Talking About Anxiety Using Post-It Notes

A student came in to see and was upset about an upcoming concert.  As the student was talking I noticed that there seemed to be anxiety stemming from other places besides just the concert.  As she talked we started writing about all the things that were stressing her out.  We put each statement on a Post-It Note.  Quickly, my table was filled up with notes.  It was pretty amazing how quickly we saw the spiral effect of how missing a homework assignment could turn into a bad grade, to disappointing parents and self, to feeling bummed out, to feeling not like doing homework, to missing an assignment. . .ughhh. . .you get it.
    After all the post it notes were spread across the table, we pulled all but the main issues and created an action plan to address the problem.   
This is what we were left with.  It became a manageable problem and one that the student then felt like she could “fix.”
Our Action Plan included talking with teachers to find out what homework was missing, get a second copy of worksheets that were lost, and finding a time to meet to go over any assignments that were not understood.  Last we worked on a schedule of how to make up the back work and get everything turned in.
Not bad for 30 minutes of time, and everyone felt relief from the original stress.

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