KCC’s Shout Out By Liana Lowenstein!

I am very excited to get a nod from the editor of a popular series of therapeutic activity books- Liana Lowenstein! Ms. Lowenstein has chosen Kim’s Counseling Corner as her favorite website for 2012!

Thank you, Liana, for the honor and for following my blog!

Liana has shared her favorites of 2012 in her monthly newsletter and I am so honored (and surprised) to be included. You can view her full newsletter here.

Ms. Lowenstein’s books contain a wealth of assessment and treatment activities collected from a range of professionals. Some of her books include:

  • Creative Interventions for Troubled Children and Youth
  • Creative Interventions for Bereaved Children
  • Creative Interventions for Children of Divorce
  • Assessment and Treatment Activities for Children and Their Families: Practicioners Share Their Most Effective Techniques.

You can find all her books through her website at www.lianalowenstein.com. Her site is full of resources for professionals and parents. Sign up for her monthly newsletter to stay updated.

She even throws in this free E-book!!

Click here for a link to your free E-book

Friday Wrap Up 8-17-12: Must Reads and Best Online Finds From the Week!


It’s Finally The Weekend!!

Every week I come across so many informative articles, funny and inspiring quotes, and cool websites. It’s impossible to post them all on my facebook page, so here’s what I came across this week.

Have a great weekend!

1. Psychoanalyzing Batman. I love superhero movies. To me, they are more than a hero flying around saving people. There is always a story behind the superhero and how they transformed to a stronger, more powerful self. This post on Psychcentral.com is a good psychoanalysis of Batman. Good read. Here’s a clip:

Batman, AKA Bruce Wayne, lives through the trauma of watching his parents murdered in front of his eyes as a young boy. In order to find some kind of retribution, he becomes a superhero who tries to save his city, Gotham, from crime.

And not just that – he also picks a disguise that is reminiscent of what was once his greatest fear: the fear of bats.

As a kid he found himself trapped in a well, surrounded by fluttering bloodsuckers who seem to want to attack him. But as a young man, he wasn’t going to continue giving in to that fear. He wanted to overcome it.

So (after a long and hard training period somewhere in a faraway Asian country) he exposed himself voluntarily to a swarm of screeching bats, standing still in the midst of the tornado, until he had overcome his fear. And thus, the legend was born.

But Bruce Wayne doesn’t just attempt to move past what used to haunt him by looking straight at it. He transcends it into his greatest strength, and embodies what once was the source of a severe phobia.

2. Dads Pass “Trust” Hormone to Kids

Interesting article that suggests giving a parent oxytocinis can help improve a child’s emotional or social growth. I look forward to seeing more research in this area.

Often called the “love hormone” or “trust hormone,” oxytocinis a chemical that helps parents and children bond to one another and works on children’s emotional development.

A recent study has found that giving fathers oxytocin not only increases their bond with their child but also increases the amount of oxytocin found in their children.

The finding means that some children’s conditions related to social or emotional growth might be able to be addressed by giving a parentoxytocin without having to give any medications to the child.

3. Reframing!

4. Cute ideas for new family traditions here by Elaine Ng Friis. Here are some of my favorites!

Meal Under the Table
Once a month or so, have meal or snack under the table and bond with your child.

Family Devotion Time
Once a week, worship God, pray and read the Bible together as a family.

Family Night
Once every two weeks, let the children drag their mattresses to your bedroom floor and sleep together with you.

Super Family Night
Once a month, drag all your mattresses downstairs and sleep in the living room floor altogether with your children. (There’s no good reason why as we all have our beds other than it’s great fun.) Switch off the lights and light candles (you can use the fake candles for safety). The candle lights somehow helps to create a cozy conducive environment for family-togetherness. You can spend the evening talking about old family memories, or future aspirations.

Spring Cleaning
Once a year, do spring cleaning of the home together as a family. Let the children put on swim suits and slide on the wet floor while you are mopping the floor.

5. Feelings Darts

I always like finding unique activities to use with kids in therapy. This post on the Play and Child Therapy Blog is a fun one!

