Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bubble Breaths

by Karen

Evidence based literature supports that relaxation breathing is beneficial for the mental and physical well-being of children and adults.  Relaxation breathing techniques are incorporated in several therapy modalities utilized with children who are experiencing problems such as anxiety, depression and issues with anger management.  The relaxation technique of deep breathing is used within treatments such as trauma focused cognitive-behavioral therapy and exposure therapy.  Deep breathing relaxation is also beneficial for pain management.
Bubble Breaths is a very simple, inexpensive and portable technique; but most of all, it’s fun.   While enjoying blowing bubbles and building rapport with the clinician, children can learn about their anatomy and how their bodies and mood can be affected by their breathing.

Hall, T. M., Kaduson, H. G., & Schaefer, C. E. (2002). Fifteen effective play therapy techniques.
Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 33(6), 515-522.

Judith A. Cohen & Anthony P. Mannarino (2008). Trauma-focused cognitive behavioural
therapy for children and parents. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 13(4), 158-162.

Walco, G. A., Varni, J. W., & Ilowite, N. T. (1992). Cognitive-behavioral pain management in   
            children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.  Pediatrics, 89(6), 1075-1080.

CMH Assignment Click It!

by Vanessa

The intervention I chose to undertake with my cinema star nephew was Click! Emotions.  This intervention is designed to assist children with developing emotional intelligence.  A practitioner and a child come up with a list of emotions together.  Then, the practitioner asks the child to express the emotion using their face, and the practitioner captures the child’s facial expression on a camera.  The child then describes to the practitioner the number of times he or she experiences that emotion. 

Center on the Social & Emotional Foundations for Early Learning. (2009). Fostering emotional literacy in young children: labeling emotions. Retrieved from

Lowenstein, L. (2011). Creative play therapy interventions for children and families. Retrieved from

Lowenstein, L. (2008). Assessment and Treatment Activities for Children, Adolescents, and Families: Practitioners Share Their Most Effective Techniques. Canada: Hignell Book Printing.

Pollack, S.D. & Kistler, D.J. (2002). Early experience is associated with the development 
of categorical representations for facial expressions of emotion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 99(13). 9072–9076.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fly By Design

by Val

The intervention that I spoke about in my video assignment was a technique used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).  This technique demonstrates how thoughts and feelings impact actions, and that by changing thoughts, it is possible to change behavior.  This therapeutic method can be used with children as well as adults, and in groups or working with individuals.

The Fly By Design activity is part of an evidence based curriculum developed by Dr.Harvey Milkman and Dr. Kenneth Wanberg (2005).  In this activity, participants make a paper airplane and fly it.  The instructor notes how far the plane flies.  After this, participants are asked to make a second airplane and are encouraged to modify it.  The planes represent thoughts and the distance represents actions taken.  Metaphorically, one’s thoughts control one’s actions, just as the plane design controls the distance that the plane travelled.  By changing the design (or thoughts), the participant is able to control the plane (or actions).


Milkman, D. H., & Wanberg, D. K. (2005). Pathways to Self-Discovery and Change: Criminal Conduct and Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.