Using Therapeutic cards in settings of couple or family therapy
The two of us are together on this journey...
What colours do we see in our joint past?
What does our present time feel like?
How do we imagine our common future?
Partners in couple therapy are invited to use cards to describe the course of their life together.
Each card they choose represents a certain period, an event or a place that for both are meaningful milestones in their ´journey´ together.
Placing the chosen cards one next to the other creates a visual card-continuum which reflects the way they see their past, present and future as a couple.
The task is challenging and the process of building the continuum entails a dialogue revolving around points, such as:
The periods or events that each of them sees as meaningful.
The cards that each of them finds suitable for representing these periods.
Choosing the cards to be used in the final joint continuum and deciding on their location in it.
Roles taken, given and negotiated during the work.
Different feelings can be evoked during the process of joint work; frustration, anger, joy, nostalgia, hope, despair, reluctance, regret are just a few.
When the common ´product´- the card-continuum - is built, the therapist can invite the couple to observe it together. Each one of them is then invited to describe the continuum from her/his point of view. They are encouraged to share their feelings, both in relation to the content of the work (i.e. the periods and events described etc.) and in relation to the process of work (i.e. building a common continuum with the partner).
The therapist can take a photo of the couple´s life-continuum and use it in numerous ways in future sessions.
Numerous examples of the application of cards when working
with the image of a bridge are detailed in "The River" guidebook.
To learn how to use these cards and others, please join one of our workshops
Written by Gali Salpeter - Story & Therapy
Expressive Therapist. Spec. Drama and NarrativeTherapy (M.A.)(NFKUT)(I.C.E.T)