundaries - Stepping outside of your comfort zone to build support

The Pendulum - Examining Common Family Issues - Examining some common family challenges

 



Escalator Fourth Floor: Overcoming Obstacles

Or READ - The Subterfuge Exclusion - (Similiar to Circumventing Excuses in different format)

Obstacle Course - (Start Here) - This initial activity helps you identify which obstacles to work on below:

Strengths and Weaknesses Examining strengths we have and weaknesses we need to work on in the change process

 



Escalator Fifth Floor: Global Challenges

For Counselors - READ: What are Coexisting Issues?

Associations - Honestly considering how your choice of associations affect you

Coping with Cravings - An essential list of tools for understanding and managing cravings and urges
Decision-Making and Ethics - Examining what is behind making the right choices

Ethical Decision-Making 2 - Using insight and ethics to make tough choices

Responsibility Road - Looking at the critical concept of increasing responsibility

 Making the Right Choice - Another look at making decisions starting from good solutions

Powerlessness and Willpower - Looking beyond powerlessness to examine where we can build willpower

Managing the Mind:

Thoughts and Feelings - Gaining an improved understanding how our thoughts and feelings affect us

Dealing with Feelings  -  Coping with feelings from three viewpoints

READ: Please Dont Feed the Monster - An illustration about negative thoughts and feelings

The IDEA Technique - A tool for coping with challenging thoughts and feelings
Guilt and Shame - Understanding and learning to cope with these challenging feelings

Maintaining a Balanced Ego - Looking at a balanced view of self

The Truth about Self Esteem - An in depth look at Self Esteem from a realistic perspective

Self Esteem II  - More self esteem, continued...

Insecurity - Everyone has them, is the group ready to share them? 

READ: Emotional Self-Prevention - Looking at sensitive areas

 
Coexisting Mental Heath Issues - A checklist for starting to look at mental health

Anger Discussion Sentence Completion - Simple questions for opening up discussion on anger

Alcohol and Depression Quiz - A very basic quiz focused on opening up a basic discussion on this topic
Coping with Stress - A comprehensive list of effective coping skills 

Use Your Brain and Not Your Pain - Another simple but effective strategy for coping with challenging emotions

 

Relationships

Readjusting Your Relationship Radar  - Adjusting the way you choose relationships
The Ideal Partner - Looking at what you want out of relationships

"I Feel Like No One Understands" - Exploring empathy to help build interpersonal relationships

Guilt and Relationships - Coping with the challenges of guilt in relationships

Rules of "Fighting Fairly" - Some basic rules for conflict resolution in relationships

 


Escalator Sixth Floor: Managing and Avoiding Setbacks

Getting Over the Hump  - An activity for those who have been at this a long time

The Setback-Motivation Guide - Start here to determine what areas you need to work on below:

Weekend Plan - A basic planning tool for surviving weekends

Holiday Survival Plan - Planning ahead to get through any holiday without setbacks or relapse - 

 


Escalator Seventh Floor: Supplemental Suggestions and Considerations

Spirituality - Gaining a basic understanding of spirituality regardless of how or what you believe
Coping with Death and Dying - A simple outline for discussing coping with a recent loss without abusing substances
 

Values, Honesty and Integrity

FOR COUNSELORS READ: Engagement Tool - Values and Values and CBT

Lifeboat Activity - Lifeboat exercises are nothing new but this one has had good success

 

Personality Issues and Manipulation

 

Harm Reduction Specific  - 

(The Escalator method is a harm reduction approach overall however the following info specifically addresses harm reduction issues and topics)

 

Adolescent/Young Adult Specific Worksheets and Information

Adolescent Substance Use  - A basic educational outline for those working with adolescents and parents

ADOLESCENTS:  RISK FACTORS  - Exploring risk factors for substance use issues with young people

 
Smoking Cessation Specific Worksheets:
 

Icebreakers and Group Cohesion Building

(These are less about education and more about building up the group in a positive manner which can be equally important)

Group Glue - This one has a little bit of education because it explains the power and value of group cohesion

Social Media Icebreaker - Exercise for self expression based on social media

Grading the Group Interactive group report card

Grab Bag - A great list of interesting, questions and other situations to get people talking

Giving Activities - There is more happiness in giving than receiving

Group Member Fill In the Blank  - A great exercise to have fun and make group interactive

Slips of Paper - A quick and easy icebreaker that gets a group talking with no prep time
Unique - Discussing what you would and wouldnt do

Care or Don't Care Icebreaker - Another basic tool for starting group discussion

Majority - Interactive exercise, better for an established group than a new one

Choose or Lose Icebreaker   - Some basic multiple choice questions for opening up discussion 

Pointless Pursuits - (Warning: only try this if you and the group members have established a degree of comfort with one another)

 
Taking the Escalator

 
 
Additional Submissions by Taking the Escalator


Cross Addiction - Education and exercise on substituting addictive behaviors
 
How High was I..How Low did I Go?    Assessing highs and lows of getting high 

Labels - For lower insight levels, comparing what is using, abusing and addiction
 
Progress Report - Basic progress report worksheet for getting relevant discussion started
Understanding and Coping with Guilt and Shame -  Similar to the other but in a different format

COD - Co Occurring Disorders - An older outline about COD's and addiction some people (LH) still like to use (Updated version on About page)

Life Story Outline - An outline for presenting life stories in substance use treatment groups

Group Roles  - Outline of different ways individuals may protect themselves in group settings

The Disease Concept of Addiction - Review of "symptoms" of addiction

Guest Submissions - Please email [email protected] if you would like to submit an activity for the website

 Submitted by Lesley SanFilippo, LCSW:   

 

      Happiness Factor -  

 

  Submitted by Caitlin Kennedy LCSW, LCADC:


       Grief and Loss Cycle 

 

       Music and Recovery  

 

       Power and Control

 

       Self Awareness

 

       Self Esteem and Affirmation Development


       Plan to Avoid Relapse

 

  Submitted by Laura Hennessey, LCSW. LCADC

 

       Self Value

         Complacency