Thursday, September 6, 2012

Working hard or hardly working?

How to turn fun, everyday activities into PSR activities!

While playing a game of pool- This is not only a great activity for patience, focus, taking turns, or following directions, but is also a creative way to practice STAR (Stop, Think, Act, Review).   When taking your turn, say the steps out loud, review the meaning, then help your client understand how this will help them during their turn.  You can then prompt them to give an example of how they can use this skill, for instance during conflict, when making a tough decision, etc.  You can then play a round without using STAR.  How did slowing down and thinking through your turn change the game? How can slowing down and thinking through choices make a difference in the outcome?  How would your behaviors and choices change if you slowed down and used STAR? Give examples of this! You can then add a step to the end of STAR, and discuss how your decision affected the other person.

While hiking- Hike an "angry mountain" stopping at different levels of the trail, and discussing levels of anger.  Try asking your client to tell a story about when they were angry, leading to an explosion, or outburst.  As they tell the story, go over the different levels of their emotions, such as irritated, then frustrated, angry, and the top being the most extreme, the very bottom being calm.  At each level of anger, stop and practice a coping skill, helping them understand different coping skills for each emotion. You can also compare the physical exhaustion after explosive anger, then the worn out feeling when coming back down the hill.  Review while hiking back down, asking how to they can get from the top, back down to the bottom, and calm again.  

While playing Frisbee golf- This concept is similar to Stacey's angry birds game, involving practice and labeling of coping skills for anger, then help in the understanding of dealing with your anger getting easier and more successful the more coping skills you use.  You can also use this game as a way to work toward a specific goal.  Using each turn throwing the disk to name a step to reach the goal, then as each step is named, you get closer to obtaining it! This angle is a helpful visual for older kids, teens, or even adults. If you are unfamiliar with Frisbee golf, or are not near any courses (first of all, you are missing out)  you can substitute with a regular Frisbee, and a hoopla hoop!

While playing basketball- Basketball itself,(or any exercise really) is an outlet and coping skill for stress and anger.  For younger kids this may be difficult to understand, but practicing, especially if agitated, is helpful.  A couple of other suggestions for this activity is to name coping skills when taking a shot at the hoop, or turning a game such as "horse" into a coping skills game.  If you know this by a different name, or don't know what "horse" is, take turns shooting from anywhere in the court.  If one of you makes a shot, then the other has to make the same shot, if not, they earned an H, and so on. If you earn the entire word, the other person wins the game.  Use this to name or practice a coping skill, for instance play "stomp" instead of "horse," practicing stomping out your "angries" when it is your turn to take a shot.

And the list goes on! Getting creative and finding a way to practice skills while playing and being active will be fun for both you and your client.  You will also be helping your tactile learners or those who prefer move around be more successful!

1 comment:

  1. These are all great activities! Thanks for the ideas!