Thursday, May 12, 2016

Last Minute Therapy Intervention When You Are Running Low On Creativity

It's nearing the end of the school year you guys! Kids are taking tests, going on field trips and planning their summers. As a school-site based therapist I am doing more paperwork, closing out files and filling out end of the year forms. With all of this, sometimes it's tricky to think of something creative and fun to do with our clients as we head into summer.

So I decided to create a calm collages! What are they exactly? Basically they are a collage of pictures a that inspire feelings of calmness and relaxation for your client.

You will need:

A pair of scissors
A glue stick

What I do is go through the magazines beforehand and cut out images that I think might be calming or relaxing. I do this so that in session we don't spend the whole time just flipping through a magazine discussing celebrities or agonizing about what actually makes us feel calm.

I also do this because I would rather "screen" (especially working with elementary aged kids) what kind of content they see. I don't want them to have to feel inferior as they flip through endless pages of massive homes and perfectly clean and decorated rooms (how I love you HGTV) or pictures of celebrities before and after shots of weight loss. Ugh. #notcalming

After you've cut out a whole piles of magazine clippings you can just have them ready in case you want to use this intervention at a moment's notice or feel that it would benefit your client if they are feeling especially stressed out, anxious or angry. It's also a great thing to give them before they head into the summer. They can hang it up in their room and look at it when they are feeling big feelings. It's a very fun way for them to access their coping skills rather than just writing down a list in pencil.

You can introduce the intervention anyway you want. Sometimes having them close their eyes and practice deep breathing is a good way to start brainstorming about coping skills that help calm. Or you can jump right in! Depending on how large your paper is, have them pick 5-10 images that inspire the feeling of calm. You can play music or just talk while they choose images and then paste them to their paper. After this is done, I have them discuss why they chose their images. And that's it!

I made one as well for example and because yes I need a calm collage too. With my upcoming exam quickly approaching I too need to be reminded of what relaxes and calms me. My collage includes:

Washi Tape
A Bubble Bath

If I was to add one more thing, it would be my puppy Lenny when he is sleepy. He is quite wild when he is not tired so that can be more activating than relaxing. My mornings with sleepy fuzzy Lenny when he is just waking up are some of my favorite!

What things help you feel calm? What are your go-to therapy interventions?


  1. Hi Heather, this is such a wonderful post! In our master bedroom we have a small canvas (you can see it on my blog.) It's a print of a wonderful beach scene, there are sand covered steps leading down to the beach. This is my go to place whenever I get upset or stressed or I just need to feel calm. I go upstairs, sit on the bed and stare at it until I can mentally walk down those steps and sit on the beach for a while. There are videos on you tube too which just show waves on the beach. There are no sounds except the waves and the occasional seagull. They're wonderful. Off to share your post Heather, thank you for sharing dear wee friend, huggles xx

    1. I love your self-care routine! It's so helpful to visualize a happy and calm place. So happy you have your canvas beach scene :)

  2. Baking cookies is the BEST kind of therapy (for me). <3

    1. Oh yum. I WISH baking cookies was therapy for me. But eating them is for sure ;)

  3. Mine is: Shopping where there is beauty - i.e. even Target
    Sneaking off to a favorite coffee shop
    Reading things that have "happy sappy" endings - or watching the same.
    Going for a hike around a lake with a friend.
    Praying with Cherol
    Reading your Blogs

    1. Smooie!!! I LOVE these. These are also some of my favorite things too (aka bubble baths, happy books, and rain!)

  4. Oh! And listening to the rain and thunder
    And hot bubble baths