Exercise Summary Steps For Using Healing Stories

■ Step 1. Make an Outcome-Oriented Assessment. If you have an assumption of outcome and agree on a goal that is specific and positive, then it will be easier to ensure therapeutic success whether working with healing stories or any other therapeutic intervention.

■ Step 2. Plan your metaphors. First, assess the Outcome. Look at where the story is going. Second, define the Resources and means necessary to reach the child's outcome. Having done this, you can then explore the presenting Problem and the character necessary to carry the story through to its conclusion.

■ Step 3. Present your metaphors. In telling the tale, you will tell it in the reverse of what you have planned, beginning first with the Problem, describing and developing the necessary Resources, and, finally, offering appropriate Outcomes.

■ Step 4. Stop, look, and listen. Observe your client. Assess the way the story is being received and what needs to be adapted and changed to make it meaningful and useful for the child.

■ Step 5. Ground the story in reality. This helps make listening to the story more engaging for the child and also helps generalize the benefits into the child's day-to-day life.

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