Telehealth Activity: Magnet Poetry

I love creative therapy activities. Tapping into the client’s imagination is such an awesome tool. Kids, of course, have varying levels of comfort with different expressive therapies, and I never want them to feel pressured to engage in something that is not a good fit. That’s why I try to keep several options available.

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Poetry is a fantastic creative outlet and can help clients explore their experiences and emotions using words. Sometimes, a client seems like they could benefit from this type of intervention, but they aren’t sure where to start. They may be unfamiliar with creative writing or struggle to come up with their own words.

This is where magnet poetry comes in. You craft a poem from a complied list of words available. You and the client can work together to make a poem (either by choosing each word jointly or by taking turns deciding which word will go next), or they can create something independently.

For telehealth, I have two methods that I use for this intervention, depending on the options available to the client. If you are able to share links and have the client join you on a website, PlayingCards.IO has a magnet poetry game that is very easy to use. Simply create a room, share the link with your client, and the two of you can simultaneously manipulate the space.

If your client is unable to access a website from their device, you can use Magnet Poetry’s website, share your screen, and grant your client remote control. One great thing about Magnet Poetry is that they have several different “packages” that you can select, so you can get words that are developmentally appropriate or specific to your client’s interests. If your client cannot access remote control on their device, or your telehealth platform does not have this option, you can still screen share and create a poem with your client instructing you.

Of course, there are benefits and limitations to both approaches. By sharing the room on PlayingCards, you can both interact with the space at the same time. This can get complicated if you are trying to move the same piece simultaneously, though. On the other hand, Magnet Poetry requires taking turns and more communication between the client and therapist, which is of course beneficial for building these skills, but it could potentially interfere with the client’s process as they craft their poem.

Whichever platform works best for you, this is another great expressive therapy you can do via telehealth.

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.