Elm Street Placements - November/December 2019

Placements Elm Street

educational & therapeutic consulting

ELMSTREETPLACEMENTS.COM

November/December 2019

Coping Through the Holidays

HOW TO MAKE THE HOLIDAY SEASON EASIER FOR YOUR PATIENTS

A t Elm Street Placements, we understand the highs and lows that come with our clients’ treatment. For families who have children in residential treatment programs or therapeutic boarding schools, holiday stress can be exacerbated. As a mental health professional, equipping yourself with the right tools and knowledge to help families process these feelings can be the difference between a successful holiday season and one that causes a patient setback.

Compassionately remind your families why their child is in treatment in the first place. Ask them, “What would the holiday look like if your child were home? Would there be added stress? Would you worry about their well-being? Would they be sneaking out of the home instead of enjoying the holidays with you?” Many parents have chosen treatment for their child because they have experienced too many holidays worrying about a difficult child and their well-being. The child may be missing this particular

holiday, but they are safe and building lifelong skills. Among other achievements, these skills will help families have joyous holidays in the future. If therapeutically appropriate, encourage your families to create new traditions. This could involve visiting their child at their treatment facility during the holidays. These visits should be set up with the permission of the facility where the child is receiving treatment. Suggest parents bring board games, like Scrabble, or personal effects that may give their child a little piece of home. If families are not able to visit, a handwritten letter or photograph can be a touching way to connect. While their child may not be home for the holiday, these little mementos can help the family stay connected over the holidays. This season always makes people long for home, and it can be difficult for a child’s parents and siblings to see the benefit of their loved one missing a holiday. Offer

them as much support as you can, and remember, we can support you, too. If you are working with a family who may need guidance, support, and therapeutic options, our consultants look forward to collaborating.

Have a wonderful and safe holiday season,

If you are working with a family who may need guidance, support, and therapeutic options, our consultants look forward to collaborating.

-Lucy Pritzker

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908-228-2212

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