Therapy has a reputation for being a serious, sometimes painful experience that requires clients to go deep into their emotions. While that is sometimes the best approach, therapy can also be fun and playful. Most teen therapy activities aim to motivate teenagers to build the confidence and self-esteem needed to heal past trauma or break cycles of addiction. The Foothills at Red Oak Recovery team wants our clients to enjoy their time at our center and look back at treatment as a positive experience. To learn more about our teen therapy services, call us today at 866.300.5275.
Fun Teen Therapy Ideas
Teens still like to have fun, whether they are struggling with substance use disorders, self-esteem concerns, or behavioral challenges. Including some light, playful activities in therapy can have several benefits, such as:
- Keeping teens engaged in the treatment process
- Helping build trust between a teen and their therapist
- Helping create bonds between peers
- Allowing teens to express themselves in new ways and try new things
- Helping to break down walls and jumpstart effective communication
Not every teen will react the same way to a new idea, but offering a few fun options can increase the effectiveness of therapy and boost the teen’s motivation to participate.
1. Be Real Basketball
Movement can help teens get out of their heads and engage in therapy without overthinking. This lively version of Horse gets kids talking while they shoot baskets for points. To play, therapists will collaborate with clients to create personal questions that they write on index cards. One example is, “What makes you feel truly happy?” Assign a number of points to each card, and take them on the floor in a semi-circle around a basketball hoop. Ask teens to stand at different cards. After they answer the question, they can try to shoot a basket. Teens can play one-on-one with a therapist or in small groups. Whoever collects the most points wins.
2. Create a Playlist
Music therapy can help people relieve stress and elevate their moods. Ask your teen to create a mental health playlist that consists of a list of songs that match a variety of moods, including anger, sadness, happiness, and other emotions the therapist is trying to help the child access. Let the teen share their music and explain how certain songs relate to their emotions.
3. Equine Therapy
Equine therapy teaches kids how to care for and eventually ride a horse. Being responsible for the well-being of another creature builds the self-esteem and confidence that many teens who can benefit from treatment may be lacking.
4. A Letter to Them
Ask your teen client to imagine themselves ten or more years into the future. What traits are they proud of developing? Which goals have they reached? Let that future self write a letter of advice to the present self, offering guidance and advice on how to handle current challenges in order to reach future goals.
5. Play a Game
Playing a board game may not seem like therapy, but a clinician can learn a lot about a client by simply observing how they react to the minor stressor of a board game. A therapist can look for signs of anger, impulse control, dishonesty, and more by simply observing the teen while they play.
Learn More About Teen Therapy at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery
Combining fun activities with more serious ones like family therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy can enhance a teen’s therapeutic experience. Teen therapy activities can help kids understand that self-growth can be enjoyable and that they can learn while having fun at the same time. Call Foothills at Red Oak Recovery today for more information about our teen therapy programs at 866.300.5275.