exercises that allow clients to identify and take part in fun activities outside of therapy when they want to feel good. The goal of activity scheduling is to encourage continued participation in rewarding and healthy experiences and to help youth build positive friendships.
“What should my therapist be doing?”
- Explaining the evidence for using activity scheduling as part of the treatment plan to help your child.
- Explaining to your child how doing different activities affects his mood/feelings.
- Brainstorming some activities that your child can do to boost his mood
- Providing some kind of demonstration to your child about the mood-boosting effects of engaging in pleasant activities
- Encouraging your child to engage in enjoyable behaviors when feeling depressed after the initial therapy session
- Providing you with suggestions on how you might motivate your child to try new behaviors, if he or she is reluctant. Usage of visuals or other handouts (schedules, graphs, etc.) may help with this effort
“What should I be doing?”
- Encouraging your child to engage in fun, new activities (e.g., playing sports)
- Involving yourself in your child’s activities
- Praising and supporting your child for engaging in proposed activities. Such support activities may include creating and using a behavioral reinforcement chart with rewards.
- Practice, practice, practice
“How will I know if it is working?”
- Your child’s overall mood improves.
- Your child is more willing to engage in the proposed activities.
- Your child should engage in more pleasant activities.
- Your child may take more initiative to do activities.