The Play Therapy Chalkboard is one of the most interesting, useful, and popular products sold by childtherapytoys.com. In June we asked our Facebook fans how they use, or would like to use, the Play Therapy Chalkboard. What an innovative, eclectic, and creative group of fans we have! We were inundated with great suggestions, and we wanted share some of them with our blog readers. Many of our fans noted that the Play Therapy Chalkboard is an ideal tool to be included in the playroom for non-directive therapy. Clients will often figure out on their own what they want to express and how to use the chalkboard. The Play Therapy Chalkboard was recommended for clients of all ages, preschool to adult.
Quite a few of our fans thought the Play Therapy Chalkboard would be a great tool for identifying emotions and developing behavioral regulation when strong emotions are being felt. For example, “with an anxiety group I run, I would use it for lessons on the areas of the body they feel anxiety (or even anger), identifying the things they have control over (write it on the body) vs. the things out of their control, coloring shades of emotions and writing to help students practice strong affirmations (write them on the body) to say to their worries. With a friendship skills group, it could be used to write adjectives to be a good friend/look in one, writing “I feel” messages, and conflict resolution ideas (split the body in half) with before/after scenarios.” One fan suggested color coding feelings and having the child locate each feeling in the part of body they feel it along with a relational episode or time they felt each feeling. The Play Therapy Chalkboard could also be used to differentiate between our inside feelings that only we know are present, versus the feelings we show on the outside to the world and how/why these are different. Our fan commented, “this helps illustrate how we can erase and restructure feelings within ourselves to reaffirm our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, and how our feelings are all a fluid part of us but no one feeling defines all of us.”
Another fan thought the Play Therapy Chalkboard could be used as a Feelings X-Ray, marking where the feelings live in the body, and how big a space they are taking up. Like an X-ray shows our bones which are usually hidden from view, the Feelings X-Ray would show the feelings we can’t always see from the outside. One Facebook fan suggested using the Play Therapy Chalkboard to explore a child’s self-perception, describing and drawing their traits on the chalkboard. Another fan suggested numerous interventions that could be accomplished with the Play Therapy Chalkboard: “encouraging children to use the chalkboard to list things that make them happy, identify facial expressions/emotions, write a message to their problem, identify where they feel their hurt, or draw the bully, a perpetrator, someone from a dream, or someone who has passed away.” Another great idea was to ask clients to draw “The Me I Wish Others Could See.” This activity could be used with adult clients, as well, and it could be expanded to asking the client to draw how others see them and how they see themselves. Children and parents could draw how they perceive each other for emotional connection sessions. Many fans suggested including the Play Therapy Chalkboard in their sessions to describe trauma. One fan stated, “this would be a great way to explain how things like anxiety can cause things to happen on the inside (stomachaches, headaches, etc.). It is also a great way to show physical and emotional wounds.” Another fan said, “I would also use it for sexually abused and grieving kiddos to ‘take away’ the hurt by having them use the chalk to X out where their pain is.”
Many of our fans suggested uses for their specific workplace or specialties. For example, “as a child life specialist, I would use it to help a child understand their body, illness or injury and medical treatment in the hospital. I would also give children opportunities to reflect their understanding and feelings about their medical situation.” Another clinician suggested combining the Play Therapy Chalkboard with EMDR, and using it to identify where memories have manifested in their bodies along with feelings and thoughts. A school counselor suggested using the chalkboard in a school setting to talk about boundaries and personal space. An art therapist suggested that it could be colored to represent mental states, feelings, and expand narratives being shared with the therapist.
Here’s another fun way to use the Play Therapy Chalkboard, published in our blog August, 2014: http://myplaytherapypage.com/positive-postings-with-the-play-therapy-chalkboard/
Please feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below.