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Smash Coaching Experience

When I first heard about the partnership between Cypress Wellness Center and

SmashBox20, I was excited. I knew, immediately, that this was something I wanted to be a part of. I have had numerous experiences with clients who come to therapy with goals they want to work on, and they are motivated and excited to do the work – but the task of being vulnerable and speaking about their thoughts, their experiences, and/or their own behaviors is exceedingly difficult. Or, they want to be open – but have been let down by so many others throughout their life, that being able to fully trust is a challenge. I’ve had clients who have done tons of work through talk therapy, but need an extra little push to fully access a quieter part of them and express it.

All of these experiences are normal, valid, and to be expected with talk therapy. The art of building rapport and trust, and getting to know a client’s history well enough to understand their present circumstances, can be a lengthy process. And it should be! Vulnerability is hard, and getting started in therapy is a scary step. And let’s be honest, the therapeutic relationship is unique. We don’t usually talk to our friends the way we talk to a therapist – and our friends don’t talk to us in the same way our therapists do either. It takes a little getting used to. But, the beauty of a Guided Smash is that it removes some of those barriers. The ability for a client to physically release emotions, to have a safe space to feel whatever they want and actually move their bodies to fit that feeling, is incredible.

In the Smash room, clients can talk as much or as little as they want. Because they are armed with a baseball bat (or sledgehammer, or golf club… you get the idea) a lot of the processing and “work” is done non-verbally. I often encourage clients to grab a marker and write on objects during the smash to help facilitate the process. Clients can choose to share the thoughts that go behind the words they write in these exercises, or they can choose not to. The Smash session is highly personalized in that way – my job is to check-in with the client, offer suggestions and exercises, and generally hold space for them. Our brains do a lot of processing behind the scenes, so even quieter (in terms of talking, at least) smashes are generally helping the processing along.

When I go into a Guided Smash session, my first goal is to make my client feel comfortable. Of course, this is the goal for any session – but it looks a little different in a guided smash. For many of us, the idea of a smash room is appealing – but the act of breaking things takes a second to work up to. It doesn’t always feel right to make a mess, to throw glasses against the wall, to break apart a chair with a golf club. Being given the permission to let loose in this way is liberating, and scary. So, the first step for me is to get clients comfortable with the idea of doing the smash. This looks different for every client, and every client will take the session in a slightly different direction – which is great! The guided smashes are built to be flexible and unique to the clients who are engaging in them. No matter how the client chooses to navigate the Smash, I am there to help guide and offer support.

SmashBox20 also does a great job in letting us make accommodations for client – through choice of music (or none at all), or by offering blankets to minimize some of the bounce back of debris and broken glass. This partnership truly is collaborative and seeking to serve our clients in the best way.

And, of course, it can also be a fun experience! Having fun while releasing emotions and

doing processing work is a win-win in my book! Written by Kaci Crook: Sign up for a guided smash: Lear more about the guided smash options/pricing:

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