About Me

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and former school-based therapist - turned full time mama. I thrive on helping others improve their lives! This blog includes information about products that I've found helpful on my journey as a mama from from personal experience and trial and error. My hope is that it's helpful to you!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Talking With Children About Cancer

Good info from NASW about talking with children about cancer:

Friday, December 2, 2011

Help Foster Youth Gain Access to College

NAEHCY: Unaccompanied Youth Toolkits Homepage

Fantastic resource for those of you who work with high school aged foster/homeless youth!

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Target Dollar Section!

I received a bit of money from work for supplies for a new classroom I have at an elementary school. At the Target I went to (in Carson), they had SO much good stuff in the dollar section! All items on the left were $1 (card games, foam swords, various balls, large bubble wand, cubes that I will convert into story cubes, as suggested by Caitlin, noise putty), all items on the right were $2.50 (dinosaurs and safari animals, puppets, blocks, and a play science set).

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lots of Great Ideas

Hi fellow therapists! I just wanted to write a quick post to encourage you to regularly check pinterest.com/carlycollins for inspiration and ideas for activities. I add things as I find them, usually every couple of days. The most recent discovery: automobiles made out of recycled containers!!
Image courtesy of Reciclajes impresionantes hechos en casa

Monday, October 3, 2011

Free Printable Behavioral Charts

This web site (Free Printable Behavior Charts) has a TON of great resources for behavioral charts of all kinds! 
Image courtesy of clipartpal
In my practice, I tend to lean more toward rewarding positive/desired behaviors rather than punishing for negative behaviors. Many of my clients are not responsive to punishment, have been so punished for so long it is no longer effective, or don't have many privileges/resources to be taken away. 

In my experience, most children respond much more effectively to positive reinforcement of positive behaviors, rather than punishment of negative behaviors. This web site seems to lean more toward the positive, which I really like! 

Children are also more likely to respond when they are involved in the process, so I like the idea that many of these behavior charts are interactive; children can either participate by coloring progress along the chart, earn "Behavior Bucks" which can lead to a reward, etc. Keep in mind rewards don't always have to be monetary/physical objects...rewards can include things like family trips to the park, extra play time outside, have a friend over, movie night, etc.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Paper Bag House

I have been making many GREAT therapy idea discoveries through Pinterest 
Don't know what Pinterest is? You should! It's fantastic!

What is Pinterest? "Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests." -from Pinterest's help section

From my days as a substance abuse counselor..."Hi, my name is Carly, and I'm a Pinterest addict." There, I said it :)

Okay anyway, the point of my post today is this:

Many of the friends I follow on Pinterest are teachers, and they pin many ideas that are also really helpful to me as a therapist. I also just see fun art activities and other creative things that can be easily used as therapeutic activities.

Image courtesy of Snippety Gibbet

My latest discovery is Paper Bag Houses. Such a great tool for helping kids talk about their home environment, neighborhood, environmental stressors, etc. And only paper, scissors, glue, and of course paper bags are required!

I don't know if it will work, but just in case, here is a link to my 'Therapy' board on Pinterest so you can see all of the ideas I've pinned. Many of the teacher-centered ideas are for staff at the schools I work at, to help maintain a positive relationship with them :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Relaxation Tool

Image source: Here We Are Together Blog

Saw this great idea on Here We Are Together's blog, which you can link directly to here

Text directly from Here We Are Together about her Mind Jar:
A Mind Jar is a meditation tool to use whenever a child feels stressed, overwhelmed or upset. 
Imagine the glitter as your thoughts. When you shake the jar, imagine your head full of whirling thoughts, then watch them slowly settle while you calm down

My thought would be to basically use the jar as a relaxation tool with my students, as she mentions. 

Her recipe for making one is as follows:
We mixed 1 tablespoon of pink glitter-glue with about 1 cup of hot water, then added pink food colouring and a tiny tub of glitter.

