In addition to meeting with kids for individual therapy, I run between three and five group therapy sessions each week. We – by which I mean myself and the other school social workers on my team – like to pick a theme for each month month of the year. I think this helps us to be focused and intentional in our work; group therapy with kids is very different from group therapy with adults, which is generally (though not always) a little more open.
This month, during our school’s summer session, we are talking about mindfulness; mindfulness is the art of focusing one’s attention on the present moment in an intentional and accepting way. For our first week of groups, we read a wonderful children’s book – Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda – to help the students understand what mindfulness is and how it can be a happiness booster.
Talking about mindfulness with my students helps me to be mindful, too. I have a lot of not-mindful tendencies. Playing on my phone. Doing two things at once. Angsting about the future. I am hoping that this month of focusing on mindfulness with my clients will help me to be more mindful myself.