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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: November, 2017
Nov 30, 2017

Katie May is the “Group Guru”.

 

She works exclusively with teenagers in a teen support center in Flourtown, Pennsylvania.  

 

Groups energize Katie. She says that groups can’ save th’e world.  

 

In groups, people feel less alone in their struggles and they start to heal in ways that individual therapy can’t provide. 

 

Her groups are focused on the ideas of connection.

 

She told us about a group that she runs that looks at being nonjudgmental for teens.  She talked about using rocks to illustrate the judgements that they have for themselves.  She has them decorate the rocks to describe the judgements and toss them away as a concrete expression of getting rid of their judgements.  The teens put the rocks in a bag, weigh them and then toss them away into the water. This helps with processing of letting go of the judgements.  

 

Sometimes her groups do a “compliment circle” to express and receive kindness from others. Her pre and post assessment of their state of happiness improves after the kindness circle occurs.  

 

Katie prefers clear names for groups, rather than clever names.  This helps to make the process for the parents and caregivers looking for support for their child finding the groups simple and understanding .

 

Many times, teens can present with resistance towards therapy. 

 

Katie runs a skills group for teens.  The connection that they have with each other is really important.

 

She offers Dialectical Behavioral Therapy that she infuses in many of her groups. She provides experiential activities to help them actually know what works for them and how it feels. 

 

Pros

Group therapy helps clients feel understood and connected to a positive support system.  When people can connect with their peers to feel less alone.  Social support is so very important and can be a positive experience.

 

Cons
Group therapy isn’t the best setting for deeper individual work that may involve trauma.  Also, it can be challenging to balance time between the group members.   Another con is that the group members’ personalities don’t always mesh. 

 

It’s so important to build trust and let the relationships form before diving into tough stuff.  It’s important to put yourself into the group member’s shoes.

 

 

http://www.becomeagroupguru.com

https://playtherapycommunity.simplero.com/page/73863-free-download-tips-for-supporting-grieving-children

https://www.facebook.com/PLAYTHERAPYCOMMUNITY/

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

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1130971706932394/

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

https://www.facebook.com/counselinginbrevard/

www.counselinginbrevard.com

www.playtherapycommunity.com

www.parentingintherain.com

www.jackieflynnconsulting.com

https://twitter.com/jackieflynnrpt

 

Nov 23, 2017

Build Love Maps

Knowing each other’s world is so vital to the health of a relationship.  It’s important to make exploration of each other’s world an ongoing effort.  This can help strengthen the relationship and help each person in the relationship to feel felt and cared about.

Share Fondness and Admiration

Fondness and admiration is noticing what’s going right and what’s good rather than putting a focus on the negative.  If couples are in “Negative Sentiment Override” as Gottman calls them.

 

Turn Towards

Turning towards your partner, both literally and figuratively is important as it sends a message that “you matter”, “I care”, “you’re important to me”.  Gottman uses the metaphor of a RELATIONSHIP BANK ACCOUNT to illustrate the need for 5 times as many positives to every one negative in a relationship.  Turning towards and accepting “bids for connection”, such as holding hands, inviting on an outing, snuggling, etc. is important to build the relationship bank account up so that when there are negatives, it doesn’t go into a negative balance. 

 

The Positive Perspective

The positive perspective focuses on friendships.  When couples engage in a strong friendship, then they can weather the storms better.  They have a stronger tolerance for difficult circumstances.

Manage Conflict

Sixty nine percent of the conflict in a relationship is perpetual, which means it doesn’t have a clear resolution.  Often couples need to move towards compromising on issues.  It’s important that couples learn how to use soft startup and avoid the 4 patterns of communications that can eat away at a relationship: Criticism, Defensiveness, Contempt, Stonewalling.  Gottman refers to these as the 4 Horsemen.

Make Life Dreams Come True

Having fun, adventures and dreams together, as well as honoring each other’s dreams is so vital towards the health of a relationship. Couples that laugh and have fun together often have a much healthier relationship.

