After I learned how to work with associative and metaphorical cards, I immediately took them into service in my therapeutic practice. I was very encouraged by the possibility of improvisation, creativity in creating exercises for a particular client. After all, Jung wrote that "each client should have his own therapy"! Metaphorical cards allow to realize this postulate.
Exploring the boundaries of the possibilities of metaphorical associative cards (drawing, creating stories, and playing them), I was surprised at the versatility of the instrument. "Sitting on the chair" of the systemic family therapist, I often use the "Persona" deck to investigate family relationships.
- the client chooses the images (portraits) of people, symbolizing the members of his family;
- places them on a sheet of paper (A3);
- draws arrows and borders.
Throughout this work he listens to his experiences, shares his thoughts, looking for answers to current questions. But in a number of cases, clients helped to find "blind zones" of cards. They chose suitable images and would like to show that they are looking at each other. But because of working in two-dimensional space, cards could not always reflect this.
I began to look for opportunities to improve the exercise by increasing the possibilities of cards. The answer did not take long to come. In the head there was an insight! Putting cards vertically, we expand the space, making it three-dimensional. This tremendously increases the amount of information that can be obtained in interaction.
What is a family board?
The material of the family board consists of a playing field and a set of wooden figures. These tools allow us to present problematic relations in a game form, thereby facilitating the emotional stress on the client. Individual clients or groups are invited to present their subjective views on the social system under study using the figures. The images and representations that the client operates with become evident thanks to the family board, which gives the therapist the freedom to choose the focus of attention on the system, problems, solutions.
The parameters (themselves or in combination with each other, help to display the real relationship of the figures to each other when using it), which can be tracked:
- distance between shapes,
- direction of sight
- location on the surface of the board
- order of appearance of figures on the board
- final arrangement.
This does not negate the possibility to draw the boundary vectors, etc. You can explore the system (family, organization), experiences, symptoms, etc.I do not go into details of working with cards in threedimensional space (I trust your therapeutic experience, professional worldview and creative intuition). The purpose of this article is to share the discovery and launch your search activity.