Friday, January 8, 2016

New client ideas

I had a new client this week who I knew had anxiety.  I used a tool I have used in the past. Stickums. These are sticks made of wax. They allow so much creativity.  This client's fear is people. I did only an intake and was not sure he would share so much.
Hoping he would share, I gave him the stickums and said like McDonald's has their logo: the golden arches, I would like you to create a symbol of your worry.  He soon completed a "monster" shaped creature. When he shared what he came up with,  he identified it as "people. " His interest and willingness to speak (not an easy task for him) was astounding. This boy is in the fifth grade. He has quite a few signs of selective mutism, but we won't be stating that just yet.
Hope this sparks your own ideas for hands on activities.  They make such a difference!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

It's been awhile...

Well, it has been a while.  I can’t even tell you about all of the changes since I last posted.  Let me just start with where I am now.  I am working in the same school district but as an School-Based Outpatient Therapist.  It’s the exact job I love.  It’s the exact work I love.  It is what I dreamed about when I left community-based.  Yes, there are challenges.  Yes, I am sometimes overwhelmed.
Right now, I am taking a much needed break from creativity at home as the creativity in my job takes all of my energy.
But here we go, some ideas from today.  Ok, I was providing individual counseling to a student who is very distant and negative.  I won’t go into the history.  I am often challenged to get her to leave her classroom to see me.  We talked about the virtue of kindness and made a kindness doll with a pipe cleaner and a balloon.  She is also very compulsive, so the face on the balloon became an all out coloring adventure.  She covered every bit of the balloon with marker.  In any case, I wanted to talk about kindness using this poster from the following blog:

And this iron on:

I am super obsessed with these graphics.  I will definitely be looking into these lessons/materials.

The student enjoyed the activity and as usual, did not want to return to the classroom with the activity we worked on.  But I am still taking it slow, as the therapeutic nature of our relationship is still precarious.  More on that later.  I am so enjoying this job, and learning, and developing new resources.  What are some of your go-to get to know you activities?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

BackPack Program

We are beginning a partnership with a food bank.  It is called a BackPack program through Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. I was fortunate enough to hear about it and decide with help we could do it.  
A grant from a local agency has got the ball rolling.  Now, setting up the volunteers needed to pack food into the backpacks and ordering food and identifying the children will take some time. Oh and we are doing a food drive for the Easter holiday and to kick off the program.  The food drive flyer will be attached to a brown lunch bag to give the kids who can contribute as a reminder and something to stuff items into.
I am providing a link to the BackPack program. Hope it becomes clear where you should use your talents in a similar way!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Cool and In School Club

We are about to start another round of our Cool and In School incentive parties.  The program was started by an intern I worked with at the last school I provided social work services in.  We developed the concept together.  The idea was to encourage children to attend school and attend school on time.  These children were chosen for this group based on their ability to be on time or in school.  Many had trouble getting to school and the chosen for that purpose.  We decided on a minimum number of days absent or late to be enrolled in the program.  At the present school I work with another intern on the concept and have developed an even more expansive program.  We track attendance and then invite children to parties on a quarterly basis.  My intern, Dana, is very creative and finds some fabulous themes for our parties.  We have had a happy Owl-o-Ween party. We have decorated Easter eggs, created Valentines, and had a science party as well.  It has made a significant difference in attendance for children who were really struggling.  I will try to attach pictures of the parties so you can see some of the cool ideas.   Of course Pinterest has helped.  Hope you like the idea and use it at your school!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Puppet Time and other Play Techniques
Some great ideas for play therapy. 
I have used several of these. I recently used a puppet with a fourth grade student who is very reserved if not guarded. I interviewed the puppet of its career goals. The student enjoyed the puppets ability to answer for him. The puppets hair shook as he nodded its head.  This expressiveness was fun for both of us. 
Hope you are able to incorporate puppet time even for your older student!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Perfect Attendance Winner

We began in this new school a year ago...a team made up of a guidance counselor and me, the social worker.  It has been great fun!  I created a program called the perfect attendance winner.  It is meant to reward  children for attending school every day and on time.  So every two weeks I choose a name from all the children attending.  Then I check their attendance for the last two weeks.  If they have been to school every day for the last two weeks and on time, they win prizes.  I also take their picture and place it on a bulletin board with perfect attendance winner as the title.  The picture remains up the entire school year.  Prizes include small things like bookmarks, pencils, tiny prizes such as erasers, journals which are composition books.  This program shows a significant increase in attendance over the entire school year for the last two years.  I hope it works for your school too!  Let me know what your results are.  Thanks so much for checking out my blog.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I am so thankful for family today, Thanksgiving.  I wanted to put this up on my blog to let them know.  Here is a free printable from a lovely blog site:

I can see a great many purposes for this printable in therapy.  I am envisioning printing the statement, then adding the client's description in their own writing to the printable.  This would be a nice way to repair a relationship between child and parent.  You could also do it as a filial therapy assignment where the two talk to each other through their entries on the printable.  Such as "you make my day!" and "you are so kind to me!".  I often make suggestions to get this kind of assignment started.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Hope your day is fun and filled with memories and family moments!