Why do therapists have fidgets, toys, and games in their offices?
1. It is common for individuals of all ages to fidget, especially when they are anxious. Fidgets and games can offer them a way to use that built-up energy while staying present.
2. Fidgets, toys, and games can also help clients regulate their feelings and emotions when telling their stories, giving them a sort of window to 'blow some steam'.
3. At times, therapy can be awkward, especially at the beginning. Fidgets, toys, and games can serve as ice breakers and conversation starters. They help add a more relaxed and playful feeling to the space.
Fidgeting can help with self-regulation and modulating and focusing attention. Fidgets and games can help the client and therapist in many ways. Many individuals feel the need to 'do something' and may feel rather uncomfortable just sitting and talking. Such objects can help us redirect our attention to something in the present when emotions, flashbacks, or sensations are taking us elsewhere. Playing, coloring, and moving are not activities reserved only for children. Next time you are in our office, feel free to take a fidget, color, or ask to play a game such as Jenga or cards if that's what you need!
Kelvin Rivera is a Student Mental Health Counselor Intern at Cypress Wellness Center and works with individuals of all ages, couples, and families. He believes everyone has the power to self-actualize and change their inner reality and feels one of the most important components in our health and well-being is our interpersonal connections. Kelvin uses an ACT-informed approach, integrating an existential philosophy and a person-centered approach in therapy.