Chapter

The Magic of Metaphor

WHY TELL HEALING AND TEACHING STORIES TO KIDS AND TEENS?

Do you remember what it was like as a young child to have a parent or grandparent sit on the side of your bed at night and read a story that gave you permission to journey into your own fantasies? How the magic of the story engaged you, entranced you, changed you into a different yet somehow familiar character, and took you into experiences you may not yet have encountered? How, in the process, you discovered something new about yourself, felt the emotion of reaching the tale's conclusion, and shared a special intimacy with the teller?

From time immemorial, stories, legends, and parables have been effective and preferred methods for communicating information, teaching values, and sharing the important lessons of life. Just hearing those often-expressed four words "Once upon a time . . ." is like an instant switch from reality to pretense or to an altered level ofprocessing. They are like a hypnotic induction, an invitation to participate in a unique relationship with both the teller and the story's characters. They are words that invite the listener on a journey into a world of imagination where reality may be suspended, and learning can be potent. They are an invitation into a special realm of experience where listeners are entranced, attention is focused, and one can share the emotions ofthe fictional hero. They invite participation in a relationship in which teller and listener share an interactive bond.

Stories have many important characteristics of effective communication:

1. They are interactive.

2. They teach by attraction.

3. They bypass resistance.

4. They engage and nurture imagination.

5. They develop problem-solving skills.

6. They create outcome possibilities.

7. They invite independent decision making.

In these ways they replicate many of the characteristics we seek to create in our therapeutic relationships with children, for as we engage in the process of listening to stories our relationships with self, others, and the world at large are likely to change. While we may or may not notice it, the sharing of stories can build relationships, challenge ideas, provide models for future behavior, and enhance understanding. In the characters and teller we may see some of ourselves and be influenced, little by little, by their attitudes, values and skills. It has been said before that once we have heard a story we can never unhear it, that something may have changed forever. Thus, stories are a logical and productive means for therapeutically communicating with kids.

Power Of Hypnosis

Power Of Hypnosis

Hypnosis is something most people see as being some kind of new age mumbo jumbo, but it's actually been scientifically to be effective in many people. Learn more within this guide.

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