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
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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
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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
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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

How to Build Self-Esteem with a Cool Wind Chime

The weather may be chilly, but I am dreaming of warmer days out on the patio and leaves rustling in the breeze (wishful thinking I know). But with that thought in mind, here’s a fun wind chime craft that kids and teens will enjoy making during therapy sessions, even in these winter months. It is a little more interesting than …

Carey EmmersonHow to Build Self-Esteem with a Cool Wind Chime
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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
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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!
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How to Build Self-Esteem and Social Skills Using Laundry Supplies

Here’s an activity for social skills or self-esteem groups, or simply for building trust and rapport amongst group members. All you need are some clothespins and some thin, permanent markers of varying colours. This activity will probably work best after a session or two, as group members should at least know each other a little bit and be comfortable enough …

Carey EmmersonHow to Build Self-Esteem and Social Skills Using Laundry Supplies
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Mind-n-Mettle: A Little Tech and a Ton of Fun Building Emotional Intelligence

Identifying and recognizing emotions is a tough skill for many children to learn. Kids with a history of trauma, ADHD, those on the autism spectrum, and many others may struggle to recognize other people’s emotions. And yet, this skill is so very important in helping children to develop empathy, friendships, and participate in basic social interactions. Social skills group activities …

Carey EmmersonMind-n-Mettle: A Little Tech and a Ton of Fun Building Emotional Intelligence