How to make Grounding Discs By Sue MacDonald

23rd April 2021

Walk and talk therapy and animal assisted psychotherapy is part of my counselling practice in Northern BC, Canada. After a recent windstorm I went for a walk with my son to see if I needed to do some trail clearing or plan an alternate route for an upcoming client session. He said “Mom, I think you could do something with this wood with your clients.” Together we came up with an idea to create something that could serve as grounding discs and/or transitional objects- it’s a simple project that anyone can do!!


Here are the steps:

  • Find a branch approximately 1.5- 2 inches in diameter.
  • Using a saw, cut slices approximately 0.5 inches wide.

      (Depending on how dry the wood is, you may need the discs to dry for a day or two)

  • Find a flat surface and use 150 grid sandpaper and sand the wood surface. (For best results, sand rapidly)
  • Wipe off excess grit.

This next step  is optional………


Trace the perimeter of the disc on a sheet of paper and make your design template 



  • Heat up wood burning pens (if you choose to use them) or get out markers.
  • Draw your design. (we chose to put a different one on each side) 
  • Sand lightly with 100 grid sandpaper until you have the texture you like. Done


This has been so much fun to do with clients! Great conversations happen when walking and continue with the hands- on part of the activity. Clients seeing their individual designs come to life has been empowering for them. The discs are easy to have in a pocket or purse for easy access. Sometimes I suggest the activity and ask if they  want to create their design before their next session. Every time I do this project the designs come with a story… a memory…. a meaning….a connection……and sparks rich conversation and exploration. I love my job!


Sue MacDonald MA RCC M.Ed

www.onthegroundcounselling.ca    sue@onthegroundcounselling.ca or find us on Facebook!


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