Before I get started with this edition of The Sandtray Ally, I want to first say a huge THANK YOU to all of you who continue to reach out in response, support, or just a general 'you go girl' after you read what has quickly become a type of "open letter" from one fellow therapist to another.
You make all of the work worth it.
Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about all the things.
With the world being what it is now - the continued uncertainty, pressure, and feelings of powerlessness, I'm focusing this edition on what we CAN do and how we can talk with our clients about what's happening for them.
It feels powerless to not know things like...
-Do I send my kids back to school with the Delta variant being what it is?
-How long will we have to live like this? Do we wear masks forever?
-Do I go back to telehealth? What about my sandtray practice?
I get it. I'm there with you. These are hard decisions that no one has great answers to EVER.
So, today, we're going to focus on some good ol' cognitive restructuring, Sandtray Ally-style. Below, you'll find articles, short videos and even spoken word poems that address feelings of powerlessness and how to turn it around.
Now, let's get started shall we?
1. Vaccine and vaccination status. These are hot topics in society in general but also in many of our therapy sessions. Clients express frustration/fear/uncertainty about how to address concerns with family members, coworkers, and friends, regardless of what side they land on with the debate.
As therapists, we (hopefully) have skills to communicate, listen, and even understand those who do not agree with our views. However, our clients likely don't possess this type of hard-won and learned expertise.
Check this article below about this very topic. Huff Post provides some actionable and really helpful hints on having these conversations. Save it, send to clients, or even print out when clients are throwing their hands up about the whole thing.
What to do if you're feeling helpless
2. Do you find yourself having more and more talks with young female clients about feeling a lack of power, especially in today's society?
This short spoken word poem provides many examples of young girls who have literally changed the world before even hitting their 20's. Every time I watch this, I tear up and feel empowered all over again that hope is real.
Check out the video here ---> What every girl needs to hear
3. As mentioned above, we as therapists, often take for granted our knowledge of how to talk to people of all ages, even children, about difficult subjects. Unfortunately, many caregivers for children are not aware of how to have the tough conversations about topics that we don't have answers for now.
One of the most amazing child-whisperers ever, Fred Rogers, provides an easy to understand guide on how to talk with children.
Mister Roger's simple set of rules on how to talk to kids
Again, provide this to parents when they are at a loss with how to talk to their children about masks, vaccines, and much of the fear that we are swimming in every day.
I love simple guides that I can hand to parents to help them remember how-to's even after the session is over.
4. We've talked about our teens and children feeling powerless, but what about you???
I know I feel scared to death so much of the time when I'm trying new things. People ask how do you do X (like a Facebook live).
The honest truth?
I do it scared.
But, I also know that if I mess up, the world will not end. I can get back up. I have a support system of people who are those who are there when I soar and plummet.
In addition, we can also develop skills to help build confidence so we can do the hard things.
Watch this super short TED clip that outlines 3 tips on how to increase your confidence.
BONUSES: It's animated AND talks neuroscience!