Metaphors Built On A Childs Own Story

As mentioned in Chapter 3, using client-generated stories, working collaboratively with a child on the story, or having children create their own stories can provide useful material to work with therapeutically. When I ask a child to write a healing story as a homework exercise, I tend to phrase it like this: "Write me a story about a character—you can choose any character you like: an animal, an imaginary figure like a ghost or monster, a hero like a wizard or Superman, someone about your own age, or whoever you want—who has a problem or problems, who finds some helpful ways to fix those problems, and who enjoys the benefits of their success."

I might go on to offer an example such as: "One child once wrote me a story about a character that was a ghost. This ghost had the problem that he couldn't scare anyone—not even a fly. Trying to find ways to fix it, he started to watch what other, scarier ghosts did and how he could copy them. Some things he tried worked, and some didn't. In the end he felt so proud when he could scare off monsters that were terrifying good people." (See Story 91.)

These directives may be given verbally or in writing. I attempt not to be too specific and thus risk having kids produce what they think I want rather than using their own imagination and creativity.

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