“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning”
Dr. Gary talked this month about how cooperative and non-competitive games are a great resource for play therapy. Because there is no individual winner or loser, these games can be used with children who can’t tolerate losing, have cooperation difficulties, or need to work on their communication skills. Both cooperative and non-competitive games facilitate therapy by becoming the place where therapist and client interact with each other. Non-competitive games typically involve more discussion and disclosure, while cooperative games require social skills and effective communication to achieve success. Find more info and great examples here!
According to the Washington University in St. Louis, research has found that a key brain structure involved in regulating emotions and decision-making is smaller in kids who have lived through three or more adverse experiences before the age of 8, compared with kids whose lives were more stable. These children were found more likely to develop depression in their early teen years, and more likely to have more physical health issues. Read full article here.
The American Psychological Association has offered resources for coping with and understanding gun violence following the mass shooting in Las Vegas, NV. These resources included tips for talking to children about violent behavior, gun violence, and understanding the difference between mental illness and those in “extreme situational crisis.” Read full article here.
A new type of self-harm is gaining awareness. Physical self-harm has been seen as a cry for help from teens and adolescents, one that has been known to lead to suicide. A study has been conducted on self-harm that involves teens posting anonymous, but damaging things about themselves online. Results of the study show that nearly 6 percent of the teens reported that they had anonymously posted something mean about themselves online. Among these, about half (51.3 percent) said they did it just once, about one-third (35.5 percent) said they did it a few times, while 13.2 percent said they had done it many times. Read the full article here.