Therapeutic Activity: All Tied Up with Worry

This is a great activity for helping someone to visualize their worries and gives great insight into what they may be worrying about the most. You can do this for yourself, your children, or professionals can use this on their clients. Great for all ages!!

The pictures below are from an actual client and I’ll discuss a little more about what I found.

What you will need: yarn, small squares of paper, and something to write with.


Next, talk about something the person worries about and pull out a string of yarn that represents how big the worry feels. Write the worry down on a piece of paper. Be sure to attach the worry to the string of yarn so you can keep track of which wory goes with which string of yarn.

Once all the worries have been mentioned and the yarn pulled, you can evaluate what you see. In my experience with this activity, I have found that some people have A LOT of worries. Others only have a few worries, but they may be really big. This also puts into perspective what worries are bigger than others. It’s a wonderful tool for gathering AND processing information!

This isn’t the greatest photo, but you can get the idea. There are three worries pictured, ranging in length from small to very long.  The smallest worry is “worrying about mom not being able to support me” and the longest worry is getting in trouble for things he didn’t do. This is a school age child who had been getting into trouble so much lately that he was the first one pointed at when something went missing or a fight broke out in class. He was given an opportunity to talk about this issue and how he feels about getting in trouble so much.

This particular child did not have many worries, but some do. For those who have a lot of worries, we have balled up the yarn and talked about how all these worries in their head feel. Another option is to string the worries up into a web. I did this with a child around Halloween and he had a lot of fun, and actually added in some of those plastic spiders!

Many times the topics we are talking about can be emotionally heavy so adding in some fun and light-heartedness can help the person through the activity without leaving them feeling weighed down!

You may also like Angry Paper Toss!

Author: Kim Peterson, MA, LPC-S, RPT

Kim is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Clinical Supervisor, and Registered Play Therapist in Dallas, Texas.

7 thoughts on “Therapeutic Activity: All Tied Up with Worry”

  1. This is a lovely idea. Wories sometimes seem like a confused big ball of burden. I think doing this project, especially a theraoist doing it with you, but, even alone, could help to make it seem less overwhelming. It’s right out there where you can see it. Done with your therapist it would also provide that wonderful feeling of another person sharing your load for awhile, paying attention, and helping to sort it out.

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