Monday, August 29, 2011

All About Me Journaling Prompts

Just came across this incredible idea/list of journaling prompts from 

All About Me Journaling Prompts

by Sherrill Ghilardi Pierre (Apr 18, 2006), which can be found here.

These prompts and ideas are straight from Ghilardi's site:
  1. Have you ever experienced bottling up your anger or pain? What happened when you couldn't contain anger or pain anymore?
  2. What bugs you?
  3. How do you deal with anger?
  4. How easy is it for you to forgive those who have caused you pain or made you angry?
  5. Do you harbor resentment towards those who have done you wrong?
  6. What are the types of projects you procrastinate about?
  7. What thoughts come to you as you're procrastinating?
  8. What do you do instead of the project you're avoiding?
  9. How do you feel when something is unfinished?
  10. How do you decide if your work is good enough?
  11. What do you do after you make a mistake?
  12. When is the last time you really tried to succeed?
  13. What's your first reaction when someone lets you down?
  14. What's your first thought if someone hesitates before giving you their opinion about your creative project?
  15. How do you feel when you imagine an upcoming performance?
  16. What's your first reaction to a blank page or canvas?
  17. What do you have to do for much needed silence?
  18. How do you express your love? To yourself? To other people?
  19. How do you appreciate yourself?
  20. What is your tolerance level towards someone you love or value whose opinions, values and/or personality differ from yours?
  21. Name everything you've done that you're proud of (things you've been able to attain that bring you happiness):
  22. Places you've visited that you've enjoyed
  23. People you've met that you gained the most from
  24. Character traits you think others admire in you.
  25. Character traits you admire in yourself
  26. Things you've done you never thought you could do:
  27. What's your favorite color?
  28. What color car do you drive? What kind of car is it?
  29. In your house what are the predominant colors?
  30. What's your favorite outfit and color?
  31. Color of eyes, hair, skin?
  32. What color is your nail polish and make-up?
  33. What color accessories do you prefer? (purses, jewelry, etc.)
  34. What color are most of your clothes and jackets?
  35. What color is your birthstone?
  36. Right now, what is on your mind?
  37. Your 10 greatest joys
  38. When you're on top of the world...
  39. Nobody knows that you...
  40. What age were you most inspired?
  41. If you had to evacuate your home because of a natural disaster, which of your possessions would you bring with?
  42. Five places you would like to visit are:
  43. If you could pass on a piece of advice that meant a lot to you when you received it, what would it be?
  44. Name any life changing books you've read.
  45. 10 of my very best ideas:
  46. There was a time when you almost gave up on something. Write about that experience.
  47. What would be the perfect autumn day?
  48. Do you have reoccurring dreams? What are they about?
  49. A world event that is causing you distress is...
  50. You are going to make tomorrow different by...
  51. Do you like progress?
  52. If you could choose a different time period to live in, when would it be?
  53. If you were a flower, you'd be a...
  54. Why do you think you were born into this world?
  55. Who do you miss the most from your past?
  56. 10 types of food or dishes you've never eaten that you'd like to try
  57. Would you work for someone who stresses you out even if the money was good?
  58. Who inspires you?
  59. In the next year you plan to...
  60. What keeps you going?
  61. What's the most important thing to you?
  62. What are you pessimistic about?
  63. What was your first car?
  64. How do you feel when you are by yourself?
  65. You look up to ______________ because...
  66. Did you have a bicycle? What was it like?
  67. Work through a painful memory. Describe it. Feel it. And see if you can let it go.
  68. One thing you want to change about yourself is...
  69. Are you sad? Why?
  70. Write a letter to someone you need to forgive..
  71. Are you depressed? Why?
  72. How do you treat the people that irritate you?
  73. What is the nicest thing you have done for someone?
  74. 10 of your absolute worst pet peeves
  75. If you had one week to live, you'd...
  76. What needs cleaning in your house?
  77. If the phone were to ring right now, who would you want it to be?
  78. What do you think happens when we die?
