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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
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Use these Craft Rocks to Build Rapport

If you are looking for a fun and simple craft to do with your child and adolescent therapy clients, these painted rocks are fun, look great, and can be used for a variety of therapeutic purposes ranging from assessment, to emotional expression, to teaching mindfulness. You Will Need: A selection of small rocks Acrylic paint Paintbrushes Steps: 1) Select your …

Carey EmmersonUse these Craft Rocks to Build Rapport

4 Puzzles to Get to Know Your Clients

Here is an activity that will help you build rapport, get to know a new client, and assist you in your initial assessment of the child. These puzzles could be useful with kids with any presenting problem. Each of the puzzles features a colourful picture on the front, along with an affirmation statement (e.g., I am strong), which can launch …

Carey Emmerson4 Puzzles to Get to Know Your Clients

Build Emotional Awareness and Expression Using This Printable Game

Today I’m uploading a variation on the game of checkers. This version of the game features a board with a number of different feeling faces (like those found on a standard feelings chart) on the playing squares: happy, sad, angry, afraid, disgusted, surprised, loved, confused and joyful. Simply print off the gameboard, grab some movers, and get started.Set the game …

Carey EmmersonBuild Emotional Awareness and Expression Using This Printable Game

Agent Pensby Anxiety Worksheet for Kids

Early on when working with kids who struggle with worries and anxiety, I like to do some psychoeducation around what anxiety is all about and what it feels like in our bodies. Drawing a body outline and drawing/writing in all the anxiety symptoms we can think of is a great way to facilitate this conversation. Here is a copy of …

Carey EmmersonAgent Pensby Anxiety Worksheet for Kids

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

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

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