Central San Joaquin Valley Chapter

Halloween care for your clients

10/27/2019 12:03 PM | Michael Crile (Administrator)

Halloween has been a wonderful time for many over the years. Many of us as adults even enjoy getting into the festivities of dressing up one day out of the year to get out of our own persona.

The first year of my Associateship, I worked in a forensic setting and the staff were encouraged to dress up for the holiday as well. I decided to go as a Los Angels Kings Hockey Player. Not a bad costume. I had my Kings Jersey and my hockey stick. Then to make it look real, I did some face painting that made it look like I had gotten into a fight or was hit by the puck in the eye. Simply put, a very large bruise.

At my current place of employment, we are told not to dress up for Halloween due to possible past traumas that children, and even parents, may have experienced. This got me thinking. 

Bruises and cuts can remind someone of a traumatic accident or maybe even some domestic Violence.

Dressing up as a horror character could be quite scary, especially if the client has history of fears.

Then there are the innocent costumes. Dressing as a prince or princess, a Disney character, things that may be "fun". After working in the various aspects of mental health, including rural health clinics, forensic placements and schools, it crossed my mind that some of the individuals we work with may have had someone who hurt them, and in doing so, would provide them with the bribes of cartoons, trips, or even forcing them to dress up.

Although we all have our enjoyable things, including dressing up for Halloween, just remember, doing so at your clinic may be a very bad idea.

Happy cavity day. Have a Spooktacular week.

By the way, CNBC reported in 2015, "For kids and parents, it's been getting worse. For dentists, it's been a growth industry. Last year, there was nearly an 80 percent jump in emergency dentist visits on Halloween relative to an average October day. That number is higher than it's been in any of the most recent years." (https://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/30/the-biggest-winner-on-halloween-weekend-your-dentist.html)

Michael Crile, MA, MA, is a registered associate marriage & family therapist and organizational leader. He currently works as a Student Counselor with Comprehensive Youth Services, under the supervision of Lisa Brott. He takes the challenges and experiences from life to assist the clients he has worked with, to provide the best therapy for each client. He has worked in forensic environments working with individuals who had been in the state mental hospitals and with sex offenders on parole and probation. He enjoys a variety of therapeutic techniques, being extremely eclectic in the therapy room. He is scheduled to take his Clinical MFT Exam in February. In his off-time, he serves on the CAMFT-CSJV Chapter board as Secretary and on the Visalia Toastmasters board as Sergeant-at-Arms. He enjoys a plethora of music, cooking, writing speeches, creating power points, is a Disneymaniac, and loves nature, walking and jogging. 

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Central San Joaquin Valley Chapter- California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists 

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