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.