The buttons on the pizza cannot be maneuvered around into a better position, and the holes have to make it over the buttons right where they are, without much maneuvering. The pizza can sit within visual sight, which helps a child visually work out how to get the button hole onto the button, and is a good assist before moving to working with clothes on the body. There are a whole bunch of other button activities to make buttoning fun.
When working on clothes on the body, again start with large buttons to make it easier to see the buttons and holes and maneuver them. A practice garment should be loose enough to be brought out from the body and be able to be seen by the beginning buttoner until they are ready to work on buttoning without seeing it well.
You can check out a lot more posts about buttoning. A visual motor precursor to being able to pull a zipper along its tracks is beading, and the visual motor act of moving beads along a pipe cleaner or string. Pulling a zipper up and down is the easiest part of zipping, but where many people struggle is getting a zipper started on a coat. It is quite difficult to get the shank of the zipper into place in the slot of the zipper. Some ideas to increase the visual awareness of how to get an object into the slot is to use two different colors of zippers to increase the contrast while practicing.
You can also practice with a pipe cleaner to increase the visual contrast and the stability of the item going into the slot. This post is part of the Functional Skills for Kids series. You can read all of the functions on childhood HERE. Read all of my monthly posts in this series HERE. Looking for more information about buttoning and zipping?
Stop by to see what the other Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists in the Focus on Function series have written. Mama OT. Your Kids OT. Love, love, love your button food! Learning how to button is much more fun for kids when a game is involved. This is a great example of the visual-motor components of buttoning and fastening. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
The following two tabs change content below. Bio Latest Posts. Therapy Fun Zone. Many people find that when they hold a stone and take some time to allow it to have an effect on them, memories from earlier in life emerge spontaneously. When the trauma-based associations can be carefully untangled in therapy from the benign ones, a client can become freer to enjoy the supportive pleasures of nature once more.
How do they feel the arrangement needs to be reconfigured, when they see things in this light? Are they on the edge? In the middle? Who is the largest stone? Who is the smallest? Does anything seem unfair or troubling in the constellation? When Tina did this, she noted that the group was swirling around in one direction.
That led to a productive exploration of her sense of self in groups, and her fears and needs as they conflicted and merged with those of others. Many counsellors and therapists use genograms with their clients, to help clarify and identify wider family patterns and themes.
Use of concrete materials such as stones, in conjunction with paper diagrams, may deepen and enhance the symbolism and learning. Rolls of cheap paper can be used to create a life timeline. The client can place stones along the line to mark particular moments of significance, including change-points, powerful emotional memories, etc. You or the client might take photographs to create a record of the work.
Some clients, particularly in depth-oriented attachment-based psychotherapy, benefit from having a transitional object, taken with permission from the therapy room, between sessions or during therapy breaks. As one client said, the very fact that the therapist is willing to take part in the lending of the stone, and could understand the symbolic importance for the client in their temporarily regressed state, can be a large part of the healing power of this intervention.
A client may choose a small stone to represent supportive qualities such as courage, resilience, love and strength. For these clients, being flung full-on into painting or drawing can feel too intimidating, and even shaming. Yet a therapy that ignores the deep human need for creative expression is not going to help a client blossom into their fullest self. This is when natural materials such as stones can be invaluable. A client can discover that different configurations of stones may resonate for them in different ways. One client may feel deeply satisfied by arranging the stones in lines, or a grid.
Another or perhaps the same person on a different day will respond to an inner urge to lay the stones in size order, or in a spiral or circle, or in clusters, or creating a design like a mandala or concentric circles.
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In this way, a client can develop a new relationship with their intuition and aesthetic senses, moving away from fear and judgement towards trusting their own inner guidance. Inspiring supervisors are always looking for ways to help their supervisees to view their work with fresh eyes, especially when a supervisee feels stuck or muddled around their work with a particular client. Use of arts materials such as stones in counselling supervision can offer a non-shaming, sideways way of looking at a therapeutic relationship.
I currently have spaces for new supervisees — contact me on ]. Outside of sessions, some counsellors like to paint words or statements on stones. Others paint images and symbols that might later be used alongside other objects in the sandtray. There are many books, videos and blogs about stone-painting, and you can find plenty of inspiring examples on Instagram and Pinterest. When you use stones in counselling and psychotherapy, there are a couple of practical things to think about: what to make available as a backdrop or ground, and of course the all-important issue of sourcing your stones.
A client can place the stones within a designated ground or frame, such as a sandtray , tabletop or large sheet of paper. If you work with stones in counselling, do make sure you have thought about boundaries and containment, and how these themes play out in basic concrete terms as well as metaphorically, relationally, etc.
Aim to amass a collection of rocks, stones and pebbles that is very varied and encompasses a wide range of sizes, shapes, colours and textures. What could be more relaxing and soul-nurturing than wandering along a beach, looking out for interesting stones?
Of course, beaches vary, so keep visiting different ones when you can, and notice the different types of stones available in different places. How do you use rocks and stones in counselling and psychotherapy sessions? What has your experience been?
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What a wonderful article and I especially love the idea of using stones with more practical things like genograms. As a child counsellor I have often used stones and pebbles in my work and I like to include them as part of the ending of our therapeutic relationship so that the client can choose a particular stone to take away with them that best represents our time together.
Such a simple yet very effective and versatile tool. And such a lovely subject to look into. Thank you. Having been through a lot in my lifetime I have found painting rocks to be the best therapy I have ever done for myself. Affirmations written on the stones keep me focused on positive thinking and recovery thinking. Gathering stones at ocean beaches, rivers etc. Painting the stones allows me a creative outlet to see just how imaginative I can be and again in the present in the moment. Sharing my rocks with others encourages positive discussions on sayings or paintings on the rocks.
Lastly hiding them for others to find or giving them away is sharing something personal that everyone can enjoy. The wonder of who might find my rock and enjoy it is just plain fun to think about. The canvass the rock is free in nature and for the price of some inexpensive acrylics or paint pens one can create art. Lastly one can work on rocks anywhere. A couple rocks and some markers travel easily to the doctors office, the beach or to your favorite support group or book club.
I highly recommend it to anyone looking to relax, recover, think positively, relieve depression or just create and have fun. Thanks for contributing your experience, Cindy! It sounds like painting on stones is a wonderful creative outlet for you. Thank you for posting this up. Thanks Helen. Yes, painting stones is a great idea for some creative self-care. Lovely article thank you for sharing your insight. A wonderful, informative, and inspiring post!
I would love to hear a bit more specifics on how stones could be used in supervision.
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I am compelled to join your mailing list. Thank you for sharing your ideas and insights! This is wonderful! Given them to clients to take with them as tool to relax. Also used as a discharge object, we wrote inspiring words or phrases on them in paint pen and each gave one to each other. I work with teens and kids FYI! This is lovely Emma! I use stones in my office and have for years. It sounds like a way in. No deep work for me. I just want to say that sometimes it can seem like no deep therapeutic work is being done, when in fact it is. I wish you well, and hope that you and your therapist can find increasingly meaningful ways of communicating together.
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Thank you Emma. I mentioned this at the end of my last session — as I was leaving — and my therapist looked like a ten-tonne truck had smashed through the wall. Therapy, eh? Always plenty to talk about. I am wondering if pebbles etc. Unless the client is finding it hard to begin opening up issues?