Chasing memories

General Aim

To allow participants to refine their narrative and symbolic skills starting from the suggestions that emerged from memories.
Memories are powerful emotional activators. If retraced and shared with the group, they can be rethought and take on a new form, allowing the person to structure future paths maybe different from those previously covered.

Learning goals

– To improve narrative and symbolic skills
– To help us reconcile with and relive past moments of our life
– To imagine us in the future
– To focus on how the positivity or negativity of past experiences can allow us to redefine our future
– To increase one’s awareness and control over past and future experiences

Short description/background/Introduction/Tips for the trainer

This activity includes two phases: an individual one of drawing and reflection and a subsequent one of narration and sharing with the group. The trainer must be able to give sufficient space and time to the participants so that they can feel comfortable in sharing personal memories with unknown people.



Suggested group

Max 20 participants


Pens, papers, a basket or a bag


1.30 h


– The trainer inserts pieces of paper with different phrases or words written on them (ex: house, friend, first time, game…) in a bag or in a basket.
– Then he/she asks each participant to take a paper and a pen.
– The trainer asks all the participants to draw a word from the basket and not to share it with the rest of the group.
– Each participant starting from that word will have 30 minutes to produce a symbolic drawing to tell a past memory and a possible future project linked to that word.
– Once the time is up, each participant, depending on who feels more comfortable, can show the drawing and tell in detail what the drawing represents and which are the emotions connected to the memory and the future project. All the participants should try to explain why the past and the future experiences are related and in which way the past can be able to modify the future.

Evaluation/Final debriefing

At the end of the exercise, the facilitator can ask the group to reflect on the activity by asking the group to consider:
⎯ What did I get from this activity?
⎯ Did I learn something more or new about myself?
⎯ Did listening to the others help me to reflect more about myself?