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Creative Interventions for Children & Youth

September 27 @ 9:00 am - September 28 @ 4:30 pm

Mental illness is increasingly threatening the lives of our children; with Canada’s youth suicide rate the third highest in the industrialized world (CMHA). Now, more than ever before, helping professionals need to be trained in effective strategies for working with children & youth if they will be interacting with this population, even if this group is not their primary clinical focus. At the same time, many helping professionals feel ill equipped to help. This is especially true for those who don’t have specific training in child & youth counselling but who nonetheless find themselves at times needing to provide service to this population due to circumstances such as limited community resources, over-burdened systems, and changing agency mandates.

This 2-day interactive workshop will provide participants with a comprehensive set of over 20 creative, practical and effective techniques to use in therapeutic work with children and adolescents – from toddler age through the high school grades and into early adulthood. You will also learn principles and guidelines to help you organically and spontaneously develop your own tailored, individualized and relevant therapeutic assignments for each client, based on their unique situations, needs, feelings, perspectives and personalities. These interventions can be adapted to working with individuals or groups including families. Participants will also explore ways to talk with parents and caregivers about their children that demonstrate caring, empathy and sensitivity.

​Topics Covered Include:

​Factors contributing to the rise of mental health issues in childhood and adolescence
Factors that impede connection with children and adolescents and ways to overcome these factors
The importance of supplementing talk therapy with therapeutic activities and assignments that are experienced, so that results are more profound, integrated and long-lasting
Creative and effective interventions for working with children including:
Play based techniques
Therapeutic games
Incorporating stories & music
Multi-sensory experiences
Creative and effective interventions for working with youth including:
Use of irreverence and humour
Creative ways of accessing and expressing feelings and thoughts including writing, poetry, collage, photography, music, and use of technology
Creating symbolic situations to help work through difficult emotions and problems
Kinesthetic, tactile and somatic activities & homework assignments
How to craft interventions and therapeutic assignments for adolescents that are personally meaningful, incorporate their natural interests and talents, and are linked to clinical goals
Activities to address range of issues including depression, anxiety, high stress levels, low self esteem, grief and loss – and the behavioural manifestations of these issues
Activities to build coping skills & resilience
Strategies to engage mandated and non-communicative children & youth
Communicating with parents and caregivers in ways that reduce defensiveness and demonstrate caring, empathy and sensitivity​

Creative Interventions for Children & Youth


September 27 @ 9:00 am
September 28 @ 4:30 pm