Agates are a beautiful metaphor for therapy and mental wellness. When you find them they are dull, rough, and plain on the outside, but….with some polishing and care - they shine!
And like people - agates come in many forms and colors. Each one special with intricate patterns, bands, and colors - no two are exactly alike.
Just like in therapy when young people can work on themselves we reveal the best parts of ourselves alongside the imperfect nicks, chips, and cracks. In essence - building a life where young people can live as the best versions of themselves. Especially when being a young person means that sometimes you will get angry, cry, or have tough days.
The best place to find them? Well..my driveway for one. And gravel pits. And sometimes if it is not too picked over the beach!
Agates have been used for a metaphor in therapy by Ana Gomez, MC, LPC in her book EMDR Therapy and Adjunct Approaches with Children as well as a metaphor for not overlooking what makes us special in the book Agate by Joy Morgan Dey and Nikki Johson, local authors from Duluth Minnesota!
Agate is a moose who is surrounded by friends who are sparkling gems. In this book we find out what is unique and special about all of Agate’s friends like Garnet the crocodile, Diamond the giraffe, and Emerald the lion.
Agate feels pretty glum that around all of these gems he feels like a tinker toy project gone wrong. He compares himself to all his sparkling friends and can only see the positives about them, but struggles to see the shine in himself.
At the end we find that Agate learns one simple rule:
“Let yourself shine, and let others find your a fabulous, knobbly, glorious, lumpity, terrific, bumpity, incredible, gangly, remarkable, splendid, magnificent, secret jewel!”
This book is an AMAZING addition to your bibliotherapy library to help young people know their own individual strengths, especially those who compare themselves to others. We can help young people be glad that they are them and appreciate the way others shine - as both are gems in life’s marvelous zoo!
At the end of the book you can have young people draw an animal according to their birth stone (all are listed in the back) and write a page from the book about what makes them special.
You can also do an activity with agates where you can find a picture, draw a picture, or have some agates of your own in your office. You can have a child select which one they identify with and how they are like a “secret jewel”!
Looking for more bibliotherapy interventions? Check out this training HERE!
P.S. - those are also some of my favorite agates from home up above!
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I'm Ann Meehan, an LPCC,