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Play Therapy Community Inspiration, Information, & Connection for Child Therapists Around the World | ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Child Parent Relationship Therapy, School Counseling Behavior Therapy, Sandtray Therapy,

Play Therapy Community will present a fresh, insightful episode once a week, usually on Thursday mornings. On this podcast, we will cover topics such as play therapy techniques and resources, group therapy, maternal mental health, picky eaters, struggles in school, behavioral issues, grief and loss, and so much more. We’ll also delve into specific diagnosis such as ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Specific Learning Disabilities, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, etc. Difficult topics, such as parenting through separation/divorce, depression, anxiety struggles, relationship struggles, and such will be explored as well. As the host of Play Therapy Community, I feel honored that you are joining us on this journey for knowledge to truly help our children in a way that honors their mind, body, and soul. My name is Jackie Flynn, and I’m a Licensed Psychotherapist, Registered Play Therapist, Education Specialist, Adolescent Life Coach and a Parent Educator.
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Play Therapy Community Inspiration, Information, & Connection for Child Therapists Around the World | ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Child Parent Relationship Therapy, School Counseling Behavior Therapy, Sandtray Therapy,
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Now displaying: March, 2017
Mar 30, 2017

Episode 49:  The Art of Raising Honest Children with Integrity

In This Episode:  

 

Children learn way more by watching what we do, than by listening to what we say to do.

This is why it is so important to live our lives with integrity and good character.  It was super important before we had children, but it’s more important now than ever as it could impact generations to come.

There are quite a few definitions of integrity floating around, but I like this one the most.  

Integrity – doing the right thing even when no one is watching.  It’s personal honesty.

It’s a biggie to resist those temptations to tell little white lies or big hairy tall tales.  

Don’t tell the person at the ticket booth that your child is really 9 instead of 12 to get a reduced price ticket.  Don’t sneak into hotel pools when you’re not a guest.  Don’t go past the “Do Not Enter” signs and all of the other of gazillion things that can be tempting to do.  It may save you a few bucks at the movie theater to sneak in Candy from the outside, but in the long run, it costs way more than a few bucks.  You can compromise your kid’s integrity.  And, that is so valuable.

When someone is true to their values of honesty and integrity, it usually generalizes to other areas of their lives.  

So, take every opportunity to be honest, even when your child isn’t present, even when it cost you more money, even when it means that you will be inconvenienced, even when it’s hard...  Resisting the urge to gossip about someone else’s life can help your child develop trusting relationships that are solid as a rock too.  It helps your child to not only be trustworthy but to be trusting.  

It’s not only a beautiful gift to your child to raise them to value this important character trait, but is also a huge gift to yourself, your community, and ultimately the world that we all share. 

 

www.playtherapycommunity.com

http://liferecoveryconsulting.com/

Below Are Some Affiliate Links to Books/Products That I Love

 

Jackie’s Favorite Labryinths (Discounted Price)

Weighted Blankets by Mosaic

 

 

If you’d like to connect with me, I offer consultation and parent coaching support.  Just email me at jackie@jackieflynnconsulting.com or at my private practice at jackie@counselinginbrevard.com

www.parentingintherain.com

www.jackieflynnconsulting.com

www.counselinginbrevard.com 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/parentingintherain/

 

Mar 23, 2017

Episode 48:  EMDR Therapy: Helping Children Move Past the Tough Stuff

In This Episode:  

 

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, also known as EMDR, is an effective, research and evidence-based therapy that helps free people from painful memories, anxiety, intrusive thoughts and other disturbances from exposure to trauma or especially disturbing situations.  And, it works with children too.  In my experience, it often takes less time to notice changes because often children have less tough memories due to their young age, as compared with older clients.

When exposed to traumatic events, our minds may not fully understand and process the magnitude of the situation due to the scenario at hand its overwhelming nature.  When I mention trauma, I want you to think of it as in “Big T trauma for the big stuff such as witness a crime, etc” and “Little t trauma such as being called a name by a peer, etc” This lack of processing of traumatic events thoroughly can show itself in a debilitating psychological/emotional state of distress. With kids, it can look like night terrors, bedwetting, behavior issues, anxiety, depression, and so on.  This state of distress can result in a feeling of being “emotionally stuck”.

EMDR Therapy can help with symptoms of distress from living with disorders such as Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (ADHD), Restless Leg Syndrome, Phantom Leg Syndrome, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), Eating Disorders, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Anxiety, Depression, Tourettes Syndrome, Bed-Wetting, Emotional Regulation Issues, Behavior Concerns, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Eating Disorders, Disassociative Identity Disorder (DID), and much more.

