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

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

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

Use Elf on the Shelf to Teach Social Skills

If you are looking for a way to encourage your child or client to work on building social skills like manners or making friends, you can use the popular Elf on the Shelf dolls this holiday season. The idea is to pick a social skills area that the child needs to work on. You can pose Elf in different locations …

Carey EmmersonUse Elf on the Shelf to Teach Social Skills

What is Warm and Yummy and Affirming all over? This craft!

Here’s a craft that school-aged kids and even teens will enjoy. Plus, it is perfect for the chilly fall season, where nothing feels as good as curling up with a warm drink. Make an affirmations mug, and as you do so, talk about helpful and unhelpful thoughts. Discuss how negative thoughts can creep up on us and how they lead …

Carey EmmersonWhat is Warm and Yummy and Affirming all over? This craft!