20 Things to Say to Help an Angry Child

20 Things You Can Say to Help an Angry Child

Heather Thomas Anger Management 0 Comments

So what do you say to an angry child? Does it matter if the child is your client, student, or your own offspring? Do you find yourself reacting differently depending on who is in emotional distress? It really shouldn’t matter, but all too often it does. I speak from experience on this one! Every once in a while, it feels like working with 1,500 other people’s kids is easier than managing my own children…why is it any different? After all, I just said it shouldn’t matter…It all has to do with emotional investment. When we are overly invested emotionally, we take …


20+ Counseling Themes in Star Wars – The Force Awakens

Heather Thomas Counseling Activities & Resources 4 Comments

Star Wars – The Force Awakens is full of counseling themes that can be utilized when helping children and teens (even adults!). Why use movies to address emotional and behavioral issues? Movies are made to connect with the audience on a personal and emotional level…at least the good ones have been. The feelings and challenges faced by the characters allow us to work through our own issues in a non-threatening environment. The general safety of the theater or our living room and the brief duration (yes, even 3-hour blockbusters) gives us a finite opportunity to experience the emotions vicariously through …

How to feel less depressed during the holidays

How to Feel Less Depressed During the Holiday

Heather Thomas Counseling Activities & Resources 2 Comments

Depression during the holiday season is not uncommon and can be especially difficult to manage. After all, this is supposed to be the happiest time of the year. Is it not? It’s everywhere you look in American society…holiday movies, books, and music is filled with hope, love, and togetherness. Being bombarded with holiday merriment can be extremely overwhelming. Even more so when all you want to do is crawl under the covers until it all goes away. At times the external message (this is a happy time of year) coupled with a depressive internal dialogue forms what is known as …

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20+ Inside Out Clips to Help Teach Children About Feelings

Heather Thomas Counseling Activities & Resources 0 Comments

The Disney Pixar movie Inside Out was an instant hit at the box office. Children, teens, adults (especially) counselors are drawn to the movie’s relatable characters and life challenges. As mentioned above, counselors anticipated the release of Inside Out and how they would be able to use the movie’s themes in their work with children. Personally, I’ve been having a blast finding Inside Out toys and books my students can use to express their feelings and work out some of the challenges they face. (You can read more about the counseling themes in Inside Out here and all of the toys and …


20+ Counseling Themes in Inside Out

Heather Thomas Counseling Activities & Resources 38 Comments

Counselors near and far have been excited for the arrival of Disney Pixar’s movie Inside Out. Disney’s movie, about a girl who is forced to leave her friends and life as she knows it behind to move across the country for her dad’s new job, is a gold mine for helping kids develop social and emotional skills! While reading through the posts over at the Elementary School Counselor Exchange on Facebook, I noticed that someone asked for a list of counseling themes in Inside Out. This got me thinking…so I pulled out a pad of paper and came up with …

18 easy coping skills for kids and teens

18 Coping Skills: Strategies for Children and Teens

Heather Thomas Counseling Activities & Resources 10 Comments

Coping skills have been a pretty popular topic for discussion over on The Helpful Counselor Facebook Page. So many great ideas were shared that I thought it would be a good to write a coping skills blog post to have them in one place. 🙂 Here are some of the great coping skill strategies (in no particular order): #1 Homemade Stress Balls (w/Playdough): During my counselor training, I was told that you should never ask your students to do something that you have never tried yourself. This is very sound advice as it allows you to work out kinks and …