  79. Everything happens for a reason, right?
  80. Write about a question that looms large in your mind right now.
  81. Your first pet was a _____________. Write about it.
  82. Do you have regrets?
  83. My top favorite songs right now are...
  84. Make a list of five ways you've changed in the last five years. What changes do you wish to make in the next five years?
  85. Friday makes me...
  86. Happiness is...
  87. Which countries you would love to visit?
  88. What things do you expect in a good friend?
  89. Today is the first day of the rest of your life, and you're going to...
  90. If you disappeared today, who would be affected?
  91. You are 20 years in the future. Write a letter to your today self.
  92. Places I have lived, in order
  93. What are some unfinished projects hanging over my head?
  94. Your dream job would be...
  95. One thing you want to accomplish TODAY is...
  96. Who is one person who changed your life?
  97. What is your legacy?
  98. What would you do if the sun didn't rise tomorrow?
  99. What are some relationships have had the greatest impact on your life?
  100. Right now you should be doing ______________ instead of ________
  101. Write about an old resentment or unhealed hurt.
  102. You forgive _______________ because...
  103. If you had to donate one million dollars to any charity, which one would it be and why?
  104. What have you accomplished in the last five years?
  105. Do you think nobody understands you?
  106. Joy is...
  107. If you could have three wishes, what would they be?
  108. Do you believe in love at first sight?
  109. You need other people because...
  110. Famous people make me...
  111. You're truly afraid of...
  112. What did you do before we had the Internet?
  113. Injustice in the world makes you feel...
  114. Isn't this moment the most important thing?
  115. What did you accomplish last year?
  116. What superpower would you choose to have?
  117. Did you go to college or have vocational training? Where and when?
  118. Are you happy with who you are? What do you feel right now?
  119. You feel ___ years old inside because...
  120. Name three reasons why you should get out of bed tomorrow...
  121. What is changing in your life right now?
  122. Write about your favorite pet.
  123. List 10 things you want to accomplish before it's too late.
  124. What was you favorite vacation or trip ever?
  125. How important is rest and relaxation to you?
  126. If I were going to be stranded on a desert island, what 10 items would you want in your pockets?
  127. The perfect personality is...
  128. What are your 10 deepest sorrows?
  129. Who do you envy and why?
  130. What are the values you cherish even though they run counter to societal values?
  131. Describe the perfect winter day. Tell about an activity you would do on that day.
  132. You meet a homeless person on the street. Do you give them money? Why?
  133. Describe the most serious illness or accident that you have had.
  134. A time you want to experience again...
  135. What five relationships have had the greatest impact on your life?
  136. What would have happened if you didn't leave the house this morning?
  137. What do you sense you're supposed to do before your life is over?.
  138. If you were to publish a book about yourself, what would you title it?
  139. Could you live without that one special person in your life?
  140. 10 unforgettable moments in your life
  141. 10 things you really like about yourself
  142. You're going to make tomorrow different by...
  143. What is your earliest memory? Why has it stayed with you?
  144. How did you meet your closest friend?
  145. Do you get upset when people don't do what you tell them to? Why?
  146. You'll never do _______ again because...
  147. Do you do anything to help the needy?
  148. The book you're reading right now is teaching you...
  149. List the jobs you've had during your life.
  150. Crowds make you feel...
  151. When you're over-stressed, you...
  152. Words that hurt you...
  153. Something comfortable is...
  154. Do you believe that what other people think is any of your business?
  155. Are you pleased with what you look like? If you could change any part of yourself what would it be?
  156. Are you afraid of death?
  157. Name five things in your refrigerator.
  158. If money didn't matter, what job or career would you go for?
  159. Is writing a form of self therapy?
  160. When you're around too much negativity, you...
  161. 10 things you think are crucial for you to be happy
  162. What is the most frustrating part of who you are?
