Weekly Intervention Ideas: July 13th Edition

Kid strategy of the week:

  • Cup Activity: Have the child use a printed version of the image below, or better yet, draw out a sketch of the cup on Zoom Whiteboard or another platform. Talk about the stressors or triggers that fill up the client’s cup throughout their day: maybe it’s difficult homework, a parent scolding them, feeling hungry, not getting to do a preferred activity, etc. As you talk about each stressor in a day, add a little water by coloring in the cup, little by little.

  • Talk about what happens when the child’s cup feels too full of stressors and overflows. Do they scream, cry, retreat, or get crabby?

  • Next, talk about ways that they can empty their cup little by little during the day. Work in coping skills that the child already uses, or teach new ones. Using the drawing again, show how emptying their cup throughout the day can keep them from overflowing. Talk about how full the child’s cup is today and if they feel like they need to empty it at all to feel better, then practice those coping strategies together.

  • https://img.pngio.com/collection-of-blank-mug-drawing-high-cup-drawing-png-2242396-cup-drawing-png-920_665.png

  • Sample Progress Note: The focus of this session was… The therapist engaged the child in an art therapy activity (Cup Activity) to help them become more aware of their level of activation/emotion, and identify helpful coping strategies for when they feel overwhelmed. The client (engaged/did not engage) in the activity and reported it was (helpful/interesting/boring).

Couples strategy of the week:

  • Genograms: Use the following key to create a genogram (i.e., a family tree) to help see patterns in yours and your partner’s family. Discuss what you notice and what you’ve learned about yourself, your partner, and your relationship. If you don’t see the symbol you’re looking for, feel free to create your own symbols.

  • Sample Progress Note: The focus of this session was… The therapist helped the couple create genograms for each of their families and process their emotions, relationship patterns, and observations about the activity. The couple reported that creating genograms was (helpful/not helpful/interesting/overwhelming).

Example:

Adult strategy of the week:

  • Body Appreciation: While thinking about our bodies, many of us focus on how our bodies look (especially in the summer for a lot of people), and sometimes we forget all the other wonderful aspects of our bodies. Complete the statements below to practice thinking about your body in more ways than appearance:

    • My body allows me to… (examples: hug my daughter, carry groceries from my car)

    • I appreciate that my body helps me feel… (examples: sunlight, massages, soft clothes, sexual pleasure)

    • My body helps me understand… (examples: my emotions, limits)

    • My body creates… (examples: art, a comforting space for my children)

  • Sample progress note: The focus of this session was… The therapist helped client explore their relationship with their body and process their emotions related to their body. Client expressed that discussing their relationship with their body was (helpful/difficult/painful/interesting), and they were (able to/not able to) identify their emotions related to their body.

Mindfulness/Meditation of the week:

So, to reduce anxiety,

please make yourself comfortable

lying down on your bed

or on the floor,

or wherever you can be comfortable,

maybe putting a pillow of some sort

under your knees.

Allow your eyes to close

and your body to just melt into the floor

or the bed,

Take a few moments

to scan your awareness

through the sensations of your body,

and wherever possible,

soften and release

obvious areas of physical tension.

This can be done with great effect at the end of a long day,

although it can be done at any other time

Allow your attention

to gently come into the body

to the flowing of your breath.

Experience the sense of your body as a whole,

simply lying here,

extended,

and breathing.

When you feel ready,

picture in your mind’s eye

the image of a lake,

perhaps a lake that you know well

and that you go to from time to time,

or one that you’ve seen in a photograph,

Just see if you can bring that image into vivid focus

in your mind’s eye.

Notice how it’s an extended body of water

held within the earth’s surface,

and perhaps fed by a spring or a stream…

If you watch and observe the lake carefully,

you’ll notice that it’s always changing,

and yet it’s also always itself.

It changes as the sun moves across the sky.

The light is reflected off the water in different ways.

It changes depending on the weather.

Sometimes,

on very calm days,

the surface might be like glass

and reflect virtually everything

with great precision that comes by,

clouds,

birds,

the trees that might surround the lake,

the sun as it makes its journey across the sky,

and for that matter,

the moon

and the stars at night.

So there are times when the lake is extremely reflective

and contains,

in a certain way,

everything that comes by

or over it.

In different periods of time,

the surface might be choppy,

and sometimes quite pronounced in the waves,

in which times the light might sparkle off the waves in different ways,

Feeling Your Body and Mind as a Lake

Of course,

the lake changes through the seasons.

In the winter,

depending on its location,

it might actually be frozen over,

Through day and night,

and through the seasons,

and through the years,

the lake is constantly changing

but always is its own essential nature.

And now,

see if you can invite the lake

to exist within your own body lying here

so that your body becomes the lake itself.

You can imagine feeling held

and embraced as you lie here

aware of the many ways in which

your own mind is like the surface of the lake,

sometimes highly reflective,

sometimes choppy.

Getting in touch with the sense of the entirety of the lake,

the full body of water,

not only in the surface,

but also down below.

As you lie here,

experience the fullness of your own being

so that even at times

when your mind is choppy and upset,

or reactive,

or dealing with difficult things

you can drop down beneath the surface of your own mind’s waves

and find a stillness

and a calmness

that’s always here

and always available to you

with each moment,

with each breath,

and certainly when you come to lie down in this way.

Lying here under the canopy of your vast awareness,

experiencing the moment to moment changes in your body

and sensations,

thoughts,

feelings,

impulses,

sounds,

and all the while,

lake like,

just simply lying here

watching the play of the weather

of your mind and body.

Allowing your awareness to

hold it all,

moment by moment,

breath by breath,

in your own fullness,

in your own completeness,

moment by moment.

Thank you for your kind awareness.