Emotion X-ray: a mindfulness intervention adapted to telehealth

This is an intervention I have used in face to face sessions for some time and recently adapted to telehealth.

1) ask the child to think of an emotion and draw it. Then the child holds the drawing up to the screen and the therapist guesses the emotion.

2) the therapist then draws an X-ray or representation of what the emotion may feel like in the body (tight muscles, stomach aches, calm breathing, fast breathing, restlessness in the muscles, calmness in the muscles, etc).

Switch turns! Now the therapist draws an emotion for the child to guess and the child draws the X-ray. The child can draw this anyway they like, stick figures are a okay!

Talk about why noticing emotions in the body is important. Ask the child how this skill can be helpful. One example is noticing emotions allows us to be connected with early warning signs in the body. These warning signs allow us to use coping and expression skills sooner because we notice them before the emotion escalates. Another reason is by noticing the emotion, we help it stop growing because we have paid attention to it. This also gives us a break from thoughts which can make our emotions grow to the point they are difficult to cope with.

This intervention can also be adapted to do with stuffed animals or puppets! Have fun with it and adjust to the age and developmental needs of the child.

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