When My Worries Get Too Big
I love using books in counseling, which is an intervention called bibliotherapy. Now that I am learning to navigate telehealth and doing zoom sessions with my students, I plan to use a lot more bibliotherapy in my sessions with kids. In my experience, kids find it very helpful to see their stories and witness their feelings echoed in books. Books can act like a mirror and help a child feel less alone. This is why I keep a lot of books in my office on subjects my students can relate to. I will post more about some of my favorite books to use in bibliotherapy and I did share some of my favorite books for kids about anxiety here.
Kari Dunn Buron, author of the wonderful book The Incredible Five Point Scale, wrote another very useful book for kids called When My Worries Get Too Big. This book uses a 5-point scale for children to rate their worries, and she also gives children a calming sequence to follow. I really like this book because it is rooted in the CBT skills I usually work with the children on, by teaching them to think helpful, happy thoughts and it also has pages for the kids to color in.
I always find it useful to use number scales when working with kids. I have found that when we use numbers to quantify things, it brings us out of the emotional part of our mind, and into the more logical part of our brain, so it can be a soothing tool. Scales can be such a useful tool whether it involves measuring the size of challenges and reactions, or measuring emotions, like using an anger thermometer. Here's a quick example of a feelings thermometer form worksheet place.
Next week I will read When My Worries Get Too Big to my students and then work with them or give them this fillable PDF that they can work with in response. Ideally, it would be great if they could print the form out and draw and color on it. However many people don’t have access to printers, so I thought using a fillable form would be a helpful alternative tool. I usually don’t do “worksheets” in sessions, but during these times I am learning to be more flexible with my practices! This is also useful because I can post it for students who are not able to make a synchronous session with me.
I am sharing the fillable and printable version of this form with you for free in my Free Resource Library. Please subscribe to my email list below for the password.
For more help with teaching kids to deal with worrying and their big feelings, check out this post about helping kids cope that has free fillable coping skills dice!
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