Learn to control negative thoughts and emotions as an adult
This exercise centres around empathy and emotional acknowledgement.
Spread out the picture cards.
Ask the client to find a picture card that illustrates an emotional reaction they have had in relation to something negative or unpleasant. This could be at work, at home or in a social setting, e.g. being left out, laughed at, disrespected, overlooked, etc.
Sit together for a moment in silence while the client pauses to really reflect on the feeling. After this, you begin to ask elaborating questions: What is this about? Is it a feeling of anger that you are experiencing? Is it a feeling of fear? A feeling of sadness?
You respond with an acknowledgement: “It is completely okay for you to have this feeling.”
Choose some new cards together. These cards should illustrate something positive that the client can do differently and something they can do to provide a bit of relief, a small change or a start of something better. Place these cards around the “negative” card.
The client starts off by choosing the best two ideas and how to implement them in practice.
You can work with the chosen picture cards on several occasions.
You may keep the chosen picture cards ready to discuss with the client at later occasions as a part of an ongoing process.