Photo by Jessica West on

Who didn’t love charades as a kid? Well, I didn’t because of my social anxiety, but most people really enjoyed it! Therapeutically, charades can help shy or anxious kids come out of their shell and can normalize being “silly” when the therapist takes their turn. It can also be a way to model different emotions or bring up topics related to the child’s treatment goals or history.

I can never think of things to act out, so I use websites like this one that have lists of prompts or this one that generate random ideas to act out.

Although the concept is pretty simple – you take turns acting something out in front of the camera while the other person guesses – this can be a challenge in telehealth. Kids often need prompting and redirection to stay centered in the frame so that I can actually see what they are doing. Also, the “ideal” home office setup does not leave me much room to act out my own prompts, so I have to try and choose things I can do sitting down.

This is a great opportunity to get creative and engage children through body movement rather than relying on verbal conversation, which is tempting in the telehealth session. Not only that, but hyperactive and restless kids stay engaged in the session better when I provide ways that they can move around and still be present.

What kind of movement-based activities have you done with your clients?

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.