Strategies and Techniques
SODAS-Sodas is a problem-solving technique as well as a visual reminder. The acronym is as follows:
Children enjoy counseling sessions that are interactive yet applied in nature. The use of comic strips can be very helpful especially for children that may fall on the autism spectrum. The following website allows students to create their own comic strip. During sessions, I usually provide students with a scenario and then have them offer solutions using the comic stripping method.
I often use the analogy that grief is like a roller coaster. We use a laminated picture of a roller coast and write on the picture using a dry erase marker. We identify peaks and valleys that may occur over the course of the year. For example, a valley may occur at the anniversary mark of a person's death. A peak may occur during the school day when one is distracted and busy.
A fellow collegue of mine recently shared the following website. This site is useful for both parents and educators working with grieving children. The modules and module summaries are especially helpful.
5 Count Breathing
Belly Breathing with Elmo
Straw and Cotton Ball: To practice breathing techniques, use a straw to blow a cotton ball across a flat surface. Try to blow the cotton as far as possible. This will force one to focus on their breathing but will also serve as a distraction from negative thoughts/anxiety.
Anxiousness: This was made for a student that was particularly anxious about riding the school bus to and from school. We discussed ideas 1) before riding the bus 2) during the bus ride and 3) following the bus ride
check it out!
Stress: Stress can be healthy and motivate us to perform at our best, however, an abundance of stress can be detrimental as well.
To manage stress, try the following:
1) Engage in some form of physical activity
2) Talk out your worries with a friend or parent
3) Learn to accept what you cannot change
4) Get enough sleep and rest
5) Balance work and play
6) Eat right and avoid caffeine
8) Be neat and organized
9) Manage your time effectively
10) Learn and use relaxation exercises
11) Forgive your mistakes
12) Have realistic expectations
13) Take time out for yourself
14) Use visual imagery and positive self-talk
15) Don’t be afraid to say no
16) Ask for help or ask questions when needed
17) Burn scented candles or fragrant oils
18) Listen to music
19) Take a warm bath or shower
20) Model good coping strategies in dealing with stress