Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Providing Therapy

As a counselor in school, I enjoy the task of observing certain children who require certain services due to certain difficulties they may have in classroom and social situations. That's how I spend the majority of my time on any given school day.

A smaller and probably more important portion of my time is spent in one on one or group counseling sessions. It's during these sessions that most of the therapeutic work is done. That's when I'll discuss specific issues a child may be having in his or her classroom or even at home. It's always my hope that those specific issues will be completely resolved at the end of our half hour together.

Hasn't happened yet.

I have a confession. I have a much easier time with younger children than older ones during these counseling sessions. With kids under the age of 8, I can read a Dr. Seuss book, play some Candy Land and call it a day. That strategy doesn't really work with a 7th grader.

I like having an activity to do. Not only does it help to take up some time, but it also provides a sneaky way to introduce an important topic. Thus far, I'm having a difficult time finding age appropriate activities for the tweenagers. They don't want to be treated like kids, but they're far too immature to be treated like adults. My question is, has anyone found a middle ground?

If a kid doesn't feel like talking, there's not much one can do to convince them to talk. So a lot of sessions turn into dead air.

... ... ...

Gets awkward.

Are there any counselors or therapists out there who have some ideas? I mean, I was a kid in therapy once. But I have no idea how my therapist got through to me. I'm sure I wasn't much of a talker. She must have gotten me to open up somehow. Look how well adjusted I turned out.

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