Using “I-Spy” for Mindful De-Escalation

The art of mindfulness in de-escalation and calming is often neglected, and I am also speaking from my own experience here when I say that. More recently, though, I have made attempts to integrate mindfulness when providing crisis intervention for children of various ages. It may sound silly, but I have found that using “I […]

via Mindful de-escalation: I Spy Meets Crisis Intervention   — Art of Social Work

Using the Sand Tray to Detect Family Roles

My Play Therapy Page

Here’s another interesting article submitted by reader Martha Nodar on the subject of sand tray therapy. Ms. Nodar earned a gift certificate to childtherapytoys.com for her submission. Learn how you can do the same!

Bradshaw (1988) argues families are systems with systemic needs which are typically fulfilled, mostly unconsciously, by family members. These family members may become unwitting participants drawn into the family drama. In dysfunctional families triangles are common because they serve the purpose of providing a relief to the drama. In such cases, children and adolescents may unconsciously adopt roles within their family in order to survive their environment and help bring some balance to the scene. For instance, a so-called difficult child may be unconsciously acting-out the unspoken tensions within the parental dyad (Kerr & Bowen, 1988). Fairy tales have a way of representing these family dynamics in a way that is both nonthreatening and entertaining. Sandtray…

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Creating Labyrinths In The Sand

My Play Therapy Page

Here’s another great intervention idea submitted by reader Martha Nodar. Ms. Nodar earned a gift certificate to childtherapytoys.com for her submission. Learn how you can do the same!

A respite to a world saturated in technology, the labyrinth offers a chance to literally stop and listen to one’s inner voice. Whether walking the labyrinth, building one in the sand, or drawing it in a piece of paper, the action requires concentration on the task at hand, which may be a welcome relief. Labyrinth scholars suggest we begin walking or building a labyrinth with the intention of gaining self-knowledge, but not to expect an answer. Rather than begin the journey with an expectation, they encourage us to embrace and honor the entire experience. Based on the idea that most, if not all children enjoy connecting the dots, the activity featured above lends itself to tapping into a child’s creative imagination. Chances…

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Listening activities to promote cognitive flexibility and communication

My Play Therapy Page

Reader Emily Clifton sent in this very useful assortment of interventions. Ms. Clifton earned a gift certificate to childtherapytoys.com for her submission. Learn how you can do the same!

Game: Puppets

Ideal for: group or in family sessions

Instructions: In this game you assign one group the role of puppet, and another group serves as the puppet masters. You will have the group act out a situation. The puppets are doing the actions, but each have a puppet master that will be their voices, so the puppets’ actions have to be guided by what the puppet masters are having them say.

Game: Sculpting

Ideal for: group or family session, must be done in pairs

Need: Play-Doh, Legos or another building material

Instructions: The therapist gives each member equal amounts/sizes of play-doh or Legos. The therapist has one person make a sculpture that the other person cannot see. Then they have…

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Calming Glitter Bottles — Art Therapy

This looked like a fun rainy day craft, so we decided to experiment with the recipes here: http://mommaowlslab.blogspot.com/…/science-thursday-glitter… I found the glitter glue to work best–but you have to be patient and wait a few hours for the clumps to dissolve. The glycerine was really expensive, and I don’t think the results were as nice. […]

via Calming Glitter Bottles — Art Therapy Monday

Explosion of Feelings: Volcano Making — Child Life Mommy

https://videopress.com/embed/UWDHWgfg?hd=0&autoPlay=0&permalink=0&loop=0

As a specialist in the hospital you work with kids who can become very angry over what their experiencing or they can become incredibly withdrawn and shut everyone out. There is a great solution to help build trust with kids and support them emotionally. The intervention that many specialists use is making volcanos with kids. […]

via Explosion of Feelings: Volcano Making — Child Life Mommy