With families, each family member gets a Dart Gun, or they share if there are not enough, and they take a turn targeting and shooting a feeling card. Sometimes, families will target a feeling they want to talk about. Other times, everyone in the family will share a time they have experienced the feeling. The cards are great because the pictures are vibrant, fun and help little ones, who do not read yet, understand the emotion represented. Fantastic conversations and shared information have
come from the use of this activity. “Hard stuff” has proved easier to bring up
and talk about with this “game.”

This activity is also very popular with tween/teen boys and girls. With teens, I usually post the lashcards individually around the room with Poster Putty. Then, they can move around the room, target and shoot an emotion they want to share. Some kids like to throw play-doh or clay at an emotion/card. All ages love this activity. I have used it with four-year-olds through seventy-year-olds.

You can make the chart with poster board, Todd Parr Feelings Flash Cards (feelings posters work very
well – http://www.childtherapytoys.com/store/Play_therapy4.html, and I used clear contact paper to laminate, and keep the whole thing together. To make a whole chart, you need to purchase two Todd Parr packs, as they are double sided.


Friday Wrap Up 8/10/12

Friday Wrap UP 8/03/12

Friday Wrap Up 7/27/12

Friday Wrap Up: Must Reads and Best Online Finds From the Week!


It’s Finally The Weekend!!

Every week I come across so many informative articles, funny and inspiring quotes, and cool websites. It’s impossible to post them all on my facebook page, so here’s what I came across this week.

Have a great weekend!

1. In honor of the final week of the 2012 London Olympics, I found a good post by a sports psychologist on what he thinks will make for a successful Olympic experience. We can actually ALL use these tips when striving for a goal!!

Here are some of my initial tips for an athlete’s success at the Olympics:

  1. Arrive psychologically ready having developed your psychological skills
  2. Keep your goal(s) in mind for the event. Ensure these are realistic (SMART)
  3. Know your Olympic Game(s) plan – how  you will manage your sports time during the competition and training times
  4. Know how you will manage your downtime – take it easy, relax, chill, put your mind on other things
  5. Be confident – recall all your preparation, training sessions, markers that you are ready for this, trust your preparation
  6. Manage pre-competition nerves
  7. Review each performance in a balanced way, so you can spot opportunities to tweak your plan while you are still at the Games (but be careful not to over meddle)
  8. Focus on you and what you need to do to perform well (don’t get too distracted by other athletes or the ‘circus’)

2. This website has some great downloads for therapeutic activities. Here are a few of my favorites, but there are many more so check it out!

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3. What a great reminder and visual aid for the power of exercise on our physical and psychological health!

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4. I thought this was a cool visual of the categories of anti-psychotics. Here’s the visual link.

Friday Wrap Up: Must Reads and Best Online Finds From the Week!


It’s Finally The Weekend!!

Every week I come across so many informative articles, funny and inspiring quotes, and cool websites. It’s impossible to post them all on my facebook page, so here’s what I came across this week.

Have a great weekend!

Helping Children Cope with the Aurora Tragedy by Momaroo

A senior Psychologist at the Children’s Hospital of Denver gives some great advice on helping children cope with the tragedy. It’s a good read and here are a few clips that stood out to me.

“First, parents have to compose themselves,” Dolgan said, stressing that parents should think carefully about what they want to say to their children before they begin what will likely be a difficult conversation.

Second, Dolgan recommended that parents actually let their children lead the way. “Kids are all over the place with where they are developmentally,” he said. In order to deal with these differences, creating an atmosphere in which your children feel comfortable approaching you with questions would be optimal. Dr. Richard Marafiote, another psychologist who has worked in Aurora for many years, stressed how important it is for parents to “tune in” to their children in moments like these.
“By and large I think about the importance of parents allowing their children to speak about how they feel rather than having those parents put on their children what they believe their child may think or feel,” he said. Finally, Dolgan suggested parents should try to “normalize” the situation as much as possible, while limiting media exposure. “What we’ve found with many studies is the more kids and parents see the same kind of visuals, the more traumatizing it is,” Dolgan said.

10 Affirmations to Help Parents Accept Themselves and Their Children by KidsDiscuss.com

The author reminds us that it’s important for children to have parents who are accepting of themselves, as well as the children.

