Sometimes, even providers need to switch things up in sessions, to make sure we are able to maintain our clients' and our own engagement. Practicing adaptive skills in session can help clients to be able to transfer these skills to their daily routine, in a less intimidating way. Most of these interventions work with all ages, with some adaptations, which is a good place for conversation with your client to see what fits them and their needs.
Vision Boards and Motivation
Vision boards are a great way to practice the miracle question, identify short term and long term goals, dreams, and aspirations. Being able to identify what you want to do in your life, without immediately thinking about barriers, can be eye-opening and liberating. Using a piece of paper or a poster board, you can help your client explore aspects of their lives (travel, education, family, home, hobbies, etc) and use paint, collage or other art supplies to help this project come to life, and foster meaningful communication throughout the process. This project usually takes more than one session
Coping Skills Box (or toolkit for little ones)
Helping clients to develop a box that has relaxation techniques in one place can empower clients to use skills more effectively when dysregulated. This intervention is customizable for each client and can include grounding/mindfulness techniques (essential oils, journal, bubbles, favorite photos, stress ball, smooth rock, feathers, bubble wrap, etc). This is another intervention that can take more than one session to include planning, identifying what would be helpful for the client to include, practicing each skill, and developing a plan for how and when to use skills.
Practicing skills in vivo can be extremely beneficial for clients to see how to use the skills in real life situations. Whether it is modeling use of community resources, or identifying triggers and body responses, or practicing how/when to use skills in specific situations, clients and therapists can benefit from changing the scenery. Some examples include going to a park, walking around the office, volunteering in the community, etc. Discussing confidentiality, and what to say if someone asks how you know each other before the outing is important.