I find sensory poems are a wonderful technique for CBT. They are worth a wirl if you have never tried them!
The Cl identifies the emotion that is most troublesome to them. The Client uses that emotion to complete the following sentences. I will give the example using the word “Apathetic”. The prompt is in black and my example is in orange.
Apathetic Feels (physical texture, temperature) like…waiting room couch material
Apathetic Takes like…a stale cake doughnut that is just slightly sweet
Apathetic Looks like…water that has sat in a vase for weeks with a moldy flower
Apathetic Smells like…generic “unscented” hand lotion that smells like black pepper
Apathetic Sounds like…large fans blowing into a crowded, loud gymnasium
I encourage the Client to use their imagination to create very specific metaphors. After writing this with as much detail as possible, work with them to edit it to add more detail, guiding them to use their imaginative physical senses. Their imagination will engage all of the senses and they will be able to truly feel terrible.
Then engage them in a sensory poem that is opposite of their most troublesome feeling. They may need help identifying the word precisely. Jump into their imagination and record their senses related to that word.
Passionate Feels like…spikes on a pineapple
Passionate Tastes like…strawberry butter on waffles with syrup
Passionate Looks like…a girl with long, wild hair cliff diving
Passionate Smells like…a mixture of 3 pies baked in the same afternoon
Passionate Sounds like…the shouts of a coach on the sideline of a championship game
Assess for their change in mood after completing the poem and reading it over in full. In my experience, 100% of the time, they report improved mood. Use this time to educate them on the triangular relationship between thoughts, feelings and behavior. These poems can be very powerful tools for them on a bad day!