• One of my goals is to work with sandtray and play therapy with our students at WRUSD. The counselor/art therapist has been working with some techniques in art therapy to help our students cope with their issues. The counselor/art therapist has also been implementing mindfulness techniques which are essential to helping the students to focus on staying in the present time. One of the objectives a counselor should be working with is to help children stay in the present moment, to 'stay in the here and now,' because the past might be too painful.

    "When I met our students at TDB, I started the therapy groups, by 'forming,' group initiatives, in the initial stage of introducing the topics such as confidentiality, attendance, and rules of communication and participation that need to be addressed. Midway through the semester, we arrived at a cohesiveness phase. We developed group-specific standards (cohesiveness) and therapeutic alliances. We would not be able to deny late-arriving members because schools have rules that involve inclusion. We came to a place where we were able to tolerate anger/conflict between members. We arrived at a place where each student tolerated and accepted differences in others."

    In all groups, there is an ending. Therapy groups never stay the same, the counselor and students arrived at a termination phase during the last week of school.The groups had to come to a time of closure. 'I said my goodbyes on May 22, 2023 to our children within the groups at Dine Biolta.' The counselor discussed and reviewed group outcomes and achievements. We explored feelings of what worked and what didn’t. Each individual was asked to discuss any feelings of loss. At this time, discussing new concerns or initiatives is not appropriate. The counselor closed each group session while acknowledging each individual's social and emotional growth.

    Sandtray art1

    The students used found objects to create personal boundaries and homes for their parents.