School Phobia: Fairy Quilt
Kara was an adorable little six year old who had a not so adorable problem; she didn’t want to go to school. She cried, complained of stomach aches and felt so nauseous she threw up sometimes. She was afraid to leave her parents. By the time she finally got to school she was exhausted from all the anxiety. What’s a girl to do? She came into therapy.
Kara and her Mother learned about the causes of anxiety and the three areas to work on in order to get better. They learned physical, behavioral and psychological strategies to help Kara cope with her school phobia. We all need tools to deal with difficult parts of life, Kara put her tools into an imaginary toolbox. Using the “toolbox” was a concrete way to organize her new found skills.
We came up with a great tool to help with her physical symptoms. Kara loved to dance and twirl around. We decided that when she started to worry she’d fly those worries away. Her mother or father would lift her up and twirl her around like an airplane. She also could turn on some party music and dance. She loved it! She got really good at challenging her worrisome and scary thoughts.
Her comment one day was priceless and I remember it years later. “Sometimes I go too far with my imagination!” Wow, such wise words from a six year old! Another gem was her remark when she told me about getting upset at school one day. “I cried a little but got over it.” Several weeks later she came in and announced, “I’m all better now,” and she was indeed.
The fairy quilt I made reminds me of that brave little girl who learned to fly away her troubles.