School Counselors Need to do this before working with Students: The Inner Child Journal

by Play Therapy Student
(Atlanta, GA)

School Counselors Must Try this: My Play Therapy  Assignment - Inner Child Journal 1

School Counselors Must Try this: My Play Therapy Assignment - Inner Child Journal 1

School Counselors Must Try this: My Play Therapy  Assignment - Inner Child Journal 1 Try this School Counselors before working with students: My Play Therapy  Assignment - Inner Child Journal 2 My Play Therapy  Assignment: All Therapist should do this activity before working with children  - Inner Child Journal 3

Initially, I was so overwhelmed by the entries for the play therapy Inner Child Journal – I did not know where to begin and the whole perfectionist tendency kicked in and amped up my anxieties. However, after creating the cover page and truly allowing my imagination to take control of the project, it became not only fun but also very insightful; one of my favorite assignment thus far.

From the of the play therapy journal first entry (the letter to my inner child) to the final planning of my dream birthday party (Manicures and Mimosas (mock of course)), I delved deeper and deeper into all of the aspects of myself that I thought I had put away a long time ago.

I realized just how much I pulled away from the innocence and optimism that being in constant contact with my inner child allowed me to possess; “life” and “responsibilities” had caused a quiet disconnect from a once bubbly and goofy person.

Being able to apologize to myself for allowing that to happen was more therapeutic than I could have ever imagined. Furthermore, reconnecting with all of the activities that brought me such happiness as a child, like shopping for my Barbie collection and their dream house and coloring, was so nostalgic for me that it became my safe activity when I need to break from daily adult life and that of a school counselor.

Before this play therapy project, I could not figure out why I was longing to swim or hear the sounds of water during high stressed periods in my life. However, after taking the time to “play” with my inner child, I discovered the reason. Every year, my dad would put up a pool in our backyard for me and my siblings to swim in during the summer.

We would wait one hour after breakfast and play in that water for hours; only to wake up and do it again the next day – not a care in the world. I now find myself visiting the pool on campus whenever I feel stressed and just the smell of the water takes me back to that simple time of splashing and laughing with my siblings.

It calms me and helps me to put all of the issues I may be dealing with at that time into perspective – it is magical and so was this impact of this play therapy assignment; self-care at its finest.

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*If you ignore the disclaimer above are using these techniques on yourself and you feel any discomfort or upset it is highly suggested that you seek out a licensed  mental health professional immediately.

"Beyond Art Therapy" is the concept from Dr. Stangline that combines all creative fields in therapy. It is not the traditional "art therapy" but goes beyond to include sand tray therapy, play therapy, mindfulness, meditation, color therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a vast majority of other therapies.

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