EMDR therapy basically stimulates the mind into reprocessing the events, facilitates resolve from within the person experiencing it, and lessens the emotional impact of the memories. Even if the memories are from before the person can remember it with their thoughts.  We actually have memories from up to 3 months in utero that can sometimes stay stuck as emotional memories.  EMDR can free individuals from painful memories and empower them to live more fully in the present.  This is especially important with our kids, as staying stuck in trauma can impact their development in so many ways.  Sometimes, the effect of trauma is misdiagnosed as ADHD since it can leave people feeling distracted, unable to focus and fidgety from anxiety.

EMDR is a therapeutic “tool” that can be used in therapy to help our clients overcome barriers to normal functioning, and ultimately, to their happiness.  I love using it with kids!  Also, EMDR has been shown to alleviate anxiety and depression, which can leave children and their loved ones feeling emotionally anguish.  Anxiety and depression can look very different for children than it does adults.  Many of my clients have engaged in some type of self-harm, such as cutting, skin picking etc… and EMDR is one of my go-to tools to help them.  There are so many ways that it can be performed.  With younger kids, I love integrating it with Play Therapy.  As a part of the therapy, I have the client identify a negative thought about themselves, notice what they are feeling in their body and provide stimulation to either side of the body by having them move their eyes back and forth (usually with finger puppets or moving a car back and forth), or holding on to buzzers while often wearing earphones that alternate soft beeping in either ear that help desensitize what their feeling and reprocess it into something healthier.  For example, a negative thought maybe “I am a bad person” and the reprocessed thought maybe “I’m good enough just as I am.”  The healing can be profound.

Memories of negative events, whether big T or little t traumas, for children it can be a death, divorce, car accident, fight, etc. can become painfully fragmented into other events resulting in limited enjoyment of life activities.  Often it may manifest into anger, depression, chemical dependency, impulsive disorders, eating disorders, anxiety, phobias, relationship issues, and more.  Through the brain stimulation created from EMDR therapy, clients can reprocess traumatic events or negative thoughts, and eventually become desensitized to the painful memories that are often at the root of emotional troubles.

I love using the audible app.  Through Audible, I have read Francine Shapiro’s book “Getting Past Your Past” 5 times so far.  That book is wonderful at explaining EMDR in a way that helps people understand how it works and what it works on.  Francine Shapiro created EMDR Therapy back in the 80s and it is getting more and more well known each day.  In the show notes, I’ve linked sites where you can find an EMDR therapist in your area.  It’s good stuff, whether you use it for you or your child.

I remember that quote “Hurt People, Hurt People” that I first heard in an Addiction class.  When we can free our kids and ourselves from pain, we not only improve our own lives but improve the lives of others around us for years to come. 

 

http://www.emdrhap.org/content/

www.playtherapycommunity.com

http://liferecoveryconsulting.com/

Below Are Some Affiliate Links to Books/Products That I Love

 

Jackie’s Favorite Labryinths (Discounted Price)

Weighted Blankets by Mosaic

http://arttherapy.org

http://counselinginbrevard.com/art-therapy/

http://intuitivecreativity.typepad.com/expressiveartinspirations/self-expression-therapy-activities.html

 

 

 

If you’d like to connect with me, I offer consultation and parent coaching support.  Just email me at jackie@jackieflynnconsulting.com or at my private practice at jackie@counselinginbrevard.com

www.parentingintherain.com

www.jackieflynnconsulting.com

www.counselinginbrevard.com 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/parentingintherain/

 

 

Mar 16, 2017

As a Play Therapist, I love using art with my clients!

 Art engages more of the brain in the healing process. 

But what about home? Is it important to have our materials and home? They can get messy look a little bit cluttered, be expensive sometimes, and take some time to delve into. 

Is it worth it?

