Weekly Intervention Ideas: January 25th Edition

Theme: Cultivating Fun

Kid strategy of the week:

Fun mindfulness activity for kids: Pairing fun and mindfulness for kids can be a great way to introduce being mindful as a coping skill. The practice of mindfulness can support kids in learning self-regulation/soothing and building confidence/efficacy.

  • Start by sharing with excitement that you will both be doing fun poses to feel strong and brave!
  • Then explain and demonstrate the poses:
    • Superman (or person): First, stand with your feet just wider than your hips; next, clench your fists and reach to the sky; last, stretch your body as tall as possible and hold the pose for a few moments.
    • Wonderwoman (or person): First, stand as tall as you can with your feet just wider than your hips; next, place your hands or fists on your hips and hold the pose for a few moments.
    • Then ask the client to practice the poses with you!
    • After a couple rounds of practicing, ask how they feel from doing this?!

Source: 25 Fun Mindfulness Activities for Children and Teens (+Tips!)
Sample Progress Note: The focus of the session was (tailor based on treatment plan). The therapist engaged the client in a mindfulness activity (super person pose) to help them build understanding on how being mindful can be fun and support them in feeling strong and brave. The Ct responded to the goal activity by (fill in the blank).

Couples strategy of the week:

Activities to Cultivate Closeness and Laughter: Knowing your partner and building fond memories are two key ingredients to strong relationships. One way to do this is to play games or do activities together that help you get to know each other while having fun.

Some ideas include:

  • Making and sharing playlists that reflect a certain theme or time in your lives (e.g., teenage years, childhood, when you first started dating, “guilty pleasure” songs, sensual songs, etc.)
  • Taking turns guessing your partner’s answers to questions about themselves using the free Gottman Card Decks App 
  • Swapping books or movies that are meaningful to each of you
  • Trust falls
  • Soul gazing (holding silent eye contact for 2 to 3 minutes; it’s common for couples to get the giggles and feel connected to each other during this exercise)
  • For more ideas: https://hackspirit.com/couple-counseling-exercises/

Sample Progress Note: The focus of this session was… The therapist helped the couple explore and practice activities that cultivate fun and a sense of closeness. The couple was (engaged/receptive/disengaged/etc.) while discussing these topics, and they (were able/struggled/somewhat able) to identify enjoyable activities they would like to practice to strengthen their relationship.

Adult strategy of the week:

Creating a Fun Mood Board: A mood board is a collection of images or items that is intended to invoke a certain mood. You can create a physical mood board or a digital one by saving files on your device or using a website like Pinterest. Creating a mood board in itself can be fun, and looking at your mood board later can help give you a quick mood boost.

Some ideas of what to include are:

  • Funny or cute pictures
  • Memories of good times with loved ones
  • Memes
  • Links to music that makes you want to dance or sing
  • Jokes that always make you laugh
  • Links to videos that make you laugh

Sample Progress Note: The focus of this session was… The therapist helped the client explore ways to cultivate fun in their lives using a mood board of positive and resources and images. The client reported that creating a mood board to cultivate positive emotions was (helpful/not helpful/boring/etc.), and the client expressed that they are (likely/not likely) to use their mood board to improve their moods in the future.

Mindfulness/Meditation of the week:

Cultivating Joy: Bring fun into meditation by focusing on the notion of joy!
Sample Progress Note: The focus of this session was… The therapist led a meditation (cultivating joy). Ct. (engaged/did not engage in the activity), and they reported that the meditation was (helpful/difficult/not helpful)

Meditation Script:

Sit comfortably in a quiet place with your spine up tall
Relax your shoulders, your belly and your thighs
Shift back slightly so your head and your shoulders sit directly over your hips
Close your eyes and feel into the connection between your hips, or your legs, and the earth
As you breathe gently in and out through your nose
Allow yourself to get further settled into your seat
With this rooting down, notice the energy you receive back from the earth
Feel how your connection to the support underneath you helps you feel tall, awake, and alive
Remain connected to the body and the breath, aware of body and breath
Feel how the body seemingly breathes itself
Notice into the wonder of the rise and fall of your chest
The wonder of the continual movement of breath
Soften into a deep feeling of gratitude for the body itself and your breath
Sense your heart opening to the miracle that is your body
Recognize all the wonderful ways in which it functions
And all the amazing ways in which it allows you to connect with your world
Feel your heart open to the miracle that is your breath
Conjure up a heartfelt gratitude as you delve into present moment awareness
(pause 3 breaths)
Recognize how precious and how extraordinary your breath and your body are
Feel your body softening, and opening into this awareness
Feel all tension release from your forehead, your shoulders, your belly, and your thighs
And then intentionally, ever so slightly, turn up the corners of your mouth
Notice how the body reacts to this subtle smile
And turn toward that sensation
(pause 3 breaths)
Label that sensation as happiness, as joy, or as bliss
And sit with it
Hold your subtle inner smile, and explore
Notice what arises
(pause 3 breaths)
Notice too, that this sensation of joy is available to you
Right here, right now
Doing something as simple as sitting still, watching and noticing
Right here and right now,
The more you can be present
The more you can free yourself from thinking about what comes next
The more you can free yourself from ruminating on what has already happened
The more you are available to notice this joy
(pause 3 breaths)
Notice that joy doesn’t so much arise,
But joy is revealed.
Joy is most available to you when you are available to be nowhere other than right here, right now
Rest your whole body in this state of joy
And identify with this bliss
As who you really are
(pause 3 breaths)
This happiness, this joy, this bliss,
Is what remains when you drop all your superficial thinking, and doing
It’s what remains when you’re nowhere other than present, right here
This joy is you.
It is your natural state
Recall this sensation
And remember, that this joy, as you, is available to you at any time.
Anytime you’d like to come back to this feeling
All you need to do is stop what you’re doing and notice
So right here, acknowledge the ease, the spaciousness
Acknowledge the gratitude and awe
Acknowledge your inner smile, and the sensation of joy
Get to know joy in this moment
And make a promise to remember joy,
To turn towards joy,
And to notice who it is that you truly are
Even as you return to your day.
Source: Cultivating Joy – Guided Meditation Script | Mindfulness Exercises