By Sanober Memon –
“Nothing in the world is going to change unless people care like you” was the farewell note given to me by X, a 17 year old student at the end of her therapy in Drishti. She used to see me twice a week for 6 months for Depression and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Throughout the journey of therapy I tried out eclectic combinations of Art, CBT, and Mindfulness therapies along with grounding techniques
As a closure activity that would act as a reminder for the student about her worth and coping abilities, the student and I dropped colour coded chits in a mason jar. Three types of coloured chits were dropped by us, turn by turn. Each particular chit follows a certain pattern of content, as following:
Yellow – Grounding techniques and thoughts to remind oneself while experiencing symptoms of Depression or Anxiety.
- Deep breathing (4-2-6 method),
- Wise Owl (what would wise X (client’s name) do? What is wise X like- Patient, calm, rational, analyst, soft, tolerant etc.),
- Find 5 things that you never noticed in this room before (Mindfulness)
- STOP – Stop, Take a step back, Observe, Proceed with the new solution
- Sensory stimulation – drink cold water, wash your face, listen to music, put ice on your arm
Green – Positive thoughts about oneself (positive characteristics)
- Resilient, determined, empathetic, etc (general positive characteristics)
- Good hula hoop dancer, beautiful calligraphy (Specific characteristics about X)
Pink – Positive experiences in the recent and distant past
- Scored 89% in 10th grade (self accomplishments)
- Have got the best mom (gratitude)
X was encouraged to keep adding more chits regularly. The parent was asked to add green chits regularly.
Through X, I learnt that with adolescent clients, the process and techniques are vital, however, being liked by them and viewed as a trusted confidant is the defining step that can predict any possible change. The necessity to keep up with their pace, inclinations and hobbies thus making ourselves relatable escalates the progress of therapy. That is what makes magic possible.