My Anxiety Alarm Worksheet for Kids

Whenever I work with clients dealing with anxiety, I like to provide some psychoeducation near the beginning of counselling. It’s important to let kids know that anxiety, just like any other feeling, is not bad, but in the right context is actually useful.I use the fire alarm analogy, which I’ve found really helpful in giving kids an awareness of how …

Carey EmmersonMy Anxiety Alarm Worksheet for Kids

Self Care Spa for Self-Esteem and Depression

A “spa day” is a great activity to do at any stage of therapy when working with clients with problems with anxiety, stress, depression, or self-esteem. It is useful for building rapport in the early stages of counselling, as a celebration at the end, or as a special day in the middle of therapy. Plus, an hour of pampering is …

Carey EmmersonSelf Care Spa for Self-Esteem and Depression

Therapeutic Activities for Techsavvy Kids

As much as I was never a huge fan of screens in the playroom, I always seemed to find myself with one or more clients whose main interests were all things computer, ipod, xbox and to whom everything else in the playroom is “boring”. This seems to be increasingly the case as kids are plugged in from an earlier age.I …

Carey EmmersonTherapeutic Activities for Techsavvy Kids

DIY Board Game

I’ve often used board games with elementary aged clients, whether therapeutic board games or mainstream games. Games are a great way to build rapport, conduct assessments, develop social skills like taking turns and sharing, and work on specific skills. In a previous post, I specifically looked at Games to Promote Emotional Expression, which mostly deals with uses for mainstream games. …

Carey EmmersonDIY Board Game

Celebration Interview

The end of counselling is a time for celebrating what has been accomplished, reviewing new skills, preparing for life without the counsellor, and saying “Goodbye” Kids from about 6-10 years old may enjoy doing a celebration interview. For this activity, the child gets to be the star of the show and you pretend to be a newscaster interviewing him. Pick …

Carey EmmersonCelebration Interview

Pool Noodle Extravaganza

What do you get if you combine pool noodles with balloons? Countless variations of high-energy fun to use with the kids you work with. If you have really energetic clients or group members, they might enjoy this more active session game during the early stage of counselling. Use this game for rapport building or assessing and promoting emotional expression. The …

Carey EmmersonPool Noodle Extravaganza

Life-Sized Sorry-Style Boardgame

If you are looking for an activity to play with a class or large group that will help teach teamwork and social skills, as well as helping review concepts that they’ve previously learned (how to manage anger, anxiety, manners, emotional expression, etc.), this game is a great one. Basically it’s a do-it-yourself, life-sized version of the game “Sorry”. Your students/clients …

Carey EmmersonLife-Sized Sorry-Style Boardgame

How to Teach Deep Breathing to Kids

From anger to anxiety to stress, so many clients deal with problems that are improved by the use of deep breathing and relaxation. No wonder it is one counselling technique that therapists find themselves using over and over again. Kids and teens regularly present with these same challenges. Deep breathing is an easy way to produce a vast improvement in …

Carey EmmersonHow to Teach Deep Breathing to Kids

Easiest Christmas Activities for Kids in Therapy

With Christmas coming soon, it can be hard during session to get the client to focus on anything else. Some kids get really excited about making Christmas crafts. While doing so doesn’t always lead to anything profoundly therapeutic, at the very least you will definitely build rapport. In many instances, however, you may find great opportunities for some therapeutic work. …

Carey EmmersonEasiest Christmas Activities for Kids in Therapy

Games to Promote Emotional Expression

One complaint that parents often have is that their children don’t talk to them about what they’re feeling. True, there are often situational factors involved. But other times, children simply haven’t learned the vocabulary or been encouraged to practice expressing their own emotions. For this reason, in the early stages of counselling, regardless of the presenting problem, I typically take …

Carey EmmersonGames to Promote Emotional Expression