In the beginning of COVID, Zoom was a novelty for most of us. It was a great way to connect with folks during the lockdowns and quarantine. Now, for most of us, especially kids, it’s a tiresome reality. Kids are sitting at the computer all day to complete school work and adults are doing meeting after meeting on zoom, day in and day out.
As the pandemic drags on more people are calling looking for help with stress, anxiety and depression. Mental health concerns have never been more prevalent and especially heightened in the low income population.
Since March 2020, Family Service has been offering counseling sessions via Zoom. Like with any changes, there have been challenges and also some new opportunities not available before. Teletherapy provides a new outlet for folks to receive treatment without even leaving their home. Youth clients provide a unique set of challenges. Our counseling program is helping to break up the monotony and keep therapy sessions engaging, meaningful, and more importantly, FUN! This will lead to deeper trust and ultimately more progress.
Here a few ways our counselors are thinking outside the box to engage children.
- “A primary way I’ve been able to engage with kids remotely is through Zoom’s Whiteboard feature–though we can’t physically engage with them through play as we would in the office, the whiteboard creates a space where we can directly interact with one another and virtually share the same “space,” responding to one another’s actions. It also opens up creative space for communicating through drawing.”
- “Some of the things I do to engage kids in session is watch YouTube videos about relaxation techniques, mindfulness, anger management skills etc. and then process their thoughts and feelings about the video with them. Also, as “homework” both the child and I watch the movie “Inside Out” from Disney and then discuss the movie characters and emotional triggers at the next session. I also love a website called TherapyAid that has great worksheets for kiddos.”
- Therapeutic scavenger hunts related to their goals – for example, finding things at home that make them feel proud of themselves, things that make them feel calm, etc.
- I was dancing with one of my clients in a 10 minute video that has songs about emotions. I would pause the video in the middle of a song so we could talk about the emotion, then go back to dancing along to the song.“
Kids will always learn more when they are having fun and in a loving environment. The counselors at Family Service are doing an incredible job making this reality true!