Bibliotherapy: “Cinderstella”

Cinderstella: A Tale of Planets Not Princes Brenda S. Miles and Susan D. Sweet, Authors Valeria Docampo, Illustrator Magination Press, Fiction, Oct. 17, 2016 Suitable for Ages: 5-8 Themes: Self-Confidence, Stepfamilies, Family Relationships, Dreams Opening: Once upon a time there lived a girl named Cinderstella. She had two stepsisters who made her work every day. […]

via Cinderstella: A Tale of Planets Not Princes — Children’s Books Heal

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

Bibliotherapy Spotlight: King Calm

King Calm: Mindful Gorilla in the City By Susan D. Sweet and Brenda S. Miles, Authors Bryan Langdo, Illustrator Magination Press, Fiction, Oct. 17, 2016 Suitable for Ages: 4-8 Themes: Distractions, Slowing down, Paying attention to the present moment, Mindfulness Opening: In a Great Big City, there lived a gorilla named Marvin. Marvin wasn’t like other gorillas. […]

via King Calm: Mindful Gorilla in the City — Children’s Books Heal

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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A “Crappy” Drawing

In my work as a creative arts therapist, I implement mindfulness-based practices that emphasize the importance of the inward journey; connecting with the mysterious and esoteric parts of the self. This involves meditation and art making, as a way of getting in touch with my “inner knowing.” I also happen to be finishing up a collaborative […]

via A “Crappy” Drawing — Creative Arts Therapies