The answer is yes! Art helps children in so many ways.Art projects can definitely help with confidence. Especially, if children are struggling in other areas. When children make something that they feel good about, that makes him feel proud of themselves, they perceive themselves as competent and capable of performing work that is really good. This self-perception often generalizes into other areas of their life. On surface level, one might think what’s sure they can paint a tree on a canvas, but that doesn’t mean that they can rock at math. And, to some extent that is correct. But, if gives them the confidence to try things that are very difficult and helps them to feel capable, they may have the courage to do math problems, they previously would’ve just shut down on…or whatever it is that the struggles with. Art projects can also help children with emotional self-regulation.  Artwork helps a right and the left hemisphere of the brain to synchronize which engages a calming effect. Many times, in session I will have my clients use the right in their left-hand at the same time which can enhance this effect. We do activities such as double mirror doodle, or art in the sand tray by moving both hands, design figures with the clay with both hands, and other things that just engage both hands, etc. I also love mandalas! mandalas or circle designs can either be symmetrical or any random design. I use these in individual, group and family sessions. There’s so many varieties think that you can do with Art.Art projects can also help with connection on many different levels. Engaging in creativity can help us connect with our inner self as well, as express what’s going on to others that can be so connecting. It can be so very healing. 

A picture is definitely worth I thousand words… and then some. I love using art therapy with blended families and adoptive families as it can truly that can strengthen the family system.  Art surpasses the limitation of words for sure!Sometimes, families will have an art cabinet or an art shelf where they random art supplies. For my families that I work with that do this, many of the kids comment how doing art work is one of their favorite things to do as a family. Sometimes in our family sessions where we’ll do a family coat of armor and have them identify their family strengths, or I’ll have them created habitat of a an animal in the future including all of the things that he needs to survive. They can be fun, telling of their situation, and also very healing and connecting, especially in high conflict situations.

 When parents ask me what they need to buy for their ourselves, I usually put it back on them. What do you think YOU might need for your shelf?   Because something that I recommend make totally be a turn off to them! For example I absolutely love, love, love, love, love, LOVE  glitter. But, a bottle of glitter around a 5-year-old can send some people into tizzy.  Gathering supplies for an art supply is an individual process for sure. You can find many low cost items at the local department store, but many things in nature are very useful as well. I love to bring in palm fronds for my clients to paint on and Angel and I have painted about a gazillion of them over years. We love using stick and leaves too. We live in Florida, so many times people around the neighborhood well trim the palm tree and put the palm fronds on the side of the road. Then, when we are walking our dog Max full pick up a really good friend.

 Remember too, art in this context is expressive, so isn’t confined to paint, paper, colored pencils etc. Art can be building a sand castle at the beach, it could be writing a plan together, it could be singing a song and expressing it with a dance, etc.

 As a play therapist, I love using the sand tray.  If you haven’t heard the episode 44 with Tammy van Hollander yet, it is so worth listening to. Putting little figurines, a.k.a. miniatures in the sand, can be very healing and extremely connecting. Also, I love to use rocks! All kinds of rocks I like to paint on rocks write on rocks use the rocks in the sand tray, incorporate rocks and are in mindfulness altogether… The possibilities are absolutely limitless

 In the show notes I have provided several links to art sites that can give you inspiration.

 

For Therapists – Join Play Therapy Community ™ with Jackie to learn more... Launching Soon!

 

 

http://liferecoveryconsulting.com/

Below Are Some Affiliate Links to Books/Products That I Love

 

Jackie’s Favorite Labryinths (Discounted Price)

Weighted Blankets by Mosaic

http://arttherapy.org

http://counselinginbrevard.com/art-therapy/

http://intuitivecreativity.typepad.com/expressiveartinspirations/self-expression-therapy-activities.html

 

 

 

If you’d like to connect with me, I offer consultation and parent coaching support.  Just email me at jackie@jackieflynnconsulting.com or at my private practice at jackie@counselinginbrevard.com

www.parentingintherain.com

www.jackieflynnconsulting.com

www.counselinginbrevard.com 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/parentingintherain/

 

Mar 9, 2017

“Is my kid addicted to video games?” 

I hear that question all the time from parents.  The word “addiction” is thrown round a lot these days… Video game addiction is not actually in the diagnostic manual per se, but some families have a real issue with their child being clued to a video game for many hours of the day. Sometimes, this is at the detriment of the social relationships play, family relationships, getting things.

 To steer away from the term addiction, which could be used totally appropriate here, I want to go to little bit deeper  with this topic. As a hypnotherapist that helps people transition from being a smoker to a nonsmoker, the term addiction can sometimes leave people feeling stuck and held captive by something larger than them.  I prefer to use the word habit, just because habits are much easier to change.   It’s all about perception and mindset, especially with our kids.

I just had an episode with Dr. Temple Grandin, perhaps the most famous person with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the world.  In that episode, she spoke to the connection between kids have an Autism Spectrum Disorder and their often strong attraction to play videogames. Many people children and adults included are trying to videogames for hours on end. Dr. Grandin recommends limiting their time on the games and involving them in some type of activity where they feel useful and helpful.  This approach helps prevent the dreaded scenario of having a 29 year old living at your house without skill, ambition, and desire to move into a more interactive kind of life that involves independence, responsibility and work ethic.

