Lots of children‘s stories can be used as therapeutic stories. They have the elements that is required for a story to be therapeutic. The ugly duckling ticks all the boxes. See how it fulfills the criteria below:
•Unconscious processes and potentials Mother defends him, cites positive qualities, gets a first look at swans.
•Parallel learning situations Learning to swim, take care of himself and fly.
•Metaphorical crisis Attack in the marsh, cold winter in the pond
•New identification Beholds beautiful new image in the water.
•Celebration The old swans are in awe of him
Now construct your own therapeutic story! Use the boxes below.
Constructing a Therapeutic Story – Checklist
|Identify the emotional problem or issue|
|Set a therapeutic objective – what would you like to change?||
|Think of a strategy to achieve the change|
Base the story on a metaphorical conflict in terms that the child can relate to – a character, a place, a plot – grappling with the same emotional problem as the child.
What similar stories or real life experiences could be used?
Start constructing the story by thinking out the ending in outline and then list the main stages on how to get there. (Start establishing a similar situation, crisis, bridge to change, change, positive journey, positive outcome, celebration)situation
|Write the start – set the scene||
|Develop the plot by showing the main character using similar methods to deal with the problem as those used by the child – personify unconscious processes and potential|
|Reach a metaphorical crisis|
Construct the shift, the change of direction, using parallel learning situations. Use a bridge section to avoid moving too quickly
|Show the journey from crisis to positive solution and a new sense of identification|
|End the story with a celebration and sense of community|