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If you've ever felt too anxious or too frustrated to think clearly or handle a situation calmly, you know what we're talking about. We may not be able to solve whatever is going on with your kids, or at work, but we can help you get the emotion regulation you need to handle those situations effectively. You'll be calmer and more in control. The skill of emotion regulation comes first, on Day 1, because getting control of your emotions is the single most critical component of stress management. If therapy can be effected when it is not solely a relationship between two people, as in group therapy, then perhaps allowing a child to bring a friend to an individual therapy session need not hinder the process. Indeed, such an arrangement may be considered group therapy in which the child selects the rest of the group. It may well be that the child, in asking to bring another person, is seeking to evade therapy. However, if the therapist feels sufficiently sure in his own skills to be accepting of this attitude, therapy is still possible. The rationale here is that the child can be trusted to work through his difficulties, including the need to bring another person to his therapy hour. Surely, it cannot always be a mere accident that a child brings one person rather than another to his play contact. Sometimes a child may bring in, one by one, those people who represent his areas of difficulty, and then dismiss each one as his need disappears. Not all client-centered therapists would be willing to permit this, but some are experimenting with allowing the child more control over the therapy situation. Special Issues in Play Therapy Although client-centered therapy is basically similar for both children and adults, the play therapist faces some problems more likely to occur in work with children. For one week, keep a record of how you spend each day. Break each day down into 30 minute sections. Record everything! Breakfast, getting ready, work, errands, Facearticle, social media, emails, television, lunch, dinner, sleep. Absolutely everything you do in a day, every day for 7 days. After 7 days, take some time to sit down and look at what you have been doing.

Any surprises? Be honest, is there a lot of time on social media? Time that could be used more productively? Things that aren't taking you forwards in your goals and living with more intention? It ranks number one on our list of twenty-four factors that impact one's overall stress profile. We're going to teach you a powerful tool for getting rid of your negative, unwarranted, and undeserved emotions. You can literally change your life with just this one simple skill. Emotions are a natural part of human existence. But powerful surges of negative emotions can be all-consuming and impede our ability to function, which makes stressful events even more stressful. The goal is not to eradicate these emotions; We wouldn't get off the sofa if we didn't experience some anxiety. Instead, we're looking to neutralize powerful emotions when they are not warranted. They suck up our problem-solving energy, wasting precious resources on phantom problems and not leaving enough for the ones that legitimately merit our best thinking. Our goal is for you to lose not one minute more to a negative emotion that is not real and justified. Some of these need to be specifically discussed, in a consideration of the methods of play therapy. Unlike the adult, the child rarely refers himself for therapy. Some preliminary work with self-referrals by children has been conducted in a school, by Axline, but no specific report has been published. Ordinarily, the child is in the playroom because he has displeased or worried some adult. Thus, he seldom comes with the conscious desire for self-exploration which characterizes many adult clients who seek help. In many cases, the child accepts the play situation and benefits from it without any indication from the therapist that he is in difficulty.

In these instances, there is no problem of initial structuring; At other times, the child arrives and demands to know, Why am I here? Ordinarily, the client-centered therapist has little or no diagnostic information in advance of the first therapy hour. However, he does know that some adult was sufficiently concerned to arrange for play therapy. Unproductive time? Mark areas with potential for change. The next step is to take your calendar and put in all the non-negotiable appointments and commitments you have each week. Take a blank calendar and put in your fixed appointments. The things that must be done. This includes work, taking kids to school/childcare and picking them up, healthcare appointments, courses and classes, after-school activities, meals and sleep. Once that is done, you should now see clear blocks of time available where you can start to do things that make you happy. Write a Not-To-Do List I love writing lists and always have a daily to-do list. For a long time it felt that I had an endless to-do list and was always so busy and not always achieving the big projects. Emotion regulation--the ability to keep your runaway negative emotions in check and remain goal-focused--is the cornerstone of resilience, which, as you know, is the antidote to stress. So, you can understand why emotion regulation is key. Ready, Set, Steady So, how do we get to the even ground of emotion regulation? By tuning in to and challenging the thoughts that dictate our feelings. Every emotion we feel is caused by a thought.

For instance, a thought about a future threat produces anxiety (eg, I could get fired). A thought about violation produces anger (That was my parking spot! Thoughts of loss trigger sadness (He doesn't love me anymore). Thoughts of not meeting your own standards generate shame (I didn't do what I said I was going to do). Thus it seems dishonest as well as pointless to profess total ignorance when the child asks. A frank explanation seems to be in order, as a gesture of respect for the child's feelings, when he asks for it. It need not be a great threat if properly handled. Thus, Your mother brought you to me because of your temper tantrums would be a most inappropriate response. It would be apt to lead the child to think that the therapist was the mother's agent, who would try to make him over in accordance with the maternal desires. Resistance would be a likely consequence of the child's determination to protect his power field from the therapist's encroachments. On the other hand, a more satisfactory explanation might be, Your mother was concerned because things didn't seem to be going so well at home. She thought it might help if you had someone outside the family to whom you could come and talk things over. It is often necessary to add that the referring adult will never know the contents of the therapy hour. Beyond this, the therapist says nothing, but waits for the child's next move. Then I watched a talk by Dan Sullivan and it really resonated with me. He shared a great tool to help you identify activities in your life that you don't have to do yourself. This exercise can be applied to work as well as your personal life. I initially used it to manage my business but I have found it highly effective when applied to my personal life too. Take some paper and a pen and create 3 columns. Give column 1 the title Dislike.

This is where you list all the things you hate doing, column 2 has the title Like and is for all the things you like doing and column 3 has the heading Love and is for things you love doing. Think of your life right now and look at the list of all the things you collated in Exercise 1. Now take some time to put them ALL into either column 1, 2 or 3. From your list of all the things you dislike, are there things that you can delegate? On a daily basis, these can be some of the hundreds of thoughts that run endlessly through our minds, much like the constant news stream on our television screens. We've become so accustomed to this information feed that we hardly notice it, but it's there all the same. We call these streaming thoughts your thought feed. THOUGHT FEED: The stream of thoughts that run constantly through your mind, like background noise, that unconsciously dictates your emotions. These thought feeds arise as a direct result of what Andrew refers to as our emotion radar. Just as we develop habits in what we wear and how we talk, we develop habits in how we think. Some of us automatically scan our worlds for a future threat (creating anxiety), some scan for a violation of their rights (generating anger), and others might scan for how they violated the rights of another (the hallmark thought behind guilt). These scanning tendencies are your emotion radar. EMOTION RADAR: Our habitual way of scanning for clues about what's happening to and around us in the world. This radar is your way of perceiving the world and how your brain searches for clues about what's happening out there. When an adult wishes to discontinue psychotherapy, he can usually just stop coming. The child seldom has this option. Who shall be responsible for the continuance or discontinuance of the child in psychotherapy? A strictly client-centered reply would hold that it should be up to the child to decide whether he will come. Very often, however, the reality situation is such that he does not have this choice. A parent or a school or some other institutional authority insists that the child remain in therapy until his behavior is more satisfactory to them, or for some prescribed length of time.