5 Affirmations for Helping Parents Accept Their Child

1. I accept my child is different.

2. I accept my child is quiet.

3. I accept my child can be stubborn.

4. I accept my child takes time to warm up to things or people.

5. I accept my child gets upset quickly.

5 Self-Accepting Affirmations for Parents

1. I accept I am a human being before I am a parent.

2. I accept I have limitations and many shortcomings, and this is okay.

3. I accept I don’t always know the right way.

4. I accept I can be selfish and unthinking in my dealings with my child.

5. I accept I don’t always know how to respond to my child.

8 Bucket List Questions to Ask Yourself, by Alice Boyes, Ph.D. on Psychology Today

Have you thought of jotting down a bucket list, or do you already have a bucket list? This is a good guide for us to use to help stimulate some ideas!

1. Who would you like to meet?

2. Where would you like to travel? If you could only do 3 things when you got there, what would you pick?

3. What challenges (if successfully achieved) would give you the biggest confidence boost?

4. What bucket list goals have you thought about but not pursued because you’d feel embarrassed if anyone knew you had that goal?

5. What do you like consuming that you might like to have a go at producing?

e.g., writing or acting for TV, writing a song, making a film, writing a novel, cooking foods you like to eat, writing comedy.

6. When you imagine yourself as really, really relaxed and happy, what are you doing?

7. When you imagine yourself as awestruck or giddy with excitement, what are you doing?

8. What was unique about you as a little kid? What were you passionate about as a little kid that you stopped exploring as you got older?

Advice From A Tree- I love this!

Miniature Building From Around the World from toysofthetrade.com. These would be great to use for sand tray therapy.

You May Also Like:

Steps to Improving Inattention in ADHD

What To Say To Someone Who Is Grieving

Parents: Educate Yourself on Cyberbullying

Heading Back To School Already!

I can’t believe it’s already time for kids to go back to school. Summer seemed so much longer when I was a kid (has the summer been shortened?)! One of the best ways to prepare your kids for starting school is by reading about school! There are some really good books out there so here are some to choose from.

My two personal favorites are Wimberly Worried and The Kissing Hand.  Both of these books touch on the anxiety kids can have about being away from a parent and making friends when they go to school.


Cover art of children's picture book First Grade Jitters Annabelle Swift KindergartnerBack to School with BetsyThe Berenstain Bears Go to SchoolBilly And The Big New SchoolChanges, Changes

Curious George Goes to SchoolThe Day the Teacher Went BananasDo You Want to Be My Friend? miniAmelia Bedelia's First Day of SchoolFirst Day, Hooray!Cover art of The Bully Blockers Club picture book for kids

Annabelle Swift KindergartnerFranklin Goes to SchoolFriends at SchoolFroggy Goes to SchoolI Love School!Kindergarten Rocks!The Kissing HandLook Out Kindergarten, Here I ComeMiss Bindergarten Gets Ready for KindergartenMom, It's My First Day of Kindergarten!My KindergartenWelcome to KindergartenWemberly WorriedWhen Kangaroo Goes To SchoolWhen You Go to KindergartenWill I Have a FriendI Am Too Absolutely Small for SchoolLittle SchoolFirst Grade Stinks!


PDF: Children’s Books About Starting School


You May Also Like:

Using Signs To Teach Your Toddler About Feelings

Five Characteristics of a Good Child Therapist

Is It Possible To Choose Our Mood?

Friday Wrap Up: Must Reads and Best Online Finds From the Week!


It’s Finally The Weekend!!

Every week I come across so many informative articles, funny and inspiring quotes, and cool websites. It’s impossible to post them all on my facebook page, so here’s what I came across this week.

Have a great weekend!

33 of the Deepest and Coolest Thoughts About Life, by Single Dad Laughing

SDL asked his readers to share their coolest thoughts about life they have had or heard. There are some really good ones, but here are a few of my favorites:

“When I was about six or seven years old, I was watching ants on the pavement and wondered if some giant was watching down on us as if we were the ants.”

“When I was a teenager my mom told me that there were 2 things in life that would eventually become apparent to me: 1.Not everyone likes you and 2.You’ve stopped caring.”

“I hope to one day be the person my children see me to be.”

“You’ve got to have a little rain before a rainbow.”

How Kids Can Save Your Marriage, by Dr. Craig Malkin on Psychology Today

Dr. Malkin brings up some really good points about marriage and kids. Good read!