 

Create Shared Meaning

Together, couples build a shared culture that incorporates what each of them knew to be true in their formative years, as well as new things that they do together in their own relationship and their own family.  Also, what legacy they want to leave in the world together is explored.

 

Trust and Commitment

Trust & Commitment are the walls of the sound relationship house.  If these walls are weakened in any way, the entire house could be at risk from falling.  Through repair work, couples can repair ruptures and move towards healed trust and commitment that can weather the storms of a relationship.  

 

https://playtherapycommunity.simplero.com/page/73863-free-download-tips-for-supporting-grieving-children

https://www.facebook.com/PLAYTHERAPYCOMMUNITY/

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

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1130971706932394/

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

https://www.facebook.com/counselinginbrevard/

www.counselinginbrevard.com

www.playtherapycommunity.com

www.parentingintherain.com

www.jackieflynnconsulting.com

https://twitter.com/jackieflynnrpt

 

Nov 16, 2017

Double Mirror Doodle

  • Using a large piece of paper and 2 crayons, have the student doodle a mirror image design. This helps with grounding, focus, and clarity through bilateral integration of both hemispheres of the brain. 
    • Materials
      • Large Paper 
      • 2 crayons

What Happened Next

  • Using a large piece of paper and something to write with, have the student sequentially tell the story of what happened from beginning to the end.  This narrative supports "top-down" processing of the event. 
    • Materials
      • Large Paper
      • Pen, Pencil, or Crayons

Tumbling Blocks Conversation Prompts

  • Using a Jenga (or generic version) game, the child and the counselor will pull a block and respond to the prompt on the block.  This can be used for a variety of topics to include coping skills, social situations, icebreaker, friendship skills, etc. 

Pick-Up Straws

  • Using straws, students will pick up a straw and respond to a prompt coordinated with the color-coded prompts on a list of prompts in variety of areas.
    • Materials
      • Package of Straws with a Variety of Colors

Career Charades 

  • In this activity, the child(re) will act out a carreer while the others guess.  It can be an ice breaker or connecting activity as well for groups.  
    • Slips of paper with careers or modified prompts to direct the child on what to act out in charades style.

Career Creation 

Through clay creations, the child or teen will mold the dough or clay to form a symbolic representation of the career.  For example, they may create a toothbrush for a dentist.  This can be modified to fit the topic of the area in need of supporting, such as emotional literacy and expression, family system support, and much more. 

 

Social / Emotional/Friendship Thumballs

  • In this activity, the ball is tossed to each player.   The person catching the ball will respond to the word, statement, response closest to the player’s right thumb.  Write words, statements, responses on the ball with a permanent marker.  Themes could be “Ice Breaker”, “Social Situations”, “Emotional Literacy”, etc…
    • Materials
      • Large Air Filled Ball
      • Black Permanent Marker

 

Fishing for Solutions

  • In this activity, each child “fishes” for a statement or a question.  Once the child “catches’ a fish, he/she responds to the group. 
    • Materials
      • Foam Sheets (variety of colors)
      • Permanent Black Marker 
      • Small Round Magnets
      • ½ “ x 2’ Dowel Rod 
      • 1’ of Twine
      • Large Metal Bucket
      • Large Blue Cloth 
      • (Cut foam pieces in the shape of a fish.  Glue a round magnet on the fish shape for the eye.  Create a fishing pole by tying and gluing the twine to the end of the string.  At the end of the string, glue a round magnet.)

