Featured Technique

Featured Technique

Add to your repertoire of creative therapeutic interventions with this original technique.

Please be sure to print this page as the technique below will be replaced by a new technique each month.

Printable form of current Featured Technique can be attained here.

CAUTION: THIS TECHNIQUE IS FOR USE BY MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS WITH SPECIALIZED TRAINING IN CLINICAL WORK WITH CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.



THE HEART

Source: Trudy Post Sprunk, LMFT-S, LPC, CPCS, RPT-S, CPT-S, EMDR cert.


GOAL:

  • Child to utilize an appropriate strategy to release and express angry feelings.
  • Verbally articulate emotional needs
  • Discuss and process feelings regarding unmet emotional needs
  • Provide an opportunity to fulfill unmet needs
  • Verbally articulate future goals for treatment

AGES: 8+
TREATMENT MODALITY: Individual, Group, and Family.

Materials

  • Paper, felt, or fabric
  • Markers, paints, decorative supplies
  • Stapler, tape, or glue to connect the two sides of the heart

DESCRIPTION
Make a heart by combining two heart shapes. Connect them only on the sides leaving the top of the heart open. Use paper or fabric to make these hearts.

After the heart has been created, ask the client to write words or draw pictures of what their heart needs in order to feel more loved. As the clients describe what their hearts need, ask how they can give these things to themselves. Next ask how their family/peers can be of help in providing what each heart needs.

Process questions include:

  1. How do you think your life would be different if you were able to meet your heart’s needs through your own efforts?
  2. What feelings do you think you might experience if you are able to meet your own needs?
  3. In what ways would your life be different if your heart’s needs were met by your efforts and the efforts of others?
  4. What feelings do you think you might experience towards others who were helpful to you in meeting your needs?

DISCUSSION
This activity provides the client an opportunity to assess and prioritize their important emotional needs. Secondly, in the safety of the therapeutic relationship, the client is free to explore and share their heart’s needs with the therapist and perhaps family or group members.

The activity also involves the client’s ability to determine how best they can meet their needs through their own efforts. The last exploration and discussion involves how, if at all, the client can enlist the aid of others in meeting their needs.

The therapist gently guides the discussion so the client feels empowered by recognizing their needs and creatively fulfilling them.

© 2016, Trudy Post Sprunk. All rights reserved.

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