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

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

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

How to Teach Kids About Anxious Thoughts Using a Jellyfish Suncatcher

My thermometer hit 34 degrees celsius today. And it feels HOT. The sky is cloudless. The sun is blistering. All this summer has me wishing for the beach. With that thought in mind, here’s a fun, beachy craft you can make with kids struggling with anxiety. This activity will help children talk about anxious thoughts and how those thoughts feed …

Carey EmmersonHow to Teach Kids About Anxious Thoughts Using a Jellyfish Suncatcher

“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

4 Awesome Ways to Teach Stressed and Anxious Children about Relaxation

Last week’s post looked at ways to use crafts to teach children about relaxation. Today’s post is all about specific physical movements and exercises that aim to teach children how to relax their bodies. These ideas can be easily applied to the counselling or therapy setting. The idea is that if kids can learn to control their own bodies, they …

Carey Emmerson4 Awesome Ways to Teach Stressed and Anxious Children about Relaxation

4 Crafts to Teach Kids About Relaxation

Relaxation is about the body. So is tension. When we tell a child to “just relax,” we are asking them to do something that is not only emotional or mental, but that is highly physical as well. And it is not easy. Many adults, let alone children, have never been taught to relax or to notice feelings of tension in …

Carey Emmerson4 Crafts to Teach Kids About Relaxation

5 Ways to Help Children with Separation Anxiety

Danielle was 8 years-old when her anxiety first showed up. Before that she had no problems going to school or being away from her mother, Lisa. But all of a sudden it became a struggle to get her out the door in the morning. First Lisa had to drive Danielle to school, since Danielle made such a fuss about walking …

Carey Emmerson5 Ways to Help Children with Separation Anxiety

Once Upon a Time: How Storytelling Can Help Children in Therapy

I love stories. A good story, whether in a movie, a novel, a picture book, or the words of a friend is one of my favourite things. Stories are fun. They teach us about the world and about ourselves. They evoke emotion. They inspire us and empower us. Stories do all these things and more when used in a therapeutic …

Carey EmmersonOnce Upon a Time: How Storytelling Can Help Children in Therapy