Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Inner Child Party

I am preparing to leave my job, and the major task is to transfer the clients I have worked with for a year to a new intern, Basically this means plan a lot of parties. One of the best things about working with kids is that any thing can become an occasion to party. For example:
Me: If you don't smear your feces (or play with it) for one week we will do something fun next time you come in. Maybe play uno as we talk about positive behaviors (I say this in my ooh and ahh voice). Mom please keep a daily log.
Me (again): If you can go for one week without screaming curse words in public or biting your brother, we can play in the sand box (again said in oooh and ahh voice). Mom please keep a log.

To soften the blow of my leaving I have made it a challenge for my little clients to think of what kind of activity or party they want (so far one of my really young clients said that they wanted a Shrek party.) They can make bracelets, plant a flower, draw a picture, anything that can serve as a good transfer object from me to the new intern. So far they are really excited, and I think my adult client thinks I am bringing in cake (which I am not, because for this client strict boundaries are important).

I was explaining this to my therapist, and she was amazed. She doesn't work with kids. She works with adults in private practice, and inmates in her other job (which can be like big scary kids), so she has never done games or closure activities. She asked me how I felt about having an inner child party for my last session. To be honest I thought it was weird, but could be fun. I think we are going to paint rocks into paper weights (my idea) and have cookies (hers). It will be an interesting ending to my last 10 months of therapy. The activity will be to paint a paper weight for the other person. I wonder what she'll put on mine? Maybe we'll have a Shrek party too.

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