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Making Friends With Worries… in a Brand New Way!

October 21, 2011

TLC GUEST BLOGGER: Cherie Spehar, MSW, LCSW, CTS

Once upon a time, a little creature named Wince the WorryWoo was born. He was a sweet, blue, little creature who was trapped in his worries and fears. He was recently introduced to a private practitioner working with children by his wonderful creator, Andi Greene – founder of The Monsters in My Head. This therapist discovered a natural link to Wince and our work on the sensory trauma theme of Worry. Watching Wince’s magic with children and teens as he supported the Trauma Intervention Program led him on a new journey, all the way to TLC in Michigan! A few more conversations later and Wince is now ready to become part of YOUR healing stories!

As a play therapist and certified trauma specialist, I am always looking for tools to help support my work. It is my honor to introduce to you the newest member of our TLC staff – Wince, the WorryWoo Monster (and yes, he is available NOW!). You can purchase a Wince of your own in the TLC online bookstore. Let me tell you a little bit about this remarkable creature, and why you are going to want to add him to your collection of trauma intervention tools.

Why does Wince work?

  1. This is not your ordinary stuffed animal! While he does provide a sensory base – kids love his softness, his appearance, his cuddliness – they are enamored of what he stands for. It is a positive representation of Worry.
  2. Wince demonstrates that rather than fearing their worries, kids can understand they are protective steps, that they make sense, and how they can be helped.
  3. Wince’s story helps show that it is not about making feelings go away, but about managing them more healthily.
  4. It is a non-threatening visual representation of one of the most intense sensory trauma themes that a child can embrace and develop a connection to.

How does Wince work?

I think it is best to show by example.  Here are just some of the stories from my own work with Wince.

  • A little girl of 8 had been working through the Trauma Intervention Program and was nearing completion.  At the end of one of her sessions, she took Wince (and all of his friends), sat on the floor and placed them in a circle around her.  Surveying her work, she strongly and proudly announced, “See?  Now my worries are my friends.”
  • A 6-year-old child too worried to begin the TIP drawing process was introduced to Wince, and we shared his story.  Wince became his trusted companion through his trauma work, to the point where he would snuggle with him on his lap, head down on the table, while then actively and more safely drawing through his trauma and sensory themes.
  • A teen who was consumed by trauma and anxiety symptoms struggled with her hands trembling while starting her sensory interventions with drawing.  Wince became her aid, and her anchor. We used Wince as a sensory grounding mechanism for her to place her hands upon, notice his softness, and tune into worry as a protective factor. Her hands stopped trembling after the 3rd session.

These are only a few of the examples I have been blessed to witness, and I have become convinced of the Power of Woo in helping aid our trauma care. In my practice, Wince is a winner! And the best part? Wince is only the beginning.  Wait until you see what else is on the way for you!

Join me as I share more examples about Wince and his Woo friends!

Cherie L. Spehar, MSW, LCSW, CTS
www.facebook.com/smilingspiritpathways

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