Making Therapeutic Moments: Adds

I wrote before about what makes an activity therapeutic, using the premise that an attentive and creative therapist can get therapeutic benefit out of almost anything with the right attitude. In my telehealth and kids training, I say: “It is not my job to do a specific therapeutic activity; rather, my job is to take what happens naturally in the session and make that activity therapeutic.

Although I sometimes want to explore a specific skill or activity with a child, I am constantly surprised by how easy it is to pull a child’s treatment goals into whatever happens in the session.

Something that has been a surprising opportunity for therapeutic moments in telehealth sessions has been adds. Yes, advertisements. Hear me out.

Photo by Negative Space on

Some of the websites I use for telehealth activities have advertisements. Understandable – this blog has advertisements because we all have bills. I use AdBlock to minimize this on my end, but some sites have a workaround for this, and sometimes my client does not have an add blocker.

Most people do not like adds. They make us wait for the thing we actually want and are annoying and frustrating. When an add pops up in a telehealth session, I cue the client to check in with their body and emotions. I validate that feeling and take a moment to practice being patient. Sometimes, we will do a quick breathing exercise or body scan to regulate while we are waiting.

Who would have thought adds would be therapeutic? These opportunities are everywhere in the session, waiting for us to discover them.

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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