Have you ever sat down across from a teen client and as you are checking in about the week you hear… crickets. One word answers. I don't know.
And as much as you try to meet them where they are at, build rapport, and increase engagement sometimes it feels like you have hit a brick wall.
Like, you are trying so much harder than they are… and it’s exhausting. In Polyvagal Theory terms - they are waaayy deep in shut down mode.
And as therapists this can feel frustrating. I mean…. you have a whole entire hour of therapy and you look down at your watch and it’s five minutes after the hour. And that frustrating feeling? Feeling like you are struggling to know what to do next?
Well, that can lead to a whole heap of burnout!
So - I wanted to share a resource with you to help you re-energize up your check-in time during your teen therapy sessions with questions they might actually want to answer and can lead to deeper processing!
This absolutely FREE resource will give you 13 playful check in prompts for teens that won't talk!
You can use this technique a couple of ways. First - therapist's choice! You can pick a prompt off the list that you think best matches with your client and dive in!
You can also use this prompt list by cutting them up, folding each prompt, and putting it into a jar or basket. At the beginning of the session it’s check in roulette! Whatever prompt the teen gets they use it to talk about their week!
When you can infuse play into our teen sessions, it’s not only fun for you - but also backed by science!
When teens can engage those playful parts of them (and grownups too) it actually keeps them engaged and out of shut down and gives us more access to our prefrontal cortex!
Check out more HERE about why Play Therapy is essential to break through resistance with teens!
If this is something you need in your practice and are looking for some new techniques with teens grab your copy of 13 Playful Check In Prompts for Teens!
If you are looking for more support in your work with teens and tweens in the playroom check out my course Growing Out Of The Playroom: Teens and Tweens in Play Therapy!
I'm Ann Meehan, an LPCC,