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
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