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!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Connecting With School Staff

As I've previously mentioned, I'm a school-based therapist. This means I work for a non-profit that partners with schools, and I provide mental health services to students on-campus (I also do home visits, work with families, and collaborate with school staff).

I work at 3 different schools and I often have a full caseload, so interacting with school staff can be limited at times.

Still, I want to make my presence known, make teachers and staff aware of our services on their campus, and make connections with staff. Also, I often have to ask office staff for help with printing schedules, locating students, parents, etc, so I want to make a good impression and keep up a good working relationship with them. ;)

Last year, I bought vases that I glued pencils around, filled them with flowers, and gave them to the office staff and the school counselors at each of my schools with a little note that said, "I'm looking forward to working together to help our students BLOOM this year!" I included my name and the agency I am from.

I got the idea from Pinterest and copied the idea from this photo:
Image courtesy here

This year, I wanted to do something again, but I realized that a lot of people know my name on campus, but they don't know who I am. So this year, in order to put a face to my name, I created this:

Monday, April 29, 2013

Feelings Parking Lot

Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted on here! I think I might have discovered Pinterest about a year ago and it was an easier way to organize and find ideas, so I've been pinning away over there! I highly recommend using it as a GREAT resource for ideas for work with your clients!

I used to have one board for all therapeutic intervention ideas, but I have since organized them into various boards. You can see all of them at pinterest.com/carlycollins

Speaking of Pinterest, that's where the idea came from that I'm sharing today: I saw an idea for teaching children vocabulary words, and I modified it for feelings and coping strategies (adapted from this original idea from Juggling With Kids Blog.

I called my version the Feelings and Coping Parking Lot. 
Feelings Parking Lot. Photo Credit: Carly Collins

Materials needed:
Poster board (or tape 4 pieces of paper together)
Toy cars

Here's what you do:

-If you have it, a piece of poster board would probably work best (I only had lined paper taped together, you have to be flexible and creative as a field-based clinician!)

-Create 'parking spots' large enough for toy cars to fit in by drawing them on the board

-Have the child identify various difficult emotions they experience and write them in parking spaces on one side of the 'parking lot'

-write various coping strategies you would like to teach the child or review with the child in the other parking spaces on the opposite side

-give the child a scenario that they must identify an emotion. For example, "How would you feel if someone broke your favorite toy?"

-ask the child to "park" their car in the feeling they would experience (drawing feeling faces along with the words can help with smaller children)

-if you want, you can use this time to discuss this feeling, have them make a face to show the feeling, etc

-next have the child take that same car, or another car if you have more than one, and ask them to choose a coping skill they would use to manage that feeling, or one they would like to learn, and park their car there

-once they choose one by parking, practice that coping strategy

-continue until all emotions and skills have been identified

My kiddos love this activity, and it's a creative way to practice identifying emotions and coping skills! 

I'd love to hear if you try this and how it goes!

*apologies for any typos or weird words, I typed this using my phone and hopefully caught all of the autocorrects! ;)