Gender Matching

Just as matching the story to the age of the client helps with the identification, so does gender matching. Young listeners and adolescents may not identify with the story so readily if it is about the other gender. Generally it is easy enough—as with age—to maintain the theme or message of the story while simply altering the gender of the main character or characters to suit that of your listener. The princess of Story 10, "Seeking Happiness," could just as well be a prince, or the "silly boy" of Story 24, "Learning to Think for Yourself," could also be a "silly girl."

These are guidelines and with any matching the therapist needs to know the child well enough to ensure the match is helpful and appropriate to both identification and outcome. The therapist needs to be aware of the exceptions, such as whether a child or adolescent has a known gender conflict or has negative feelings toward the same gender resulting from a history of abuse by that gender.

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