Applicable To: Groups or Individuals
CAPPD Concepts: Calm, present
What It Is: Ask children to close their eyes if they want to (for some children who experienced trauma closing their eyes can be frightening and/or a trauma trigger) and imagine a nice place in their minds. They can imagine some place they’ve been or some place that is very familiar and comfortable. Ask them to take 3 deep breathes and imagine any ‘bad’ thoughts they are having drifting away as they breathe out. Tell them to think about their nice place and imagine it with all their senses. What does it feel/smell/look/sound like? They should enjoy being in the place and notice how being there makes them feel. When they are ready, they should slowly let go of this image and bring themselves back to the room.
For younger children, ask them to blow their ‘bad’ feeling away in bubbles (imaginary or real), then “sparkle like a bright star,” “shine like the sun,” “be gentle like a bunny,” and “be quiet like a mouse.”
Why It Helps: Letting go of negative emotions and thoughts, at least temporarily, will help children calm down, re-focus and think more positively. It also helps to teach them that they do have control, to some extent, over their feelings and can choose to focus on positive experiences and places.