A Penny For Your Thoughts

This excellent intervention idea comes from Joan Forest, LICSW. Joan received a gift certificate to childtherapytoys.com for her submission. (And so can you!)

Here is a play therapy mode that I stumbled across by accident. Actually, it has been shown to me by children, over and over again. I had a stack of pennies on my desk, I don’t even remember why, and a boy asked if he could use them in the sand tray. He made up a game in which we took turns hiding the pennies in the sand and the other person would find them. This was in his first session, when we were just getting to know one another. Later on, he engaged in expressive play, using miniatures to create scenes in the sand, but at times when he wanted to relax and be comforted, he would want to play the pennies game. I work with a lot of traumatized children who, when they are not yet ready to engage in expressive play, enjoy hiding the pennies in the sand. I never suggest it, I just keep the stack of pennies in plain view and they come up with the idea. It appeals to children who are in a regressed state due to trauma, as it is a variation of peek a boo. They love it when I act surprised at the finding of each penny.

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