View Full Version : My Favorite Time of Year

12-24-05, 02:11 PM
I wanted to take a minute and, first of all, let you know how much I appreciate the Forum and it's members.

I've gotten much more back in return that I've ever thought of givng, so thank you.

Okay, so heres' why I named the thread "My favorite time of year."

As you know, my practice is with kids between 6 -19/20; 90-95% of which have ADHD, in one form or another.

If you've ever wondered how a clin/child psych with severe ADHD-C type does play therapy with ADHD kids, wonder no more. :)

Just as an FYI, Play Therapy has been around since roughly 1949.

It has been, and remains, the accepted standard of practice for working with children.

Play has long been regarded as a child's natural medium of expression, as all children the world over express themselves thu play.

The trick is how to make it fun and serve a therapeutic purpose at the same time?

For all of you evidenced based 'homegamers" who remember that individual psychotherapy of any kind doesn't work with hyperactive (Combined & Hyperactive-Impulsive types) kids, I use a Family therapy backdrop to help all this come together in front of the parents;who get in on the act by discussing the rewards based behavior managment program they're instituting at home (and how the kids can't get in trouble for being nice but can be rewarded for it).:)

This is my favorite time of year because I can use "tis the seaon" to make some headway with an abnormally headstrong bunch.

The other thing here is that this is fun for me as well.

Also, my attention span and "boredom barometer" are as short, if not shorter, than theirs, so if I had to sit there all day and say things like "Hmmm...and how did that make you feel?" I'd have a stroke.

Using the holidays as a "leverage" of sorts, I combine old fashion role playing + paradoxical (reverse psychology ) techniques and some guided imagery thrown in on the side, to try and help kids "reframe" triggers to anger and verbal aggression; like name calling,etc.

In addition, this also promotes accepting responsibility for one's own actions + understanding cause & effect relationships (assuming the child is old enough to understand those concepts; as I'm being "generic" here).

The real key here is to teach them something without them knowing that was the purpose.

For the select subgroup of kids who throw themselves on the floor at Target and do the screaming bellyflops because they didn't get a candybar, we sit down and make a big Christmas wish list.

Then we do a reality check of why they're looking a bituminous bits instead.

That opens the door to..... Emergency Manners (or How to suck up and get more stuff):)

I have them practicing opening doors and saying things like "After you," "Allow me," or "Please, I insist."

The parents come back with a smile and some verbal praise.

Even if they don't aspire to be a concierge, interrupting the automatic anger associated with hearing "No," is the whole idea.

The other main target group is the dreaded sibling smackdown crowd.

You know the one's that are constantly running around in public loudly calling each other endearing names like, "gaylord," "weinerboy," beeatch," and "beeatch jr;" to name a few.

The key is to give them the tools to interrupt the automatic,chained/habitual response(s) elicited by namecalling (or staring at each other at the dinnertable,etc.).

Some responses we've come up with (okay, I came up with, as I live for this stuff) are, for saying to sisters, "That's cute, is it new?" What did you do to your hair?" and "You look festive today." :D

For talking to brothers (or anyone really), we offer " Have you been working out?" " Who's the coolest wrestler?" "Are you having your friends over to play(...insert X-BOX, PS-2 ,etc.)?

And last, but not least, my personal dinnertime favorite, "Can I get someone a beverage?"

While some of this is silly, getting kids interested in not trying to kill each other during normally stressful times, can be fun and hopefully construcutive.

The goal of course is to try and encourage better behavior year round.

Happy Holdays


12-24-05, 03:12 PM if I had to sit there all day and say things like "Hmmm...and how did that make you feel?" I'd have a stroke.

I can picture that...I can picture you even, grimacing-perhaps at an earlier time, when such practice was all the rage and you were being coached. I see that mentally and it makes me laugh. :) Perhaps you were wearing bell bottoms with a flower print silk shirt and your mop hair was on sideways!

Merry Christimas one and all!

12-24-05, 04:22 PM
Thanks for the reply.

Actually, I've never done that;going all the way back to grad school.

As far as the above approach goes, it also combines elemements of reciprocal inhibition (you can't be smilimg/happy & angry at the same time) and some (Milton) Ericksonian hypnosis techniques.

What actually makes it work, more than anything probably, are rapport and using a multisensory approach to teaching.

Happy Holidays

12-24-05, 05:10 PM
I love picturing you engaging the kids. I can see how you would be an effective playmate/counselor/confidante. Where I actually see Scuro in the mopped hair, bell bottoms, and all :p

Happy Holidays guys :)

12-24-05, 05:20 PM
Thank you for the view into your world :)

Happy Holidays to you, yours, and everyone reading this!

12-24-05, 06:33 PM
Happy Holidays to all!

12-24-05, 06:57 PM
Dang Andi...ya got me cold.:mad: I even had the flower silk shirt with the big lapels. :o