Therapeutic Analogy: When Anger Is Like Ketchup
As a Tavistock, MSc qualified Systemic Psychotherapist with an MA is SW and Diploma in Therapeutic Play she now promotes the importance of understanding the links between Attachment, Developmental trauma, Belonging and Trust. With this understanding, Michelle believes passionately that all children are able to heal and flourish from their negative experiences.
Therapeutic thinking and understanding is central to the ethos of Compass, which is why we do not simply provide therapy for the child but an on-going wrap-around service to ensure they progress successfully on their therapeutic journey.
The work that Michelle and her wider team do is incredibly important. The therapy provisions our children and young people receive is individualised for them. Read below how Michelle managed to create a therapeutic analogy with Harry about his anger.
Playing with words is one of my favourite pastimes! Some people like Monopoly and others like Lego but I like words! They’re free and easy to store; you can keep acquiring more, adapting, adding, moving, reconnecting, bending, and moulding, so this ‘word playing’ could catch on with even more people.
Sometimes I feel I am the luckiest therapist because I see a young man on a weekly basis who enjoys playing with words as much as I do. We have managed to explore and develop a significant level of change in his world as a result of this talking playfulness. Even in writing this, I am wondering about his descriptions of word play!
Henry is a chosen pseudonym for a nearly-fifteen-year-old, white, English boy who has been living in a therapeutic care home for several years. Unlike many young people in care, he does not want to move into foster care and does not yearn to return home. As a result, he is not riddled in quite the same way with the complicated emotions of permanent effort to prove to professionals he is worthy of ‘progress’.
Instead, he can concentrate fully on choices he wants to make and how he feels in the here-and- now as well as to think about and discuss his experiences in his past.
It has been through discussion about this past that we have been able to become very playful with our language. It is difficult to say now how our use of metaphors or analogies began, as there is an experience of rolling between them together in a seamless and effortless manner, a genuine evolution of therapist and client co-construction at work.
The one I am presenting today is our discussion over time about his ‘cupboard of anger’.
At Compass, we will always provide you with the support you require.