  163. What is the best thing about being you?
  164. Use five adjectives to describe yourself, expand on each one.
  165. Do you lie to yourself?
  166. Do you excuse behaviors you know are wrong?
  167. What do you really, deeply want from life?
  168. What are you doing today to get you what you want?
  169. What is the last thing you did just to make yourself happy?
  170. Have you ever felt bliss? What was that moment (or the last time you felt it) like?
  171. Describe a perfect spring day and activities on that day.
  172. How do you feel about winning? Losing?
  173. What is the most wonderful thing that ever happened to you? The worst?
  174. What can frighten you the most and why?
  175. What is the most exciting place that you have ever been to and why?
  176. Tell how, when, where you learned to drive and any memorable experiences.
  177. What are your most deeply held values?
  178. Who do you miss the most from your past?
  179. What sound is most comforting to you?
  180. What sound describes you?
  181. You love the sound of.
  182. What's your favorite smell? What do you associate with your favorite smell?
  183. Five books that changed your life.
  184. What are your favorite sounds?
  185. You forced to give up one of your senses. Which one will it be?
  186. What was the last CD you bought?
  187. 10 types of food or dishes you've never eaten that you'd like to try:
  188. What are your food preferences and how did they come about?
  189. What don't you accept about yourself? What don't you accept from others?
  190. What is your personal secret of happiness?
  191. What is the most important lesson, message, or advice that you have learned?
  192. What personality trait do you admire and why?
  193. Tell about your civic or political activities.
  194. What are your favorite movies and why?
  195. If you could be an animal, which one would you choose and why?
  196. What do you think brings good or bad luck?
  197. Tell about all the places you have worked.
  198. What are your simple pleasures?
  199. What is your most valued possession?
  200. What rules have you broken?
  201. When's the last time you laughed at yourself?
  202. When's the last time you made a new friend?
  203. What are Sundays like for you?
  204. What secrets do you have?
  205. People see you as....
  206. You feel at peace when....
  207. The best gifts you were ever given...
  208. What monopoly figure do you usually use?
  209. What do you love about your job? Hate?
  210. What is your job now?
  211. What bores you?
  212. You like being female/male because....
  213. Do you live a high-tech or low-tech lifestyle?
  214. Do you visit your local library? Do you remember to have books back on time?
  215. How often do you read?
  216. What assumptions would a stranger make about you based on the books you read or have read?
  217. What are your favorite topics?
  218. What are the last 10 books you've read?
  219. If you could write a book, what would it be about?
  220. People are surprised to learn that you...
  221. Words you hate; words you love.
  222. What books or movies have changed your life?
  223. Celebrities you're sick of:
  224. The first thing you thought of when you woke up this morning was...
  225. Do you like taking naps?
  226. What kinds of things are you working on right now?
  227. Foods you never get tired of eating:
  228. Your favorite snacks:
  229. What do you like on your pizza?
  230. What are your comfort foods?
  231. What are your favorite desserts?
  232. What fruit is your favorite? Least favorite?
  233. You never get sick of:
  234. How do you know when you can trust someone?
  235. What does someone have to do for you to call them your friend?
  236. What do you love to buy? Hate to buy?
  237. What's the worst thing you've ever done with your hair?
  238. What's the most adventurous thing you've ever done with your hair? Do you like your hair now? What's the style, color, etc.?
  239. What are the best compliments you've ever received?
  240. What music do you listen to the most?
  241. What are your most embarrassing moments?
  242. What gives you the creeps?
  243. What do you collect?
  244. How did you choose your pets' names?
  245. What brands of toiletries do you HAVE to have?
  246. What is your hair care routine? How about your routine in the morning when you get ready?
  247. What should you change about yourself?
  248. What has been the most touching image you've seen recently?
  249. What are you truly passionate about?
  250. What is your big dream currently?
  251. What makes you excited?
  252. What do you need to feel successful?
