The Worry Box

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I am always looking for counseling techniques to use individually and in small groups. There are so many ideas! I lean toward techniques and strategies that are easily accessible, effective, and FREE!

This post is dedicated to a strategy that I discovered on a fellow school counselor’s blog (Scrapbook of a School Counselor). As soon as I saw The Worry Box, I knew I needed to make one for my office pronto!

The Worry Box is a simple, yet powerful, strategy of acknowledging and coping with worry and anxiety. It can be used individually or in small groups, and with almost any age. With my K-5 students, I am amazed at how many children are carrying around worries every day, and I see that it holds them back from learning and playing freely like children should. Using The Worry Box, children can put their worries in a safe place and move on with their day, hopefully feeling more calm and free.

Making a Worry Box is simple. All you need is a box and something to decorate it with (paper, glue, glitter, stickers, tape, markers, etc). Once your box is complete, anyone can use it by writing or drawing their worries on pieces of paper anonymously and dropping them inside the box. They can choose to talk about it or not, leave it in the box or not – they are in control of their worries!

In groups, you could direct students to write or draw worries about the topic/issue you’re working on, and then discuss them anonymously. Imagine the depth of conversations you could have and the level of support your students would feel!

Here are some photos of my Worry Box. I used a fold-over magnetic box and covered it in neon rainbow duct tape to make it eye-catching. I wrote directions on how to use it on the inside.

I can’t wait to use it with my students! :)

The outside of The Worry Box.

The outside of The Worry Box.

The fold-over flap is magnetized to close.

The fold-over flap is magnetized to close.

Directions pasted on the inside cover.

Directions pasted on the inside cover.

Directions say: Write or draw what you’re worried about. Drop your worry into the box. Leave your worry behind – the box will hold it for you. You can take your worry back if you ever need it.

Examples of worries dropped inside.

Examples of worries dropped inside.

Examples say: “I feel worried about my dog!” and “I’m worried about math :(“