Mutual Storytelling Technique

Mutual Storytelling Technique is a method in play therapy which helps therapists in communicating with children. The child is asked to create her own story which has a moral lesson. The therapist then analyzes the possible representations and the characters and themes in the child’s story and uses the same characters in his own story. The therapist’s version attempts to introduce healthier options and outcomes. This technique was developed by Richard Alan Gardner, an American child psychiatrist.

For instance, the therapist tells the child that they are going to have a story telling game and the child will go first. The child talks about a princess who lives in a tower with a kind queen but a scary king. The princess used her super powers to make the king leave the kingdom. The child said that the lesson was that kings should be good and loving. The therapist noted that the princess was the metaphor for the child and the queen and king were her parents. He agreed that kings should indeed be caring and then tells his version of the story in which the princess nicely talked to the king and asked him to be more loving and caring and that she feels scared. In this version of the story the king became a better king and became more gentle and affectionate and demonstrates the importance of communicating feelings.

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