Sunday, November 17, 2013

Helping Kids Deal with Feelings as a Traveling Therapist {or Parent}



Of Therapists and Moms

As a therapist, I help kids deal with feelings day in and day out.  As a mom, I've been called upon to do the same thing.  It's just as important work for therapists as it is for parents.  That's why our blog exists.  We help parents AND therapist/counselors help kids. Kidlutions is a dream come true for me!  I thought about Kidlutions for YEARS when my kids were younger and am so happy to see it all come to fruition!  The kids have grown, and so has Kidlutions! (You can see all that we've been up to in the past 5 years here.)



Here, There and Everywhere

Through my many years as a therapist, acting in different capacities for different agencies, prior to opening my private practice, I often had to travel around to see clients.  I've met with kids and families in homes, foster care placements, outside in the park, at schools (which is where I currently practice), in daycares and in church halls.  Heck, I've even used a broom-closet as a makeshift office at one point in my career.  The truth is, the surroundings don't matter as much as the people inhabiting it.

Traveling Show

When you are a traveling therapist working with kids, a bit of equipment is a necessity to help them access their feelings and process them in session.  There is no better way to do this than by using the "tools" of childhood.  Toys, art supplies and such are in order.  But how do you decide what to take?  Especially if you are lugging your goods around to several different locations in one day.

Well, I have a solution that works for traveling therapists, school counselors and even for parents interested in helping their kids deal with feelings at home.  (And what parent doesn't want that?)

Let's Talk About Feelings: Three Therapy Games


This mini-kit is the perfect solution for use at home, in the therapy session, for school counseling and more. This kit is an engaging tool for cognitive-behavioral therapy, helps develop emotional intelligence, includes a bonus item AND comes with a carrying case.  The creators thought of everything.  Just grab and go!

You can get this item here: Let's Talk About Feelings
Price:  $39.00 (a total bargain, if you ask me)

Mixed Emotions Junior

For the "littles", I recommend Mixed Emotions Junior.


According to the creators, this set boasts the following:

  • Help young children learn to recognize, differentiate and more accurately identify their emotions
  • Children can move the "people pawns" to indicate the intensity of their emotions
  • Helps young children to communicate their emotions to others in appropriate ways
  • Black and white version of the chart can be copied and used for "home assignments"
  • Helps to understand the emotions of others and to develop empathy for others

You can get this item here: Mixed Emotions Junior
Price: $10.95

Counselor's Tool Kit

Get the whole enchilada and have every tool at your disposal.

For under $100.00, you can get every tool needed for your traveling show!  Something for all age groups! Can be used by parents and therapists alike!

You can get this item here: Counselor's Tool Kit
Price: $81.26

Draw It Out!

Don't forget your art materials.  It really helps kids draw out feelings, pun intended!  I LOVE this little kit that has materials and a handy easel built right in!  I have found that no matter where I was (even in that broom closet of days gone by)...that I could find a water source for painting.  I once even emptied out a playdoh container to use as a cup for water.  Resourcefulness is always a bonus when you are on the run!

You can find it here: Crayola Ultimate Art Supplies
Price: $14.99

Playdoh Therapy

I believe the world would not be the same without playdoh.  Nosiree!  It just would not.  I still adore the smell and am instantly transported back to days gone by when I smell it.  My own limbic system at work!


Here's one option, but the sky is the limit when it comes to Playdoh.  You don't even need any fancy tools.  Just a few cans of the good stuff and some plastic silverware and a pen or pencil can help your young charges create, create, create!

Find this item here: Playdoh Fun Factory Deluxe Set
Price: $20.49

If you are really into Playdoh, I recommend this kit to go with it.  Hint: I'd take this out of the carrying box and put it all in a zippered plastic bag.  Condense and combine, whenever possible, I always say!

You can get this item here: Melissa and Doug, Shape, Model and Mold 
Price: $17.15


Puppet Time 

How could we live without these?  More about puppets in a future post.  For now, let's just suffice to say, that they are indispensable therapy tools!


Find this item here: Folkmanis Baby Dragon Puppet
Price: $18.66

I'd recommend a small mix of puppets, from the powerful to the demure and meek, so kids can express a range of feelings, situations and experiences.

Find this item here: Folkmanis Kitty Puppet
Price: $13.03

Carry It All

While you can use a plastic grocery bag to carry all of your goods (and trust me, I have), why not treat yourself and snag a stylish, yet roomy and practical tote that can handle everything you need to take with you?  I love this one! More on why below!

This cute little number not only looks good, it is coated for protection and durability! Important when you are carrying any number of artsy supplies!  Its 14" x 18" x 7" dimensions mean you can stash lots of stuff and be at the ready for any kind of session you and your young charges can dream up.

You can find this item here: Mud Pie Black Ring Essential Tote
Price: $21.99

Printable Workbooks You Can Stash in Your Bag

Peruse our very own Kidlutions printable workbooks that you can easily stash in your bag!  These resources are used worldwide and have been helping kids that I've worked with for close to 25 years and internationally (through the magic of the world wide web) for more than 5 years!












Regardless of how you practice as a traveling therapist, don't forget to have FUN!  



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