 

Mandalas

  • In this activity, each person creates a design in the circle.  This art therapy directive can differ based on goals for the activity (team building, expression, calming, etc…).  After completion, a group discussion can be initiated to explore the process and any feelings that surface…
    • Materials
      • Large Sheet of Paper 
      • Round Object for Circle Shape to Trace on the Paper 
      • Crayons, Markers, and/or Paint

Bibliotherapy

Therapeutic Books with Activities to Address Various Issues

  • “Have You Filled Your Bucket Today” (Relationships)  In this activity, the child(ren) will write down positive, helpful statements to others on the slips of paper, then place in others’ “bucket” to symbolize kind acts.
    • Bucket(s)
    • Small Slips of Paper
    • Writing Instruments
  • “Invisible String” (Grief and Loss)  In this activity, the child will illustrate pictorially the people that they feel connected as in the metaphor of the invisible string that is represented with clear glue.
    • Paper
    • Glue
    • Crayons
  • “Personal Space Camp” (Social Appropriateness)  In this activity, the child learns about the appropriate amount of space to allow for peers and others in their familiarity with the visual aid  of a hula hoop. The child is to be directed to notice the distance as it is an appropriate for personal space.
  • Hula Hoop

Positive Belief "I am..." Activity

In this activity, the child “ranks” each statement depending on feelings of accuracy.  Statements can be adapted to individual / group.  The final rank of statements could then be discussed for self-awareness and a starting point for self-image concerns

  • Materials
    • Printed sheet with the following statements, cut into strips.
      • I am CONFIDENT
      • I am INTELLIGENT
      • I am CREATIVE
      • I am HUMOROUS
      • I am KIND
      • I am CONFIDENT
      • I am GOOD
      • I am CAPABLE

 

Self-Talk Thought Bubble

  • This activity is most effective when it is frontloaded with psychoeducation to teach the child about self-talk and how it impacts various situations such as test anxiety, social situations, etc....  To create the dialogue bubble, cut the poster board in the desired shape with a head shaped hole in the middle.  Instruct the child to write some positive and negative self-talk statements on the board.  Each statement can be used as a participatory discussion starter to strengthen the child’s understanding of the importance of using positive self-talk to better situations.
    • Materials
      • Large Posterboard
      • Sharpie Marker
      • Scissors
Nov 9, 2017

Dr. Taylor is an assistant professor at the University of Central Florida.  

She’s also the Center for Play Therapy Training and Research Director, as well as the Play Therapy Certificate coordinator.  

 

She earned her graduate degrees from the University of North Texas. 

 

She learned from many of the leaders in the Play Therapy world.  

 

Dr. Taylor is trained in Adlerian Play Therapy developed in the early 1990’s by Terry Kottman, Ph.D., Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor, NCC, LMHC

 

 

Adlerian’s belief is that people’s behavior is purposeful and goal-directed.  Their early childhood experiences influence their behavior, as well as how they view themselves, others and their world. 

 

4 Phases of Adlerian Play Therapy

(1) Relationship Building – This phase of the therapy is non-directive and supports safety in the play room.  By creating a shared power, the client can really feel like a significant person in their world.  This phase supports building trust within the child. 

(2) Investigating the Lifestyle – In this phase, the therapist becomes more directive in their work.  A focus is placed on how they view themselves, others, and the world.  There are a lot of things to take into consideration for the client, especially information on their personality, how do they feel like they matter in the world.  

(3) Gaining Insight – At this point in the therapeutic process, the therapist has a really good idea how the child is viewing themselves, others and world. The treatment plan is developed after phase 2, once the therapist has a good idea of who the child is and how they view the world.

(4) Reorientation –In this phase, the therapist teaches the children skillsets through role play, family work, and more.  One of the goals is to directly support their ability to generalize the skills in different settings to support their self-efficacy.

 

The therapist looks for signs that the child is ready to move into  each phase. 

It’s important to truly understand the child’s lifestyle.

 

These 3 things are across each of the categories in the lifestyle: 

  • Goals for Change
  • Strategies
  • Progress

 

Parent consultation is an important component of Adlerian Play therapy.  Half of the session is spent with the child and ½ of the session is spent with the parent or every other session with parent then with child is scheduled.  

 

During the therapy, the parent is also following the 4 phases. During the parent consultation, how the parent is viewing the world is explored since it greatly influences their parenting approach. 

