Monday, February 17, 2014

Throw It In The Jar

People of all ages struggle with tough emotions.  This technique might work better with children and adolescents, but providers could suggest it to adults as well.  For a latency aged youth, make a feelings jar - they can grab a jar or a can, and even decorate it.  Talk to the child about all emotions being safe and experienced by everyone.  If you can have parents involved with this intervention that is ideal, because it will be more effective if it is carried over at home.  Explain to the family that this jar is to be used for negative emotions that are not benefiting the child.  For example, it is okay to feel sad about losing computer privileges for the week, but it does not help to hold onto those sad feelings for several days.  Encourage the child to write their feelings on a small piece of paper and drop it in the jar.  This will encourage them to let go of the power of the negative emotion without having to give it up completely.  Tell the child to bring in the jar once in a while and go through it with them.  They might surprise themselves with how many negative emotions they are comfortable throwing away.  This will help teach the child that negative emotions are intense, but they do not last forever.

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