Mama S here. We have not been shy in our disclosure of our family attending multiple times a week therapy sessions. With all the years of trauma milling around our hallways it is imperative that Mama A and I have help and guidance in working with our littles to overcome their hard pasts. We have had fun therapy, hard- crying therapy, just chats therapy, and everything in between. Last night, and I can say this with the utmost confidence, was our best therapy session yet.
Over the past few months we have been focused on feelings. We have a feelings board in our bathroom, we deeply discuss how our days were, we chat in therapy about things in the past, we have gotten mad an thrown eggs at trees, we have monster stomped around the house, we have cried into pillows, and held each other while we shared our stories. Nothing came close to what happened last night.
We have to go back a few weeks to a point where we were kind of stuck. We had done some hard work and got some feelings out, but we were stalled. Our 2 therapists, in their infinite wisdom, suggested we go back to the movie Inside Out. P and I had watched that movie a year ago when feelings were out of control and it helped then, it stood to reason that by going back there would be something that could propel us forward.
P watched the movie with her therapists at their session, the family watched the movie over this past weekend together, and we were ready to dive in. At P’s individual session she started creating her personality islands and I bought balls (that would usually be for a small ball pit) from Amazon. We sat down in our family session and laid out the plan.
Each ball color has a meaning:
We would each take a ball (or multiple if the memory elicits multiple feelings) and write our core memory on it. We then took turns going around and sharing our core memories and why they were a core memory, i.e. how they shaped us in some way.
The results were more than any of us expected. Therapy lasted for an hour but the exercise continued for 2 hours after. Our girls shared stories of their far back and points that they cherish and moments that still bring them to tears years and years later.
We ended up snuggling and hugging, and we had to stop for a bit so that we could talk about the fact that they are safe, they are loved, and that we will hold the space for their feelings as often as they need us to.
We learned so much about each other and will continue to do so as we bring this activity out again and again in the coming months/years.
Those of you that have kiddos that are old enough to talk, I highly recommend this activity. These are base feelings and, as the movie shows, little kids all have these feelings they just might not know how to identify them. This is a great way to show YOUR vulnerability to your kiddos which will, in turn, help them open up with you as well.
It is a great activity to do in therapy, or out, depending on your family and your comfortability in dealing with what comes up. I’ll admit, we were a little surprised with some of the things that were shared and it was nice having 2 professionals there to help respond. We also did great when it was just us. Our family often shares deeper, more emotional items AFTER the therapists leave when we are doing our post therapy work.
Our family truly views therapy as a 7 day a week thing where there are always ways to help build on skills/topics discussed in therapy. If I hear back that this is something you are interested in, I’ll keep sharing the activities we do in therapy and how we continue them after the initial 50 minutes is over. I just don’t want to bore you all if you are not interested J
Thank you all for reading,