What To Do When Reflecting Feelings “Doesn’t Work” (Advanced Reflecting Feelings Tips)

Jul 19, 2023

Listener Stephanie emailed me with a follow-up question to my episode titled: “‘I Hate My Life!’ – What To Do When Your Child Says This, Or Other Shocking Things” and described a few situations where her 7-year-old son reacts with shocking responses, but the reflecting feelings process didn’t work as expected. In this episode, I give Stephanie some follow-up advice on using the reflecting feelings skill with some advanced tips to help when it feels like reflecting feelings isn’t working.

– The depth of the feeling impacts the recovery. The larger the emotion, the more time it may take for feeling reflection to take effect. It’s not an instant fix.
– Enlarge the meaning
– You always reflect on the new feeling that was most recently expressed
– Bonus tip: Provide alternatives (later)

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References:
Cochran, N., Nordling, W., & Cochran, J. (2010). Child-Centered Play Therapy (1st ed.). Wiley.
VanFleet, R., Sywulak, A. E., & Sniscak, C. C. (2010). Child-centered play therapy. Guilford Press.
Landreth, G. L. (2002). Play therapy: The art of the relationship (2nd ed.). Brunner-Routledge.
Bratton, S. C., Landreth, G. L., Kellam, T., & Blackard, S. R. (2006). Child parent relationship therapy (CPRT) treatment manual: A 10-session filial therapy model for training parents. Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
Benedict, Helen. Themes in Play Therapy. Used with permission to Heartland Play Therapy Institute.

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