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 something that a lot of child, pre-teen, and even teen girls would enjoy doing outside of counselling. The activity is probably going to appeal mostly to females but some boys might appreciate it as well.

Before trying this activity, consult with parents first, as lots of families have product allergies, rules against nail polish, and/or scent sensitivities. The same is true for your workplace.

You will need to plan ahead and pick up materials, unless you keep them on hand. Think relaxing music, nail polish and perhaps nail stickers, emery boards, hand lotion, cucumbers, facial cloths (wet wipe or cleansing cloth), and candles (if your setting permits). While it seems like quite a list, the overall cost per session is quite minimal; Most of the items can be found at the dollar store and can be used with many different clients as the products store well.

Some activities to feature in your pampering session could include teaching your client a simple hand massage she can give herself with the lotion, helping her paint her nails, deep breathing and listening to music with cucumbers on eyes, mindfulness exercises following the candle or breath, using cloths to give a “facial”.

A spa day is very adaptable. As you engage in the various activities, you can teach or review relaxation and deep breathing exercises for clients dealing with anxiety or depression. You can also discuss self-care and how taking care of one’s body can be helpful in dealing with unpleasant emotions and boosting self-esteem. Just rubbing on some lotion can be a mindfulness exercise and an exercise in relaxation. If possible, you can also send a small bottle of lotion or nail polish home with the client. She can pull it out when she is having a tough time and can remember the tools she learned during your session.

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Carey EmmersonSelf Care Spa for Self-Esteem and Depression

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