Adolescent therapy activities (Top 5)

The current blogspot will be based on the question “what are adolescent therapy activities?”. We will enlist the various activities that can be used with adolescents. We will also discuss the various adolescent therapy activities in detail and elaborate on the usage of each therapy.

What are adolescent therapy activities?

The adolescent age is usually marked with rapid developmental changes in human bodies and these developmental changes are occupied with a lot of emotional, psychological and hormonal changes in the human body.  

The exploration, risks and challenges associated with adolescence make it an emotionally exhausting and vulnerable time for the teenagers and hence the adolescents often need to get therapy during their transition from childhood to adulthood. 

The therapists usually find it difficult to build rapport and trust with the adolescents. The adolescents are usually defensive towards therapy and usually restrict the therapy process by not not trusting the therapist and getting offended easily. 

The adolescents are often too old for many of the techniques that are used with the children in therapy but the adolescents are not wise enough or mature enough to understand the adult interventions and therapeutic techniques. Thus the therapists need to wisely select the therapy techniques to deal with adolescent clients.

Some of the therapeutic interventions used with adolescents are as below :

  • Name meaning exercise
  • Mutual Decision making
  • Using the media and technology as an aid
  • Anger menu’
  • Lifeline
  • Exploding balloons
  • The paper bag story
  • Talk meter
  • Timeline
  • Color my life

Name meaning exercise

Name meaning exercise is an adolescent therapy activity used to develop rapport with the adolescent client. The therapist asks the client the name of his meaning and the positive and negative impact the client thinks his name has on his life.

During the name meaning activity the therapist also asks the adolescent if the adolescent ever wanted to change his name to something else instead of his own current name. The adolescent is also asked what options he has in mind in place of his current name.

Mutual Decision making

Adolescence period is an age that is usually marked with a need for autonomy and achievement in life. In therapy the therapists need to take care that they should not impose their decisions on the adolescents and rather utilize motivational interviewing inorder to provide them with potential options to choose from and decide for themselves in life.

This way the adolescents will feel motivated to come into therapy and feel more accomplished in life. They will also know why they need to do a certain task and what are the pros and cons of doing things in a certain way. 

Using the media and technology as an aid

Social media and technology are inseparable parts of adolescents’ lives. The adolescents are much engaged in social media networks, podcasts, technology, mobile phones and soft books. 

The use of media and technology is much recommended as an aid in adolescent therapy. The therapist can use soft books, animations and use electronic rating scales for assessment during therapy.

Anger menu

Anger menu is a therapeutic technique that is used by therapists with adolescents . The anger menu is just like a dinner table menu and contains various options for anger expressions that the adolescents can use to alleviate their inbuilt storage of anger and negative feelings. 

Lifeline

The life line activity is used in therapy with adolescents to get an insight about all the various emotionally significant events in the adolescent’s life. The adolescents tend to make a timeline of the events in their life by using various objects that they have as a memory of those events. The adolescent and therapist together make the timeline in the sessions where the therapist facilitates the adolescents in making a timeline and then interprets it to gain deeper knowledge of the adolescent’s thoughts and feelings related to the events in life.

Exploding balloons

Exploding balloons activity is used in therapy with adolescents to get rid of any negative feelings like irritability, anger, frustration and annoyance. The exploding balloons technique is a healthy technique that helps the adolescents to get rid of their negative and unpleasant emotional baggage.

The therapist instructs the adolescents to blow up the balloons to the point that they burst. After bursting one balloon the adolescents are instructed to blow more balloons while inhaling into the balloons and trying not to burst them rather let go off the air in a way that leaves the balloon in its original shape.

The paper bag story

The paper bag story is another unique activity for working with adolescent age clients in therapy. The adolescents tend to represent their life on brown paper bags. The back and front of the paper bag are identified with important places to mark significant events in life. The upper folds of the paper bag are meant for things that are kept from other people and are secretive in nature. They will be disclosed to the therapist and other people only if the adolescent wants to do so. The lower side of the base is for things that the adolescent feels are most difficult to express.

Talk meter

The talk meter is an activity that is used during the start of the session to break the ice. Usually adolescents don’t feel comfortable in sharing their ideas, thoughts and emotions with new people. In such scenarios, the talk meters are drawn on papers that are in the form of thermometers. The adolescents tend to mark their comfort level from a point of 0 to 10. Where 0 means not at all ready to talk and 10 means comfortable enough to share anything.

The therapist makes the adolescent mark the comfort level related to sessions and thus takes the session along based on the comfort level that the adolescent had marked. The therapist avoids confronting and breaking the defenses of adolescents if the adolescent has marked a low level of comfort .

Color my life

The color my life technique is a play and art therapy technique that is used with adolescents in order to productively work with the adolescent client. The color my life technique is a projective technique that is used to know the emotional baggage of the adolescent clients.

The therapist instructs the adolescent client to make a list of all the feelings that he has felt in life starting with the most initial memory he has of life to date. After that, the adolescent is instructed to assign  a unique color to each feeling. 

Next the adolescent is instructed to divide his life into various phases as per the significance of emotional events. 

Each of the phases is then colored with the various feelings from the list of the feelings on an A-4 sheet. As a result a color timeline is produced representing each phase separately.

After completing all the phases, the phases are joined together, side by side, in a way that the end of one phase gets joined with the start of another phase. 

The therapist then interprets the emotional significance of each phase of life from the adolescent client. 

Conclusion

The current blogspot was based on the question “what are adolescent therapy activities?”. We enlisted and discussed the various activities that can be used with adolescents in therapy. We also learned the details of each therapy activity.

Frequently asked questions : adolescent therapy activities

What are some therapeutic activities?

Some of the therapeutic activities are as below :

  • Eat dinner together as a family
  • Making cooking a team effort
  • Have a movie night or game night
  • Go camping with the kids
  • Encourage their spiritual side
  • Support each other
  • Create a family bucket list

How do you engage resistant adolescent therapy?

Following are the ways to engage resistant adolescents in therapy :

  • Make them as comfortable as you can
  • Acknowledge their perspective
  • Find out what they want
  • Motivate them

What do teens do in therapy?

The teens in therapy are facilitated to do better in life while their transition from childhood to adulthood takes place. They learn skills necessary for life including emotional regulation, mindfulness and deep breathing to lower their depression and anxiety. 

What are the activities of an adolescent?

The various activities of adolescents include the following : 

  • Indoor games
  • Outdoor games
  • Dancing
  • Musical instruments
  • Quiz activities
  • Art play

Citations

https://www.counseling.org/docs/default-source/vistas/encouraging-teenagers.pdf

http://www.lianalowenstein.com/e-booklet.pdf

https://www.myclientsplus.com/blog/10-creative-teen-therapy-activities/

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