Vera’s Sensory Corner

You probably remember Vera, my special cat who used to live outside. If you do, you’ll recall that Vera gets scared very easily and sometimes is afraid of things that aren’t really dangerous, like the stepladder and Amazon boxes.

Pictured: one relaxed kitty ๐Ÿ’œ

I thought today would be a good day to talk a bit about what Vera does when she feels scared. Like I said before, we do our best to make sure she knows she lives in a safe place with people who love her and will always take care of her. She gets enough food and water, lots of pets, and she can sit almost anywhere she wants, even if someone else needs that spot.

Therapist cat

Vera has gotten less fearful over time, which is awesome to see. Sometimes she investigates strange sounds instead of running away from them, and she does not always hide from visitors. But some days she still feels afraid. The loud vacuum makes her very nervous, and she doesn’t like it very much when it rains.

Other times, she doesn’t feel afraid but still would like to be by herself for a while. That’s why Vera has her own special sensory corner in our home.

Soft kitty,

We noticed that Vera likes hiding in one specific closet – she can get in and out without getting stuck, and it’s dark and quiet in there. So I put her favorite blanket and some of her toys in there so she can relax and feel safe whenever she wants! Sometimes, we sprinkle catnip in Vera’s sensory corner.

When Vera feels scared, she goes to her special spot and hides until she feels safe. If we know something scared her, like someone coming to visit, and that scary thing is gone, we go and let her know it is safe to come out. Sometimes we just check on her to remind her that we love her. But she can use this space for as long as she needs to feel safe and happy.

Vera’s special hiding place

Where do you go when you need to feel safe?

Published by Dr Marschall

Dr. Amy Marschall received her Psy.D. from the University of Hartford in September 2015. Her clinical interests are varied and include child and adolescent therapy, TF-CBT, rural psychology, telemental health, sexual and domestic violence, psychological assessment, and mental illness prevention. Dr. Marschall presently works in the Child and Adolescent Therapy Clinic at Sioux Falls Psychological Services in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she provides individual and family therapy and psychological assessment to children, adolescents, and college students. She also facilitates an art therapy group for adolescents and college students with anxiety and depression. Dr. Amy Marschall is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Telemental Health.

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