 

During the parent consultation, the parent learns many of the same skills as the child, so that they can respond to the child in a different way that is supportive of the treatment plan for the child. 

 

Dr. Taylor highly recommends reading Partners in Play by Terry Kottman 3rd Edtion.

 

Crucial C’s of Adlerian Play Therapy 

 

  • Courage 
  • Connect
  • Capable 
  • Count

 

It’s important for each therapist to choose a theory that aligns with how you also view the world to foster authenticity of delivery of services. 

 

The relationship is the most critical element of the therapy.  

 

 

 

 

http://education.ucf.edu/playtherapy/

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ucf-center-for-play-therapy-research-and-training-first-annual-play-therapy-conference-partners-in-registration-26582158953

https://playtherapycommunity.simplero.com/page/73863-free-download-tips-for-supporting-grieving-children

https://www.facebook.com/PLAYTHERAPYCOMMUNITY/

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

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1130971706932394/

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

https://www.facebook.com/counselinginbrevard/

www.counselinginbrevard.com

www.playtherapycommunity.com

www.parentingintherain.com

www.jackieflynnconsulting.com

https://twitter.com/jackieflynnrpt

 

 

 

Nov 2, 2017

Dr. Stacy Van Horn is currently a full-time faculty member and School Counseling Coordinator at the University of Central Florida in the Counselor Education and School Psychology Program within the Department of Child, Family and Community Sciences. She teaches graduate students at both the masters and doctoral level primarily in the areas of career development, counseling with children and adolescents, ethical and legal issues in professional school counseling, and coordination of comprehensive, developmental school counseling programs. She also supervises practicum students in the Community Counseling and Research Clinic (CCRC) on campus and school counseling interns throughout Central Florida schools.   Prior to her position as a Counselor Educator, Dr. Van Horn worked as a professional school counselor for over nine years in Orange County Public Schools working with diverse students, teachers, and families in Central Florida.  Dr. Van Horn has experience in creating and coordinating comprehensive, developmental school counseling programs at both the elementary and middle school level.  In addition, she has experience collaborating with exceptional education school personnel on developing strategies and counseling approaches for exceptional education students.  Her current research interests include training and supervision of professional school counselors, counseling interventions with diverse children and adolescents, and the role of professional school counselors in providing effective career development in schools.  Dr. Van Horn has presented at national, regional, state, and local counseling conferences, including American Counseling Association, Association for Specialists

Prior to her position as a Counselor Educator, Dr. Van Horn worked as a professional school counselor for over nine years in Orange County Public Schools working with diverse students, teachers, and families in Central Florida.  Dr. Van Horn has experience in creating and coordinating comprehensive, developmental school counseling programs at both the elementary and middle school level.  In addition, she has experience collaborating with exceptional education school personnel on developing strategies and counseling approaches for exceptional education students.  Her current research interests include training and supervision of professional school counselors, counseling interventions with diverse children and adolescents, and the role of professional school counselors in providing effective career development in schools.  Dr. Van Horn has presented at national, regional, state, and local counseling conferences, including American Counseling Association, Association for Specialists for Group Work, American School Counseling Association, the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, Florida Counseling Association, the Florida School Counselor Association, and invited presenter at the Florida Association for Gifted Children.  

 

School Counselors have a unique role within the school setting. A school counselor works as a vital part of a team and stakeholders. 

