Summer means vacations, and many families are taking trips that were postponed a year ago. Last summer, I introduced using Google Earth in telehealth sessions to do virtual vacations. That is still a really popular intervention in my telehealth sessions, and now that kids have actually taken some vacations, they want to share with me the adventures they have taken.
In addition to telling me about their trip, kids can screen share photos they took (or pull the photos up as virtual backgrounds if they have trouble with the screen share option). And vacations are just one prompt that I use to encourage kids to share pictures with me – it’s a variation on the scavenger hunt activity with images instead of items. “Show me a picture where you feel really happy,” “Show me a picture from a time/place where you felt very safe,” “Show me a picture that represents your family” – the options are endless!
By seeing what they are describing as they talk with me, I get a deeper understanding of their perception, and we can explore together feelings that come up with these memories.
Of course, I’ve had kids bring photos to in-person sessions. In the current world, kids can easily bring a tablet or smart phone and share all of their pictures, or they can bring a traditional photo album if they prefer.
I like this intervention over telehealth because the client and I can look at the image from the same perspective simultaneously, which can flow a bit more smoothly than looking at them together in person. I also like that I can set up my view to see the child’s face and the image they are sharing simultaneously, so I get to view their reactions and the picture at the same time.
I love when clients want to share things from their life outside of our sessions. It brings up things they might not have thought to mention and gives me details I might not have learned otherwise.