  253. What do you do in your spare time?
  254. What would you like to be an expert in?
  255. What do you do that you lose track of time while doing?
  256. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
  257. Who are your favorite actors?
  258. What are some events that have happened in your life that you wish you could relive or erase?
  259. What are some places you'd like to visit?
  260. List all the things you're grateful for:
  261. What's the worst advice you've ever been given?
  262. Do you own an object of sentimental value?
  263. What is your idea of a perfect day?
  264. In what way(s) do you indulge yourself?
  265. What are some fragments from your past that have stayed with you even though they might seem insignificant?
  266. Are you the type that "collects" things or do you live sparsely?
  267. Are you a night owl or a morning person?
  268. What makes laugh?
  269. What are some adjectives that describe you?
  270. What is your biggest vice?
  271. What would you consider your best characteristic?
  272. Do you have a nickname? Do you like being called that?
  273. If your house were on fire, what material possessions would you grab?
  274. What have you lied about?
  275. I wish I were more...
  276. I wish I were less...
  277. What color represents you? Why?
  278. What is the most beautiful thing to you in nature?
  279. Describe all the houses you've lived in:
  280. What is more important to you? Photographs, scrapbooks or journals?
  281. What sound do you associate with each of the seasons?
  282. When do you know when each season is "here"?
  283. What is the best gift you've ever been given?
  284. List all the vacations you've taken:
  285. If you could live one day without consequences, what would you do?
  286. What is your favorite season?
  287. Who was your first real boyfriend/girlfriend?
  288. What strengths have you developed over your life?
  289. What do you show to let others know you love them?
  290. Describe a time when you felt rejected.
  291. Do you believe in a higher power? Describe what you believe.
  292. What experiences have you had that you can attribute to a higher power?
  293. What's troubling you right now?
  294. Describe the first time you remember saying I love you to someone outside of your family.
  295. I will never forgive __________________________ for _______________________.
  296. Describe what is going on around you right now in detail.
  297. What in your life do you doubt?
  298. What has inspired you to hold on when all looked lost?
  299. What memory do you treasure most?
  300. Do you go out to eat or to the movies alone? Why or why not?
  301. If you saw someone commit a crime, what would you do?
  302. What has it taken to allow you to be who you are today?
  303. Write a letter to yourself as a child.
  304. What are some of the things you would not share with anyone, no mater what?
  305. I would want ____________________ to play me in the movie about my life because ____________________________________________.
  306. What beliefs, values and principles guide you?
  307. In what small way have you been loving today?
  308. If you had the courage to speak your mind you would say:
  309. What makes you you?
  310. What rituals do you have?
  311. What stops you from being creative?
  312. Who helped you learn to love?
  313. Talk about a time when you hated someone or something.
  314. What are your thoughts on suicide?
  315. How long can you go without a bath or brushing your teeth? What are your ideas about cleanliness?
  316. What do you wear to bed? What led you to chose that?
  317. What has it taken to allow you to possess what you have today?
  318. Write to yourself as an older person.
  319. You would call your autobiography ____________________________ because:
  320. Today what you like about your life is:
  321. What do you really enjoy doing?
  322. Do you take in positive experiences or compliments?
  323. What is unconditional love to you?
  324. What place do you really love?
  325. Who would you really like to get to know?
  326. What are the rewards for being creative?
  327. What has sustained you through the hard times?
  328. What songs do you sing in the shower?
  329. Could you be brutally honest with friends and family?
  330. What makes you look sexy?
  331. Do you like to sleep?
  332. What is your ideally peaceful place?
  333. What are you thankful for?
  334. Around other people you are:
  335. When have you been the most scared?
  336. Under what conditions would you kill?
  337. What would you like to dream about?
