YOU COULD SAY IT ALL STARTED WITH AN AWKWARD CHESS GAME.
One of my earlier clients was a highly intelligent and extremely verbal—but very hesitant—adolescent. This was our very first meeting. As we both struggled to identify the reasons he was seeking help, his eyes kept darting to a chess set that sat on one of the shelves in my office. I asked if he wanted to play a game. He agreed. We played a short game and I quickly lost…but won something more important for both of us: a common framework for the work that we were about to do.
With future sessions, this client processed through some very intense issues relating to his own personal journey to adulthood, all within the context of chess, trading card games, anime, and sometimes just traditional conversation.
It was a great lesson for both of us. I learned the importance of activity-based counseling and he learned trust. The potential of a place for those who either don't appreciate or can’t afford the opportunity to sit on the other side of my coffee table and tell me about their problems is unlimited. This is our vision for The Workshop Counseling and Community Center.
Incorporating physical activities into therapeutic conversations is more than a gimmick it's a verifiable process with strong results. Any activity that doesn’t hinder conversation is introduced into the session as long as it provides insight, stress-relief, analogy, or enjoyment into the therapeutic process.
WHY ACTIVITIES-BASED COUNSELING WORKS
The Workshop Counseling and Community Center provides traditional one-on-one private sessions as well as group counseling. Both services incorporate activities-based opportunities. For more information on either of these counseling environments or to see if you qualify for our reduced fee program, please complete the form on our Contact Us page.
The Workshop has seen successes through a variety of engaging activities:
- A middle-aged man struggling with multiple losses and addiction heals through a weekly game of pool
- An adolescent with anger and abandonment issues relaxes through one-on-one basketball
- A thirty-year-old woman reduces the frequency and intensity of her anxiety through painting, sketching and adult coloring books.
- A young adult confronts complex emotions through the assistance of a fidget cube
The Workshop Counseling and Community Center serves as a community gathering place, where people come together to emphasize our common interests and our desire to belong, instead of alienating, marginalizing or polarizing. The Workshop includes physical facilities where residents can not only receive counseling, but attend a variety of classes from watercolors to minor engine repair.
THE WORKSHOP WAS FOUNDED ON THREE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES:
- Everyone deserves an opportunity to heal. Therapeutic relationships should not exist for just those who can afford it or who would be prone to seek them.
- Community is often an undervalued commodity. We have plenty of opportunities to divide ourselves from each other today, but precious few ways to develop significant healing relationships.
- Healing can flourish in both side-by-side and face-to-face interactions. One size-fits-all approaches generally don't fix complex problems but activities-based counseling that focuses on the specific interests of the client has numerous benefits