Guest blogger: Karla Bryant
It’s not just about the Rocks but it is.
Minimizing discomfort during Therapeutic Recreation Assessments
Assessments can be scary for everyone.
I have a secret weapon that I keep in my office when individuals come for their first Recreation Therapy Assessment and leisure counseling sessions.
These rocks are not ordinary rocks.
They hold the key to breaking barriers.
I often find individuals looking around my office.
I watch where their eyes go. One thing I have noticed is they focus on the rocks.
When I notice this, I ask them if they collect rocks, like rocks, crystals, fossils, or have ever rock collected. Boom! We just started a great conversation.
I usually pick up my favorite rock which is a 2 inch polished amazonite rock.
I have them hold it and can sense the relaxation in them.
While holding the rock, we talk about their interests, hobbies and all the things that make them who they are.
I learn so much information from them that I can use in my Recreation Therapy Assessments or leisure education sessions
For closure, I talk about finding leisure activities that are meaningful and how rocks became meaningful to me.
I then challenge them to find one new leisure activity they have not thought of that might be something they are willing to try for the next session.
1. Having a setting item may be a calming feature when assessing nervous individuals.
2. May lead to a new hobbies, collecting, museums, clubs, connecting with others, physical activities, meaningful activities, filling a void in their life, meditation, and self achievement.
3. Many hobbies such as rock collecting can be low cost
4. May lead to the the push they need to decrease negative behaviors (drinking, gambling, drugs)
5. Can be a thrill and adventure they have been waiting for.
So, what is your rock?
I graduated from Kansas State University in 1989. I have worked in almost every setting there is. I have been a CTRS for 30 years. I have 2 children-Will and Rindy, a husband Shawn and my buddy Maeve the corgi. Some of my hobbies are rock colleting, hiking, treasure hunting, gardening, reading, making jewelry, and spending time thinking about my next adventure.