Tuesday, October 6, 2015


In a group with 5 adolescent boys, I introduced the idea of journaling.  None of these boys had ever journaled before, according to their own recollections.  I put together the attached list (with my source cited at the bottom) to discuss with them how journaling can benefit them.  I then let them each choose a journal, which they were much more eager to do than I expected.  

Since they reside in group care, each boy was provided a lock box to keep his journal in, as many adolescents are hesitant to journal because of privacy concerns.  The boys were assured that, even though staff have key copies to the lock boxes (in case a room search was deemed necessary for safety reasons), staff were not permitted to read their journals under any circumstances.  This seemed to put the boys' minds at ease.

Journaling can be a very therapeutic exercise for both children and adults.  The below list outlines some of the reasons why.  However, if a person is to feel comfortable putting their deepest thoughts on paper, he or she needs to be given the appropriate privacy.  It can be hard for many parents to give their children this kind of privacy.  My recommendation is always that a child's journal need only be read by a parent if that parent reasonably suspects that the child may be doing something harmful to him or herself (i.e., drugs, suicidal thoughts/attempts, and so forth).

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Let's Jenga!

I use Jenga a lot in sessions for kids with ADHD or other diagnoses that include symptoms surrounding impulse-control or concentration and focus issues. The object of the game is to act slowly and to concentrate in order not to knock the tower down and it gets taller and more unstable. 

 The other day, one of supervisors gave me a fun idea that I had not thought of before to add even more therapeutic value to the game: writing questions onto the Jenga blocks and having the client answer the question on the blocks he or she pulls. The questions can be general for any client or can be specific to certain disorders or clients. In googling Jenga, I found that this is a technique that many are already using. What a fun way to get younger clients to open up and share a little more in session!