Just minutes after the doctor had given the diagnosis to this 8 year-old girl, the therapist walked in her room for the first time. Her father was concerned and worried, and the girl was polite yet appeared to be ‘numb' due to the news. The therapist asked if she would like to talk about what the doctor had said or if she would like to go on a journey; something completely not related to the hospital. She chose the latter. The girl, her father and the therapist role-played according to her lead. In the journey, she found her 'cheerleader' and a 'souvenir' that symbolize her inner strength. When they 'returned' to the hospital, she was able to verbalize her feeling towards her diagnosis; they created our own cheerleading dance that would cheer her up when she is in pain. She ended the session by hugging her father, a hug that set a foundation for them to face to upcoming challenge.
The patient was at the end of her life; she was in a lot of pain and coming in and out of consciousness. When the therapist entered the room, friends and family members were at the bedside and quietly staring at the patient. The feeling in the room was heavy yet most of the visitors were sitting far away from the patients and remained quiet. The therapist facilitated each member to say a message to the patient with a movement. They repeated the movement and messages multiple times and expanded it. The patient would open her eyes periodically and her heart rate slowed down, friends and family members started to get closer to the patient and started to share about each other’s memories with the patient.
An early recovery drug dependent client who suffered from childhood sexual trauma was sharing his feelings towards his abuser. Verbally he was saying that he had moved on and his abuser has no effect on his emotion, however, non-verbally, he was twisting a scarf that he picked up earlier in the session tighter and tighter as he spoke. The therapist helped him gain awareness about this incongruence and gave insight about his situation in order to help him quit using.
I Am My Cheerleader
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