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calming exercises which teach youth how to effectively cope with stressful events. These can include muscle relaxation, breathing exercises, or meditation. This technique is done with a therapist at first to learn the specific technique. The youth is then taught how to use the strategy effectively during times which are stressful.

What should my therapist be doing?

  • Explaining to your child that the tension in his body negatively affects his feelings
  • Teaching your child relaxation techniques (e.g., deep breathing, muscle relaxation)
  • Helping your child to identify how relaxation skills can be used in real world situations (e.g., at school)
  • Practicing relaxation together, first in session, then in real world settings

What should I be doing?

  • Encouraging your child to use relaxation techniques outside of treatment sessions
  • Assisting your child with relaxation
  • Praising your child for using relaxation techniques

How will I know it is working?

  • Your child uses relaxation techniques on his own when he is stressed or sad
  • Your child is noticeably less tense and stressed

To see an extended example, click here and look at pages 3-6.