Using Chalkboard Signs in Therapy

New ImageAfter years of conducting play therapy, I continue to find new trinkets, books, toys, and supplies that offer a little something new to our sessions.

The latest and greatest are these quaint, wooden miniature chalkboard signs that inspire lots of creativity and expression. I’ve varied the way the signs can be displayed and used in my therapy sessions.

Written and visual words are powerful tools for growth

A client often chooses items (miniatures, toys, etc.) very carefully, as they reflect what’s happening internally. That’s why I love this craft item. It’s another way for clients to express their world and share it with me. Here are some tips for using these miniature chalkboard signs in theraphy:

Set out blank and worded signs. I wrote words and saying on a few signs, such as “Help Me!” and “Stop” using a metallic sharpie. I displayed the written and blank signs along with the sand tray miniatures in my office.

Encourage clients to write their own words. In the title picture of this post (above), you see a sign that a school-age child wrote “Peace!” and above that, the word “War,” which the child chose to scratch out. This child is struggling with a great deal of emotional distress and problems at school, and often reports feeling he/she is being attacked and in battle. How powerful and reflective, I think to myself, as the child continued to display the sign in the sand tray, playing out these intense feelings of war, distress, and the need for peace.

Creative art. In the activity below, I encouraged a child to use art supplies to create an image that expresses how they feel. Among the art supplies, I store the miniature chalkboard signs, along with wood people shapes by Creatology, and a page from the Melissa and Doug picture frame pad. The people shapes, chalkboard sign, and paper frame were colored and adhered to the page. I assisted as needed, but let the child guide the activity. We talked about the words and feelings expressed on the page to help the child process their current challenges.

using-chalkboard-signs-in-therapy-example

These chalkboard signs have been really fun and creative, plus (big plus) they are inexpensive and easy to find. I  bought mine from Michael’s craft store, but below are a few variations online that may interest you. If you find these to be a great addition to your therapy practice as well, we would love to hear from you!

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