  338. What if you were more attractive or uglier? How would you be different?
  339. In what ways are you still effected by childhood problems?
  340. What have you lost during your life?
  341. What are all the important days in your life?
  342. Tell about a work experience.
  343. What word describes what you're searching for?
  344. In the silence you find:
  345. What is something dumb you've done?
  346. What is your favorite fantasy? What have you done to make it happen?
  347. Under what conditions would you steal?
  348. What do you think about capital punishment?
  349. If you could find out the truth about one thing, what would it be?
  350. How would you describe your self-worth?
  351. You are grateful for your body today because:
  352. You know you'll be ready to die when:
  353. Do you believe in ghosts, angels or spirits?
  354. What has been your most frightening dream?
  355. Could you give your life for someone?
  356. Under what conditions would you get a divorce?
  357. Under what conditions would you stay in a marriage if you weren't happy?
  358. How would you cope if you lost everything you own?
  359. You can tell you're joking around when you....
  360. What were the feelings about the death of someone you knew?
  361. If you could read someone by their signature, what would yours say?
  362. What has made you feel the weakest in your life?
  363. Has anything you've tried to change remained the same?
  364. What's a favorite story you have about yourself?
  365. What makes you laugh?
  366. If you were to die in a year and were able to make amends to all you needed to, who would you make amends to?
  367. Describe your favorite dream:
  368. What is your worst habit?
  369. What was the last compliment your received?
  370. What kinds of things aren't you good at?
  371. What good thing have you done today?
  372. What was your first job and how much did you make?
  373. You want to be remembered for:
  374. What makes you feel guilty?
  375. What makes you feel the most secure?
  376. Under what conditions would you approve of abortion?
  377. Are you trustworthy?
  378. Where do you go to find inspiration? Describe it.
  379. What is one thing you're facing now that you think you can't do?
  380. What are your special abilities? Are you using them and how? Or, are you allowing them to lie dormant until you have time and why?
  381. What little things have happened to you lately that have really touched you or made a huge difference in your day?
  382. What do you/can you do to make a difference in others' days?
    1. Make a list of all the things you MUST do each week (kids, job, house, etc.).
    2. How much time can you realistically dedicate to your creative work each week?
    3. Can you think of a way to create a portable creative lab so that you might write, sketch, or do other creative work during stolen moments (like waiting at a doctor's office, or waiting to pick up the kids after school . . .)?
    4. List one thing you'd like to accomplish in 2006, and then list ten things you will need to do to accomplish it (think small; make a phone call, look up a phone number or web site, etc.).
    5. List everything you accomplished in 2006 that makes you proud (not just creatively - list everything.)
    6. Make a list of people you want to keep in your life in 2006 - people who help you feel good about yourself.
    7. What makes you a good friend? In what ways could you improve?
    8. List one way that you plan to learn something in 2006.
    9. What bad habits will you try to leave behind in the new year?
    10. What good habits do you have that you'd like to continue?
    11. What new good habits would you like to adopt?
    12. If you could predict the next year, what do you think would happen?
    1. Tell something about each of your children, their personalities, their talents, traits, that make them different and special.
    2. Tell about your life as the children left home - new interests, what did you do with the extra time -- new employment, moves, hobbies, etc.
    3. Do you have any grandchildren? If so, how many? How did you feel about being a grandparent?
    4. What is your child-rearing philosophy?
    5. Tell about each of your children's names, birth date, location, doctors, circumstances surrounding the birth - raising them in the home -problems, joys etc.
    6. Tell about a favorite trip or vacation.
    7. Describe getting a Christmas tree, when did you put it up and decorate it?
    8. Write about your family's Christmas traditions.
    1. Tell about the houses you lived in childhood - addresses, phone #'s, etc...