When is video gaming a problem?

 Moderation is the keyword here. And, prioritization. Just to be clear I am not anti-video games, I’m just pro parenting wisely when it comes to this area. As a parent of the kid that loves to play video games I totally understand the excitement and the joy and skill building in all of the strategic thinking that  goes with it. I’ve also experienced the other end where it is all-consuming, when situations left me wondering how to wean back without an unimaginable amount of upset or a disaster scenario.

This is where an ounce of prevention is like a pound of cure applies.  But, it’s never, ever too late to improve. 

Excessive, unmonitored, and/or violent video gaming can put a child at risk for increased irritability, avoidance of other healthy activities such as playing, reading, doing chores, spending time with family, obesity, etc.…  A very real concern sometimes involves safety such as connection and communication with strangers. It can get downright scary.But what can you do? What’s the solution? It can be a real dilemma, especially if you have a child that has been playing games for years and you fear an emotional explosion if you decide to pull the plug. Many times children that Play video games excessively also use the gaming as a in emotional self-regulation technique a.k.a. “A source of calming.” This could create a situation where the child is especially upset over losing the privilege of playing video game, win the video game is actually their way of calming down. This is why I recommend never going “cold turkey”. Never take away 100% of the videogame time if they are truly relying on it to help regulate their emotions without any other calming techniqes. Slowly pulling back to healthier lifestyle can be achieved much easier. Our children’s brains are not fully developed until about the ages of 21 to 24, so they are already working on limited ability to come down.Okay, following are the things that I think are important to keep in mind when making decisions around this matter. Each family is different… each family has their own set of values, rules, expectations, culture,… So the decisions that you may make for your child may look totally different than the decisions that your friend makes for her child– And that’s okay!

 Be involved, know what your kid is playing enjoying in periodically. When you are not involved it is like a secret world you have limited information about. No need to tell you about all of the dangers of the Internet, as I’m sure that you already know from my previous podcast episode on the subject. Sit down with your child to play the game every once in a while. It’s hard to find time to even take a shower before 11 PM much less to sit down to play a video game with your kid. But it is so very important to be involved. It’s a big deal.  The stakes are high.  Then you know what your child was doing and is exposed to, as well as it turns it into a connected activity.

 Also, pay attention to the rating levels… I recommend being really conservative with time here… Some of the games with the enhanced graphic these days are really activating… It does have an effect on your child’s perception of normalcy. Kids need to be kids while they are kids. Enough said here the violent games are not good …for anyone !

 Place your child’s gaming device and/or computer in a public area. When parents put gaming devices in their bedroom, they are really limiting their capacity to not only know what the child is playing to be more aware of how long they are playing for and with whom they are playing. This is a biggie!Also, prioritize, prioritize, prioritize… be sure that your child gets their chores done come other homework done, their playtime and their social time in before they play games.  Also, be sure that they get to be in time.  The crankiness meter can shoot up fast with sleep deprivation, regardless of age.  This helps to ensure that gaming is PART of their life, not their ENTIRE life. Many kids are at risk of turning into a hermit crab and staying in the room for hours upon and only to come out when they need food, a bathroom break, or prompted by their parents.  It can get bad sometimes.  

 Some warning signs that your child is playing too much is when they give emotionally explosive when it’s time to get off, when you wake up in middle the night to go to the bathroom and you see that they’re playing video games instead of sleeping school night or not, feelings of disconnection from family and friends, when they do not get enough physical exercise because they are always sitting in front of the computer or the gaming device,  when they don’t want to do anything except for play their video game, and several more things that I’m probably not thinking about basically becomes a problem when it is the problem. What are your thoughts? Jump in the Facebook group at Parenting in the Rain Community and let me know what strategies you have adopted to help your kids moderator video game usage

For Therapists – Join Play Therapy Community ™ with Jackie to learn more... Launching Soon!

 

http://liferecoveryconsulting.com/

Below Are Some Affiliate Links to Books/Products That I Love

 

Jackie’s Favorite Labryinths (Discounted Price)

Weighted Blankets by Mosaic

 

 

 

If you’d like to connect with me, I offer consultation and parent coaching support.  Just email me at jackie@jackieflynnconsulting.com or at my private practice at jackie@counselinginbrevard.com

 

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