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Therapy for Children: Engaging a Child image

Therapy for Children: Engaging a Child


Sierra Ellis is in seventh grade at Glen Grove, a fictional middle school. Two months ago, she was in her first fight at school. In the past few weeks, Sierra's behavior has escalated to more physical altercations, despite several notifications to her parents. During the conversation, learners will practice engaging with Sierra in preparation for an assessment that may help to address her recent behavioral problems. Learners will have the opportunity to cover introductory therapy topics, establish an empowering environment, and equip Sierra with effective therapeutic tools to keep her engaged and receptive toward therapy.

Initial sessions are critical for creating an empowering environment and setting a foundation for service delivery. In addition to the standard anxiety and expectation a client brings to an inaugural session, the developmental needs of a child meeting with an adult clinician for the first time need to be taken into account. Age differences can make things additionally complicated. This simulated conversation will provide learners with the opportunity to practice this approach in a safe and risk-free environment.


Social Work & Students


4 - 5

Average Time
per Session

30 - 45

Teaching Objectives:

  • Demonstrating an Ability to Initiate a Conversation with a Teacher
  • Communicating Emotions Using Effective Language
  • Requesting Assistance from a Teacher to Communicate with Parents

Included in Training:

  • A Simulated Conversation with a varied character to prepare learners to complete initial therapy sessions with children.
  • Comprehensive Feedback during and after each play to help guide skill development.

This training was developed in collaboration with The University of Michigan, School of Social Work.