    2. How did your mother spend her time?
    3. Where you responsible for any household chores? What were they?
    4. Which did you enjoy most/least?
    5. Describe a typical day during your Jr. High years.
    6. What kind of extracurricular activities did you participate in at school?
    7. Write about some places you went to with your father.
    8. Write about some places that you went to with your mother.
    9. Describe a childhood Christmas.
    10. Did it snow much when you were a child - tell something about it, what did you do?
    11. Did you ever celebrate a your birthday in an extra special way? Tell how you celebrated them.
    12. Tell about your own family traditions: Christmas, birthdays, graduation, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Mother's or Father's Day, weddings, funerals, hunting etc.
    13. Whose was the first funeral you ever went to? How old were you and how did it effect you?
    14. Did you and your father share any interests together - what and why?
    15. What were your Christmases like as a child?
    16. What was a typical day in elementary school like?
    17. What did you do when you were a child that got you in the most trouble and how did your parents handle it?
    18. Do you remember your first crush? Tell about it.
    19. Did you attend church (Sunday School, CCD, Confirmation)?
    20. How did you feel about school?
    21. Do you remember any of your great-grandparents? What were their names? Write about any memories that you have.
    22. Tell about your mother: personality, characteristics, stature, coloring, talents, temperament, family stories about her, her role in your home, etc..
    23. What is the most important lesson, message, or advice that you have learned that you might pass on to others?
    24. Thinking back was there a teacher who had a great influence on you?
    25. Do you wish you had more sisters or brothers, and why?
    26. Did you have a favorite aunt or uncle?
    27. What types of games did you play as a child?
    28. Where did your grandparents live? What was their home like? Did it have a certain smell or look?
    29. What was your relationship with your grandparents like?
    30. Did you ride a bicycle? What kind was it?
    31. Tell how, when, and where you learned to drive and any memorable experiences.
    32. How did you like being the oldest, youngest or middle child? What were the advantages or disadvantages?
    33. Were you ever in any school clubs (speech, drama, etc.)?
    34. How did your father spend his time supporting his family?
    35. Do you have any handed down talents?
    36. Are there any recipes you make that have been handed down?
    37. What were the favorite places to go with your family when you were young?
    38. Tell about any ancestors that you know about - name, dates, etc. for historical purposes and any stories about them.
    39. What vacations did your family take?
    40. What is your mother's best trait? Worst? What traits do you share with her?
    41. What is your father's best trait? Worst? What traits do you share with him?
    42. Describe a favorite childhood friend and something you did with her or him.
    43. Where did you live as a child - town, country, suburb, etc.?
    44. Describe your yard as a child - did you help with the yard work?
    45. Did your family have reunions?
    46. What was your teenage social life like? Tell about your friends, dances, dating, outings, church functions etc.
    47. What were your favorite Halloween costumes?
    48. Did you have a favorite subject in school? One you dreaded?
    49. What was your favorite grade in school and why?
    50. Did you have a childhood hide-out? Where? Describe it.
    51. Describe a place you remember from your childhood.
    52. Did you have a favorite pet as a child? Did it have a name? What memories are connected to it?
    53. Did you belong to Boy/Girl scouts, Camp Fire Girls or 4-H?
    1. Describe a favorite vacation of your married years.
    2. Describe your wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, suit etc., if male.
    3. Write a description of your husband or wife.
    4. Describe your last home as a young couple.
    5. Tell about anniversaries, celebrations, trips, gifts.
    6. What were your fears, expectations, anticipation's about getting married?
    7. Tell about a special date you had with a boy/girl friend or your fiancée.
    8. Tell a dating story.
    9. How did you become engaged?
    10. Describe your wedding day."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

