Help Kids Establish Safety and Security with “My Safe Base” Handout

No matter our age, we all need to feel safe. Safety is so vital for our lives that it’s at the very base of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, only one step up from physiological needs like food and shelter. After we are fed and clothed and housed, we need to feel safe before we are able to pursue other needs …

Carey EmmersonHelp Kids Establish Safety and Security with “My Safe Base” Handout

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

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

Self Care Spa for Self-Esteem and Depression

A “spa day” is a great activity to do at any stage of therapy when working with clients with problems with anxiety, stress, depression, or self-esteem. It is useful for building rapport in the early stages of counselling, as a celebration at the end, or as a special day in the middle of therapy. Plus, an hour of pampering is …

Carey EmmersonSelf Care Spa for Self-Esteem and Depression

How to Teach Deep Breathing to Kids

From anger to anxiety to stress, so many clients deal with problems that are improved by the use of deep breathing and relaxation. No wonder it is one counselling technique that therapists find themselves using over and over again. Kids and teens regularly present with these same challenges. Deep breathing is an easy way to produce a vast improvement in …

Carey EmmersonHow to Teach Deep Breathing to Kids