Emotional Regulation Therapy

What's the difference between traditional child talk/play therapy and occupational therapy to help promote emotional regulation skills? Occupational therapy focuses on "the doing."  What can children do to understand how their brain and body works, and what they can do to feel better.  Often this is taught through play based activities and playful analogies. While there is some talking and understanding how their brain works/how they are wired, occupational therapy's main focus is on helping children build their own toolkit of strategies in a fun and motivating way, in order to help them learn how to calm when they are upset, worried, or stressed.

This may entail:

  • Coming up with individualized analogies to help a child understand how their body's react to stress.

  • Sensory processing treatment to help address any underlying sensory needs that result in poor emotional regulation (i.e. being bothered my stimulus they are more sensitive to all day that makes a child feel more on edge or not feeling grounded in their body).

  • Reflex Integration exercises to help get out of protective parts of their brain.

  • Play-based mindfulness and positive psychology exercises.  

  • Emotional regulation coping strategy building...helping children discover what strategies and techniques they can use to alleviate stress and calm.

  • Mightier Therapy (see below for more details)

Rock Balancing

Mightier Therapy Program

This program helps children discover that they have the power to calm down through motivating games. Children wear a mighty band that monitors their heart rate during various challenges asked of them and then must utilize coping strategies to bring their heart rate back down in order to move forward in the game. 

Crying child in the arms of his father.j