  • Primarily, School Counselors work within 3 primary domains: Academic Development, Career Development, and Social/Emotional Development. 
    • Elementary counselors may teach more classroom guidance lessons, identify students in need of more support in regards to specialized programs, connecting with parents through parent conferences, and more…  
    • Middle school counselors may facilitate more small groups, put greater focus on peer interaction, help students with communication skills, and engage in more career exploration with students.  
    • High school counselors tend to provide more 1 on 1 counseling, coordinate bigger school events and assemblies, conduct credit checks, advise students on credit requirements and class selection, prepare students for college with college readiness activities, coordinate / conduct testing, and focus on students’ transition into college.  School counselors are so vital at every level!
  • It’s really important for others to know the role of a School Counselor to maximize the benefits of this important role. This is sometimes a big challenge in the field as this is predefined.  Students from University of Central Florida (UCF) are prepared to articulate the role to others.
  • School counselors can interact with students in several ways to include, but not limited to one on one, small group, classroom guidance, assemblies, etc... 
  • Counseling provided by a school counselor is much different than therapy in a clinical setting.  School counselors often experientially provide students with coping skills to help with managing anger, healthy friendships, solid study skills, mindfulness techniques, and much more. 
  • School Counselors often conduct career days, Red Ribbon Week activities, award assemblies, extra-curricular activities, etc…
  • It’s helpful for School Counselors to observe students in different environments.
  • It’s so important to be visible as a School Counselor to the parents, administrators… and most importantly the students. 
  • School counselors can also provide trainings to teachers.  Dr. Van Horn polled teachers to see what areas they would like to learn more about.  She remembers a training that she offered while she was in the role of a School Counselor on “How to Have a Strength-Based Meeting”.   In this training, her team role played to take the learning to a deeper learning to an experiential level. 
  • School counselors often conduct several meetings throughout the years, IEP, 504s, behavior support, etc.  
  • It can be really helpful for school counselors to connect with child therapists in their area.
  • Advantages of Being a School Counselor - School counselors have so much impact on students over weeks, over the school year, and over the course of several years.  School counseling is a unique profession, as rarely are 2 days the same. It’s so helpful to work together as a team with all of the stakeholders such as parents, teachers, administrators, etc. Unlike therapists, a school counselor has the advantage of seeing the child throughout the day in a variety of settings.  Often School Counselors are the first line of support to students. School Counselors may have request slips that the students can submit to request support that doesn’t require consent from parents, session fees, or many of the other limitations that may prevent a student from obtaining help when needed. Dr. Van Horn speaks of “Cluster Groups” within the school to discuss creative ideas, opportunities and such. 
  • Disadvantages of Being a School Counselor -  Often school counselors are faced with limited time, limited resources, limited student connection time, lunch duty, etc.  School counselors often wear many different hats: testing coordinator, scheduling, lunch duty personnel, car loop support, credit checks, child study meetings, and so much more.  All of these roles can create confusion on the role of a school counselor and can take them away from services that utilizing their specialized skills to help students in the best way.   
  • Sometimes School Counselors face a lack of support.
  • School Counselors benefit from placing a focus on how they can take care of their own personal emotional and physical wellness as they can be pulled in so many directions that ca be emotionally draining.  It’s important to establish boundaries to keep emotionally healthy. 
  • School counselors benefit from knowing great therapists in the community so that they have good referrals to provide to their students in need.  Sometimes School Counselors co-present with therapists in their community to their parents and their staff, as well as to create trainings and workshops. 
  • Relationships between school counselors and child and family therapists in the community are so beneficial.
  • When crises happen in schools, relationships within helpers in the communities can make such a huge difference. 
  • Dr. Van Horn talks about when she realized that she couldn’t have her “to do” list checked at the end of the day.  She normalized the feeling of overwhelm with so many tasks in a limited amount of time. 
  • Play therapy techniques can be used by school counselors in a low-cost way that can be implemented in efficient ways. 
  • What does a "typical" day in the life of school counselor look like?  School counselors really don’t have a “typical” day. Each day can look so different. 

Learn More about Dr. Van Horn at UCF http://education.ucf.edu/faculty_detail.cfm?id=591

Association for School Counselors, ASCA https://www.schoolcounselor.org 

Jackie’s Play Therapy Community www.playtherapycommunity.com

Jackie’s Private Practice www.counselinginbrevard.com

Jackie’s Consulting Support www.jackieflynnconsulting.com

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