Kids invade your bedroom.  They rule your schedule. They dictate where you go and how you spend your time. They spark squabbles over matters as trivial as where to put all the stuffed animals or which living room arrangement will lead to the fewest head injuries (the correct answer, by the way, is to remove all the furniture and sit on bean bags). Despite all this, I have one simple message to share: Kids don’t kill marriages; adults do.

Taming the “Nasties” In Your Children, by help4yourfamily

Kate Oliver, a Clinical Social Worker, reminds us to consider why our kids are behaving negatively. Many times we assume it’s because they are just acting out, but she offers some alternative reasons that we should keep in mind as well.

The first thing to do when the nasties are tearing through your house is to assess what is causing the nasty behavior.  I had a professor once that said the most important piece in addressing any behavior is to find out it’s cause, and while you may not be very curious about the root of the problem when your child is yelling at you, perhaps I can persuade you by pointing out that figuring out the root cause is way more pleasant for you than beating yourself up over having such a mean child.  Here are some ideas to take into consideration when you are trying to figure out what is going on:

“What To Do” Guides For Your Kids, by Houston Family Psychology

I have never heard of these books before, but definitely think they are worth checking out. Thanks Dr. Weiss!

Did you know that your body is like a car that you need to learn how to steer, worries are like tomatoes that grow when they’re fed, and disappointments are like hurdles to be jumped? By the time you’re done with these books, you will! Using these and other similarly accessible analogies, Dr. Huebner brings the concepts of cognitive behavioral therapy to life, making them easy to understand and fun to practice.

Dr. Seuss on Love, another Pinterest find, and too great not to share!

IKEA Shelves Turned On Side Make Great Shelving, by IHeart Organizing

What a cool idea! I pinned this on Pinterestwhere I find so many great ideas. This would work well in a play therapy room or child’s room and less expensive than building a bench with shelving underneath!

Books by Topic for Children, Parents, and Mental Health Professionals

With this being a fairly new website, I have plenty of plans to upgrade and make it even more informative and fun! I recently updated the Books Section, under the Links, Books, and Other Tools tab of this site. Using my Goodreads account, you can brouse my selections by topic or by the reader (adult, child, or professional). You can then read summaries and reviews of the books. As always, please forward any suggestions my way and check back regularly as new books are added each week!


Abuse and Neglect


Adoption and Foster Care










Grief and Loss


Play Therapy



Teen Girl Issues





Must Read Books on Childhood Abuse

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month!

Below is a list of books for children, as well as parents, teens, and professionals on child abuse. As you will see, abuse during childhood is not only an issue for child therapists. Adults who were abused as children continue to struggle with feelings of anger, shame, and depression from their experience.


Something Happened and I’m Scared to Tell

A Terrible Thing Happened: A Story for Children Who Have Witnessed Violence or Trauma

The Trouble with Secrets

Reena’s Bollywood Dream: A Story About Sexual Abuse

Annabelle’s Secret: A Story About Sexual Abuse

Please Tell: A Child’s Story About Sexual Abuse


A Child Called It

The Lost Boy: A Foster Child’s Search for the Love of a Family

A Man Named Dave

Play Therapy with Abused Children

Finding Sunshine After the Storm: A Workbook for Children Healing from Sexual Abuse

The Words Hurt: Helping Children Cope with Verbal Abuse

When Your Child Has Been Molested: A Parent’s Guide to Healing and Recovery

How Long Does It Hurt?

We Are Not Alone: A Guidebook for Helping Professionals and Parents Supporting Adolescent Victims of Sexual Abuse

Therapeutic Exercises for Victimized and Neglected Girls

Structured Psychotherapy Groups for Sexually Abused Children and Adolescents

Gentling: A Practical Guide to Treating PTSD in Abused Children

Repair for Kids: A Children’s Program for Recovery from Incest and Childhood Sexual Abuse

A Brother’s Journey: Surviving a Childhood of Abuse

The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

My Story

Am I Bad: Recovering from Abuse

The Invisible Child

Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect

Child Abuse and Culture: Working with Diverse Families

The Breakdown of an All-American Family

You may also enjoy reading Early Trauma and Attachment!