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

“Today I Feel Happy”: A Feeling Chart to Build Kids’ Assertive Communication

As therapists know, if you hope to be effective in helping children, you must involve the family. No matter the issue, if the parents are not supportive or knowledgeable of what is going on in your work with their child, chances are the progress won’t stick. That is what take-home activities can be so helpful. Parents get to be directly …

Carey Emmerson“Today I Feel Happy”: A Feeling Chart to Build Kids’ Assertive Communication

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Chain

Do you remember making Christmas chains out of construction paper when you were a kid? I remember having so much fun making them at school almost every year in the early grades. If you happen to be working with primary to junior aged clients this Christmas season, who are at the middle or end of their counselling, they might enjoy …

Carey EmmersonHave Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Chain

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

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

Feelings Catcher

Activity Type: Craft Stage of Counselling: Middle, Ending Supplies Needed: Plain paper, markers, craft supplies as desired Remember cootie catchers from grade school? Basically they are paper games, folded from a single sheet of paper to look like this: Kids play the game by picking one of the four outer sections. Next you spell the word or count the number …

Carey EmmersonFeelings Catcher

File O’Favourites

Activity Type: Craft Stage of Counselling: Beginning Supplies Needed: Plain file folder                                  Markers, pencil crayons, or crayons When I first started my counselling internship, my supervisor suggested this really simple opening activity involving only a file folder and some markers, crayons, or pencil crayons. It’s a bit like Pictionary, but the client gets to create their own folder to keep. …

Carey EmmersonFile O’Favourites

Packages, Boxes, and Bags

Activity Type:                 Craft Stage of Counselling:  Middle or End Supplies Needed:         Jar (plastic is best), box, bag, or envelope                                           Craft supplies (glitter, scissors, construction paper, stickers, markers, glue)                                           Slips of paper for strategies I’ll start out this first resource post with one of my favourite counselling crafts. This activity can be adapted for use with kids as small as …

Carey EmmersonPackages, Boxes, and Bags