All About Me Activities

These activities found at enchanted learning are great activities to assist kids with opening up and sharing more about themselves.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Goal Setting Games for Kids

These ideas are from livestrong.com: http://www.livestrong.com/article/203615-goal-setting-games-for-kids/
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Friday, August 12, 2011

Paper City

I ran across this adorable idea from my cousin-in-law on Pinterest!

When I'm traveling from homes to schools to parks, I don't have the space in my car for a whole entire play house and all the people and furniture that go with it. 
Image courtesy of madebyjoel
But here is a great portable idea that takes up almost no space:
Have your client create a paper city/paper home and characters using just paper and markers to help them explore dynamics in the home or in their neighborhoods. Great for assessing how safe/unsafe a client might feel at home or in their community. You could also use this activity in a family session, where all family members could be involved to create their own home, a home they would like to have, or a neighborhood they would like to live in. Link to printable pre-drawn versions: http://madebyjoel.com/paper-city
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fifteen Effective Play Therapy Techniques

I just found this great resource by Tara M. Hall, Heidi Gerard Kaduson, and Charles E. Schaefer, called Fifteen Effective Play Therapy Techniques. Some great, applicable, simple activities that don't need a lot of supplies. You could also easily involve a parent in many of these activities.
Image courtesy here

Click here to go to the PDF.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Assisting Clients With Transitioning to New School

One of my colleagues at work today shared this idea during group supervision, and I thought it was brilliant:

As school-based therapists, we continue to meet with our clients during the summer out in the community, in their home, etc. Some of our clients are transitioning from elementary to middle school, or middle school to high school. This of course is a major life change for our clients, and if they are already unstable, this may cause a huge amount of stress/anxiety for them. 
Image courtesy of webweaver
My colleague shared that one of her clients is transitioning to high school and is in fact feeling very anxious about it. So, for a couple of their recent sessions, they have met at the high school and walked around so that he feels more comfortable. 

I thought that this was such a practical, helpful idea, and her client has responded well to it. It will most certainly reduce his anxiety, since he will at least be familiar with the campus!

Do you have any other ideas/activities that might help children transition from one school to the next easier? I'd love to hear them, comment below!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Relaxation Techniques

Various relaxation techniques, worksheets, etc from Inner Health Studio. This web site was recommended by a trainer to recently conducted a workshop at my agency - they mentioned this web site as a great resource for relaxation techniques to work with children.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Journal Writing Prompts

Image courtesy of InstituteChildrensLit 

Found on StumbleUpon: 80 Journal Writing Prompts. 
Great ideas to use with clients for discussion questions or for homework journal writing.

Can be found at www.tomslatin.com/80-journal-writing-prompts/ 

**Be aware, it says on the web site that the prompts are subject to copyright and can be reused with permission only. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Verbs Commonly Used to Document Interventions

I use this list all the time in my documentation for DMH notes, and thought some of you might find it helpful and useful. Hope it helps! 

Anyone have any similar lists you use? I'd love to see more ideas!

Acknowledged attempts to...
Addressed ct's concerns...
Asked about...
Assessed suicide potential...
Assessed for...
Assigned ct to keep a journal/homework...
Assisted ct in/with...
Built rapport by...
Clarified/Sought clarification...
Contracted for...
Developed a contingency plan...
Established boundaries...
Engaged in role play...
Examined benefits/consequences...
Explored options...
Focused on...
Helped ct develop...
Inquired about...
Led ct in practicing...
Normalized ct's feelings...
Pointed out consequences...
Processed fears...
Provided feedback...
Responded to...
Reviewed limits...
Set limits...
Validated ct's point...
Used joining techniques to engage ct through play...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Feelings Charade (for group)

A good activity to build emotional vocabulary in a group setting, from Teachable Moment.
Click Here to go to Teachable Moment Feelings Charade
Click Here to go to Other Teachable Moments Group Ideas (scroll down toward bottom of list for mental health-based activities)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Therapy Worksheets

Therapy Worksheets is a great blog full of tons of...you guessed it...therapy worksheet resources!
Big Worksheet Collection
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Autism Conference - Temple Grandin

There is an Autism Conference 8/19-21 in Pasadena with Temple Grandin presenting.
Thanks Liane for sharing this info!
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Creative Interventions for Children and Families

Another great resource from Liana Lowenstein

Creative Family Therapy Techniques

Creative Family Therapy Techniques: Play and Art-Based Activities to Assess and Treat Families  Here are some great Great Family Therapy Ideas from Liana Lowenstein and Trudy Post Sprunk
I'll be trying the Boat-Storm-Lighthouse activity today, I'll try to remember to update this post with how it went!