Whatever You Do, Don’t Think about Pink Elephants

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Something a lot of my clients struggle with is thought stopping. Thought stopping refers to shutting down a thought that is unpleasant, distressing, or uncomfortable. We are all constantly thinking, all the time, without even trying. Sometimes when a thought is upsetting, it can be hard to let it go.

Kids sometimes have trouble understanding that they could have a thought that they don’t want to have because thinking often feels deliberate, so I use this activity to help them see that thoughts can be automatic and not intentional. Then I use a mindful visualization activity to help them replace a “bad” thought with something calming or enjoyable.

You can create your own template or use the one I created below!

Published by Dr Marschall

Dr. Amy Marschall received her Psy.D. from the University of Hartford in September 2015. She completed her internship at the National Psychology Training Consortium with specializations in assessment and rural mental health. Currently, she specializes in trauma-informed and neurodiversity-affirming care, and she is certified in telemental health. Dr. Marschall runs a private practice, RMH Therapy, where she provides individual and family therapy as well as psychological assessments across the lifespan. Dr. Amy Marschall is an author and professional speaker.

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