Show Summary Details
Page of

(p. 191) Forms and Handouts 

(p. 191) Forms and Handouts

Alice Medalia

, Tiffany Herlands

, Alice Saperstein

, and Nadine Revheim

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Clinical Psychology Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 01 July 2022

(p. 206) Handout 9.1 Bridging Group: Strategies to Improve Attention

Group objective: Identify strategies to aid focus within and outside of session.

Clinical objective: Discuss how strategies can be used to help with paying attention and sustaining attention during computer exercises. Identify how the same strategies can be used in real-world contexts.

Materials: Handout: Strategies to Improve Attention

Introduction:Today, we will talk about strategies to help with attention. We can use strategies to help us focus on something, filter out distractions, and also keep our attention focused on a task for a period of time.

Discussion guide:Let us take a closer look at strategies you may have used to help you with attention. Let’s see if anyone used these today while on the computer.

Ask for volunteers to read each strategy out loud from the handout, and then help group members define them. The strategies and their definitions are each listed here:

  • Information reduction: When confronted with a large amount of information, cover up some of the material.

    • Helps with focus on important information, reduces overload

  • Verbalization: Say items or steps of a task out loud.

    • Saying things out loud can help you focus on every detail so you do not miss anything.

  • Point or touch: Use your finger, pencil, or mouse to point to information you are reading.

    • Highlights specific information to increase focus

  • Sensory reduction: Block out auditory or visual distractors that are not task related.

    • Use headphones to listen to important information and block out distractors.

    • Sit away from visual distractors (e.g. hallway, window) to focus attention.

  • Break for attention: Take brief breaks to reduce fatigue.

    • Stretch, get a drink, or take a brief walk.

    • Helps sustain attention over time

  • Take notes: Write notes while listening or reading to stay focused on the task.

    • Staying active during tasks keeps your mind from drifting.

After reviewing these information-processing strategies, ask the following questions:

  • Does anyone use these strategies on the computer exercises or discussions?

  • Can you use these strategies in other places, like at school, work, or home?

Wrap-up: These strategies can help us focus our attention and stay paying attention for long stretches of time. When we are better able to pay attention, we can take in and use information to accomplish important tasks.

(p. 207) Handout 9.2 Bridging Group: Listen Up!

Group objective: Use auditory attention and challenge participants’ memory to answer specific questions about what was heard.

Clinical objective: Have each participant become attuned to his or her auditory processing and to apply it to a real-world scenario.

Materials: Access to the website ( and computer speakers. Click on Listen to Stories, and enter one of these stories in the search box: Claritza Abreu; Colbert and Nathan Williams; Cactus Car Wash (or) Frank Lynch; Ida Cortez; Wydenia Perry (or) Essie Gregory. There are thousands of stories, but it is a good idea to screen the story before using it in group because some are more discussion provoking than others. Preselect one of the five stories suggested based on which you think would interest your participants.

Introduction:Today, we are going to work on your auditory processing and apply it to a real-world scenario. To do this, we are going to listen to a story that someone shared with the website When you listen to a story, it is helpful to listen to the details and the gist. By the way, what does gist mean? (You can give this example and discuss it to explain what gist means.) If I said to you, “We went for a walk in the park, and it started to look stormy. I was worried it would rain, so we walked faster. Good thing because just as we walked to the bus stop, the rain started to come down strong.” What is the gist of that story? Now let’s listen to this story. Listen carefully so you can relay the gist of what was said.

Discussion Guide:

  • What was the gist of this story?

  • Who was involved in the story?

  • Where or when did the story happen?

  • What cognitive skills did you use during this exercise?

  • What exercises are you doing on the computer that makes it easier to listen and remember stories?

These are examples of computer tasks that practice auditory attention and memory:

  • Syllable Stacks (Brain HQ)

  • Mixed Signals (Brain HQ)

  • To-Do List Training (Brain HQ)

  • You’ve Got Voicemail (SBTP)

  • Frippletration (Thinkin’ Things)

Wrap-up: Link listening skills to participants’ recovery goals (e.g., listening to a friend if the goal is socialization; listening to a boss to follow verbal instructions or a teacher in a class).

(p. 208) Handout 9.3 Bridging Group: Paying Attention in Conversations

Group objective: To develop strategies to better pay attention during conversations

Clinical objective: To introduce two conversational vigilance skills: staying on a topic and what to do when you do not understand what is being said

Introduction:Today, we are going to talk about different strategies for staying focused when someone else is talking. Strategies we have practiced include reducing distractions, making eye contact, paraphrasing what is said, and asking questions.

Discussion guide:To add to the strategies we have talked about, today we are going to discuss how to stay on topic during a conversation and what to do when we do not understand what is being said.

Ask the following questions and ensure each item is mentioned:

  • What are the key aspects of staying on topic?

    • Identify what the topic is.

    • If you still do not understand what the topic is, ask the person.

    • Remember to say things related to the topic.

  • What do you do when you do not understand what is being said?

    • Tell the person that you are confused or that you did not understand what was said.

    • Ask the person to repeat or explain what was just said.

    • Ask the person to slow down, speak more loudly, or try to explain it in a different way.

    • Ask further questions if you still do not understand.

    • Paraphrase to the person what was just said to make sure you are on track.

Let’s do some practicing. Ask for two volunteers to engage in role-playing using a sample scenario listed below. Alternatively, model the steps of staying on topic by engaging in role-playing with one group member first and then ask for volunteers to practice role-playing using a different topic.

The following are sample scenarios for practicing staying on topic:

  • A friend talks to you about a movie he or she has seen.

  • Your roommate talks to you about painting your room a new color.

  • Your doctor is talking to you about eating healthy food.

  • A friend tells you about his or her new computer.

  • Your psychiatrist tells you there is a new medication you may want to try.

  • A client in the waiting room tells you a funny story about his dog chasing a mouse.

(p. 209) The following are sample scenarios for practicing what to do when you do not understand:

  • You asked someone to give you directions to go to town but had difficulty understanding the directions because the person talks very quickly.

  • Your doctor has prescribed new medication for you and explained how it will help to make you feel better. You are not sure you understand.

  • The lady at the grocery store has answered your question about where the tea is, but she has an accent and speaks very quickly, so you missed what she was saying.

  • Your teacher is giving a lecture on improving interviewing skills and is using words that you do not understand.

Wrap-up:If you practice using these skills, it becomes easier to pay attention when someone else is talking.

Form 11.1 Quarterly Utilization ReportPDF

(p. 210)

Form 11.2 Client Satisfaction QuestionnairePDF

(p. 211) (p. 212)