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

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

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

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!

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

Do You Know a Superhero? – A Create-Your-Own Therapeutic Story

Several weeks ago I discussed some of the benefits of storytelling for kids in therapy in a post titled Once Upon a Time: How Storytelling Can Help Children in Therapy. In that post I provided this infographic to summarize the various benefits storytelling can offer clients. Because of its many benefits, storytelling often plays an important role in the therapy …

Carey EmmersonDo You Know a Superhero? – A Create-Your-Own Therapeutic Story

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