Many children who have experienced serious trauma are withdrawn and closed off, making it difficult to engage with them in therapy effectively. This book offers a compendium of therapeutic activities that will help children who have endured painful abuse to open up, so that they can learn to express their feelings and therapy can be directed towards their individual needs. From useful techniques for bridging memory gaps to using masks for self-expression, the innovative activities use mindfulness, art and play to help children feel relaxed and responsive. The activities require very little preparation, and use only everyday items that are easy to access and can be used time and time again. Case studies throughout offer a helpful demonstration of how the activities work in practice. This is an ideal resource for use with children in therapeutic, home and school settings. It is appropriate to use with children aged 5-17 who have experienced trauma, physical abuse, sexual abuse, forced migration and severe neglect, as well as those with acute depression, anxiety and behavioural difficulties.
101 mindfulness-based therapeutic activities to do with children aged 5-17 who have experienced extreme trauma and abuse
For helping professionals working with severely traumatized children and adolescents - those who may be victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse, removal from the home or sex trafficking - Dawn D'Amico, LCSW, PhD, offers clinically-validated, clinically-sophisticated exercises (including case examples and implementation instructions) designed to establish rapport, safety and support. The highly ingenious and practical exercises are organized to promote therapeutic growth in three important areas of self-expression, coping and positive thinking, and offer state-of-the-art strategies certain to enable growth, development and a sense of being understood among traumatized clients. -- Jeanne C. Marsh, PhD, MSW, George Herbert Jones Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration A must-have for clinicians working with children. Dr. D'Amico has put together a fabulous collection of simple, effective activities with examples. The book is easy to read and should be easy to use! I anticipate using these techniques in practice and sharing the book with fellow practitioners. I am enthusiastic about art and the potential for healing! -- Julia Ostendorf, MD, FAAP, 25 years in general pediatrics practice, clinical instructor PA program As an attorney who regularly works with children in the capacity of a Guardian ad Litem in both juvenile and family law matters, I found this book exceptionally helpful. Oftentimes, and as Dr. D'Amico points out, children who have been through traumatic life experiences are hesitant to open up and discuss these events - especially with a stranger. These exercises are great "ice breakers" to use in an effort to avoid further traumatizing these children, and instead giving them a safe environment to express their feelings and begin the healing process. I highly recommend this book and plan to use many of these exercises in the near future. -- Breanne M. Bucher, Attorney at Law, Walden & Schuster, S.C., Juvenile Law Section Chair - Waukesha County Bar Association Trauma experienced in childhood or adolescence is a major contributor to the development of a substance use disorder, one of the leading public health problems of today. Through this book, Dr. D'Amico has gifted the world with a treasure trove of developmentally-sensitive, easy-to-use tools for working with severely traumatized children and adolescents to support their healing. Drawing on her decades of clinical experience as well as practical ingenuity, Dr. D'Amico has created a valuable toolbox for youth-serving professionals full of activities that are likely to be enjoyable for both youth and professional, and that can be implemented using common supplies, or recycled objects. -- Sion Kim Harris, PhD, Co-Director, Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research, Boston Children's Hospital, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School Therapists and other healing professionals will find this book to be an invaluable resource for engaging children and adolescents in a hands-on and creative way to nurture a strong therapeutic alliance, enhance emotional processing, and achieve meaningful therapeutic change. These simple, yet clinically elegant exercises, through the use of the youth's own internal metaphors, will cultivate increased self-awareness and encourage patients to experiment with different ways of thinking, feeling and being. Through symbolic representation, help your patients overcome blocks caused by cognitive defenses and language traps to keep them moving toward treatment goals of improved self-regulation, coping, and healing. 101 Arts-Based Activities to Get Children and Adolescents Talking is useful within moments after picking it up, due to the simple, organized way that each exercise is described, followed by a brief case example for use in both a younger and older child. -- Jenna Saul, MD, DFAACAP, CEDS, Clinical Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Psychiatry I support this book and activities as a way to help vulnerable children cope with trauma and regain lost hope. -- Estomih Mduma, Haydom Global Health Research Centre at Haydom Lutheran Hospital, Manyara, Tanzania
Dawn D'Amico is a psychotherapist who has 22 years of experience working with children affected by various types of trauma in different settings including in private practice, hospitals, and children's homes and refugee camps. She has worked internationally in Asia and Africa as well as served as a graduate faculty member at the University of WI. She lives in Wisconsin, USA
Introduction. Use of This Book. Section 1: Self-Expression. 1. Life Story Book. 2. Keys. 3. Magnifying Glass. 4. Fighter Fish. 5. What Are You Dragging into Your World? 6. Wish Upon a Star 1. 7. I Love Being Me. 8. Memory Clock. 9. Pie Chart of Emotions.10. Draw Brain or Circle of Head. 11. Feeling Words Game 1. 12. Heart Now. 13. What Color is Your World?14. What Color Do You Feel Today? 15. Confusion. 16. Pictures of Self.17. Upside, Downside, Inside, Outside.18. Building. 19. Birthday Clock. 20. Birthday Clock 2. 21. Cloudy Faces. 22. Sunny Day. 23. Cloudy Day. 24. Animal Kingdom. 25. When I Was Young. 26. Blue, Yellow, Purple, Red. 27. Memories. 28. The Elements. 29. What I Want. 30. What Else? 31. A Special Time for Me. 32. Clarifying. 33. Kaleidoscope. 34. Tornado. Section 2: Coping. 35.Umbrella. 36. Ocean. 37. Snail Shell. 38. Seashells. 39. Nerve. 40. Turning Back the Hands of Time. 41. Turning Back the Hands of Time Part 2. 42. Hands. 43. Full Body Trace. 44. Full Body Trace 2. 45. Feeling Words Game 2. 46. Open and Closed. 47. Comfort/Soothe. 48. Safe and Unsafe. 49. When Do You Fee l Like a Lion? 50. Pillow/Blanket/Soft-Cozy. 51. Stone/ Bumpy/Rough. 52. Rough. 53. Safe. 54. Inside. 55. Slay Your Dragon. 56. Orange Cone. 57. Container. 58. Tightrope Walker. 59. Tightrope Walker 2. 60. Clouds. 61. Birthday Balloons. 62. Ball of Yarn. 63. Ouch! 64. Help! 65. Lifelines. 66. Nightmares and Daydreams. 67. Why? 68. Boulders. 69. Times I Need. 70. Putting Things in Their Place. 71. Rocker. 72. Hiding. 73. Fear. 74. Faces. 75. Storms. 76. Ringing the Bell. 77. A Time When My Heart Was Open. Section 3: Positive Thinking.78. Mask of Me x 3. 79. Treasure Box. 80. Green Flash. 81. Clean the Mirror. 82. Garden of Grief. 83. Garden of Hope. 84. Wish Upon a Star 2. 85. Make Yourself a Star. 86. Luck. 87. What Happiness Looks Like. 88. Magic Wand. 89. Feathers/Tickle. 90. Lotus. 91. Key to Open the Heart. 92. Pandora's Box. 93. Bird's Wing. 94. Birthday Balloons 2. 95. Remember When? 96. Heroes. 97. Allies. 98. Kites. 99. New Chapter.100. My Family/My Caregivers.