Toilet Training with this Printable Potty Training Chart

Today’s post is not a therapy or educational resource – but it is a positive reinforcement tool to help very young children learn bathroom skills. We are working to potty train a toddler in our house at the moment. While we have been using lots of positive reinforcement in the form of praise, she has been very sporadic in her …

Carey EmmersonToilet Training with this Printable Potty Training Chart

Help Kids Identify and Express their Emotions with “A Feeling for All Seasons”

Summer is winding down! Cue the sweaters, the scarves, the fuzzy socks, and of course the Back-to-School rush. While I am not exactly keen on shorter, cooler days, the changing of seasons does provide a great opportunity to bring some seasonal touches into the classroom or counselling office. One way to do that is with some Fall-themed feeling faces. I …

Carey EmmersonHelp Kids Identify and Express their Emotions with “A Feeling for All Seasons”

How to Help Children Overcome Trauma Using Salt Dough Crafts

Clients with a history of severe trauma often need help overcoming symptoms of post-traumatic stress that can arise unexpectedly and overwhelm them. Once triggered, these individuals can feel that they are reliving a traumatic event all over again. They may experience flashbacks to the traumatic event, have nightmares, panic, or dissociate from the present moment and their own bodies, as …

Carey EmmersonHow to Help Children Overcome Trauma Using Salt Dough Crafts

More than a Collection: Using Seashells in Counselling

Finding items to re-purpose is one creative and cost-effective way to come up with new therapy activities, so I’m always on the lookout for something that I can take and put to new use. During some spring (or maybe last fall) cleaning, I came across a small seashell collection from my childhood that I had been storing in my basement …

Carey EmmersonMore than a Collection: Using Seashells in Counselling

How to Use Comics to Teach Children Positive Self-Talk

I spend a great deal of time with clients working on identifying and challenging unhelpful thoughts. Teens and adults alike can really benefit from understanding how their thinking affects their moods and their behaviours. Children can also benefit from this type or work. However, working with little people on the “C” part of cognitive behavioural therapy can be challenging. Young …

Carey EmmersonHow to Use Comics to Teach Children Positive Self-Talk

In The Driver’s Seat

My first car was pretty basic – no frills whatsoever. Cruise control: nope. Bluetooth: forget it. My steering wheel featured a horn. That’s it. Today’s cars have so many gadgets, and in many cars you can control them without ever taking your hands off the steering wheel. Music, cruise, phone calls – all at the push of the button. That’s …

Carey EmmersonIn The Driver’s Seat

Coping Skills Cheat Sheet

As a part of therapy, I regularly ask clients to make some kind of wellness plan or coping plan using their favourite coping skills. Strong emotions from anger, to depression, to anxiety, to stress all benefit from the use of coping skills. At the same time, it can be hard to think of strategies in a moment of intense emotions. …

Carey EmmersonCoping Skills Cheat Sheet

My Strengths and Supports Tree

The last session is a time for wrapping up loose ends, for saying goodbye, and for helping to equip clients to continue with life after therapy. This craft is great for instilling confidence of reminding clients of their strengths and supports that they can rely on as they go forward. Plus it’s a great activity for the Spring season! Many …

Carey EmmersonMy Strengths and Supports Tree

Encourage Emotion Regulation with a Coping Cushion

I love the activity idea that I am going to share with you today. It is simple, low-cost, appeals to a wide age range, and can be used for children dealing with any number of emotional challenges. The idea was actually first shared with me by a parent who uses it with her son. The craft is a coping pillow …

Carey EmmersonEncourage Emotion Regulation with a Coping Cushion

Assess Children’s Relationships Using “My Kingdom” Activity

We all know mental health issues do not exist in a vacuum, but are developed, maintained, and managed within people’s network of social relationships. Children’s mental health concerns are no exception. Kids are surrounded by parents, siblings, teachers, friends, and other members of their communities who have a powerful impact on their well-being.   Because of the very real impact …

Carey EmmersonAssess Children’s Relationships Using “My Kingdom” Activity