The Power Of Metaphor, Image and Story
A collection of therapeutic stories for children, young people and adults to help them explore and express similar issues they might be facing.
Since time began humans have used stories to educate, caution, chronicle events, to inspire and to heal. Stories can serve multiple purposes on multiple levels. Since I was a little girl I have always created stories in one form or another.
I have been lucky enough to be trained and mentored in StoryPlay by Dr Joyce Mills, specifically utilising the power of story, metaphor, image and creativity to support my clients.
I am always adding to my collection.
Proceeds from the sales of these stories go directly to support offering therapeutic support to children and young people in schools
Have you ever felt alone?
Everybody feels alone sometimes.
You can feel alone anywhere.
It doesn't matter whether you are in a crowd, surrounded by family or you really are on your own.
Alone can be a feeling we carry inside of us that has nothing to do with who is around us.
Feeling all alone inside is a very difficult place to be.
Alone is a therapeutic story written for children, young people or adults, who might be able to identify with feeling deeply lost and alone and how that feeling can become entrenched in their very being.
Feeling alone can become a vicious cycle that becomes harder to break the longer people remain stuck in it. Breaking the cycle needs real, meaningful connections from others.
Sometimes stories can be a way in.
All children are born with a unique, special star inside them.
Sometimes their star gets lost or is taken from them and leaves them with a black empty hole inside.
Jani's Star is a therapeutic story for children, young people or adults, who don't believe they are special and have lost their sparkle. This might be because of bullying by other children or constantly being put down by adults.
Jani is a child who has lost their star and doesn't remember what it is to be able to sparkle. Nothing is the smallest, faintest star who has fallen from the sky and been washed up on earth.
Somehow the two find each other.
Every child is born to sparkle.
The Storm in the House
Tayo lives in a house with a storm.
Sometimes it isn't stormy but that doesn't stop Tayo watching and waiting for the dark clouds to start to gather.
It can all change in a second, like a flash of lightening.
He never knows when that moment will be.
So he tries to control it.
He tries everything he can think of to stop the storm from blowing up but it doesn't work.
The storm gets into his head and stops him from concentrating at school, because he can't stop thinking and worrying about it.
Tayo feels completely alone with this terrible secret and labelled as a child who is no good, until one day somebody comes along who sees him clearly.
Too many children live with the shadow and trauma of domestic violence, that blights their lives and affects their futures.
This is an extremely complex issue that doesn't always have a clear cut resolution and children continue to suffer, despite the best efforts of people to help. If they even know it is happening?
The Storm in the House highlights how, even with a lack of clear resolution, an attuned, emotionally available adult looking out for that child, can be internalised as a warm presence in their inner world and build their resilience against adversity.
Amy loves secrets.
Until one day she gets given a different kind of secret than she has ever known before.
A dark, frightening secret that she is told she can't ever tell.
Amy hates the way this new kind of secret makes her feel.
She doesn't want to have anything to do with it so she tried to hide it, but this kind of secret can't really be hidden.
It starts to grow, and grow until it turns into a big monster that follows Amy everywhere she goes.
How can she ever get rid of it?
Will things ever go back to the way they were before the secret.
The secret is a therapeutic story designed to tackle the difficult issue of secrets. It aims to help children understand the difference between harmless and harmful secrets, explore the feelings both types of secret can bring up and encouraging children who have been forced to carry too big and heavy secrets to find a trusted adult to share them with.
The Tangle Behind The Mask
Predominantly aimed at young people this book is for those who feel they have to hide that they are struggling behind a mask that only shows the world a smile.
Designed as a resource for counsellors and therapists working with young people and beyond to explore the feelings through imagery that might lie beneath the face they show to the world.
Missy loves the sun more than anything else in the world.
They spend all day together. Until one day the sun disappears and doesn't come back.
Missy doesn't understand it. Where has her beloved sun gone?
Goodbye Sun is a therapeutic story about sudden loss and grief for children who have to learn to live without somebody special without fully understanding what has happened.
Why Did This Happen To Us?
What happens to the brothers and sisters when another child becomes very ill?
In such difficult circumstances, the voices of the children who are not ill or deemed to be in need of the same time and attention, can get inadvertently lost.
This is a story for them.
Petal and Blossom are two flowers who grow in the same pot together.
Then one day Blossom starts to wilt and wither, despite nothing changing.
What is happening to her?
No one understands or has any answers!
They try lots of things but nothing seems to work.
Then one day Petal finds herself uprooted and taken somewhere else.
She doesn't know what is happening to Blossom.
She doesn't like being on her own in this strange place.
She doesn't like feeling lost, ignored and forgotten.
Until one day a little girl notices her.
Petal and Kiva have something in common.
They both have sisters who became very ill.
Kiva doesn't know what to make of it all either so she hides all her thoughts and feelings that worry and frighten her in a forbidden place inside her and tries very hard not to think about it, until her auntie helps her make sense of all the thoughts and feelings she has and draw them out into the open.
I Miss You
A therapeutic story for younger children dealing with the subject of death and grief of somebody close to them.
Tim has a very special person in his life.
They do loads of things together.
Then one day his special person isn't there anymore and suddenly Tim's whole world feels like there is nothing special in it any more.
He doesn't understand.
Where have they gone?
To a place called Dead, which Tim learns means that they are not coming back.
Tim and his mum think of a way to remember his very special person and all the special things about them that they did together.
Anybody can fall into and get stuck in a hole!
A therapeutic story for older children, young people and adults who might have experienced or be experiencing the feelings of sadness and despair told through the metaphor of falling into a hole.
Ollie doesn't know why he starts feeling sad one day. He just does.
At the same time he notices a crack in his house and a small hole in the ground. They get bigger until one day the house crumbles and the hole swallows both the house and Ollie. it is so deep he cannot climb out by himself.
Trapped in the dark Ollie's sadness turns to despair and he finds he cannot imagine or try ever getting out of the hole. That is what happens when the darkness gets inside you.
Until one day a little bird flies down into the hole.
Have you ever felt like a robot?
Like you are just going through the motions of life but with no feelings?
There was once a little girl who lived in a colourful world.
Until one day the colours faded to grey and the little girl turned into a robot.
Only the little robot doesn't understand how she became this way or what to do about it.
She doesn't want anybody else to know.
So she pretends everything is fine.
Until the bubble is burst and the little robot and her new friend go in search for her lost feelings.
This story explores through metaphor, the experience of those who try to manage unbearable pain and hurt by shutting off their feelings and managing life as though on autopilot, where they are just going through the motions of living.
The Unnamed Dread
Have you ever felt that something terrible is going to happen?
You don't know what, where, why, when and how, but it's just a feeling that you KNOW that you can't really explain.
You can't run from it!
You can't hide from it!
You can't fight it!
It is just there filling your mind with "What-if's" that makes you worry about EVERYTHING.
Oscar wasn't really sure when he became aware of the Unnamed Dread until it happened.
Soon it wouldn't leave him alone. It started off small, but got bigger, until it stopped him from doing anything.
It cut him off from other people as his anxieties and fears consumed him.
Until one day a little dog found his way to the little lonely island and brought somebody along who could help Oscar understand and help tame his Unnamed Dread.
A therapeutic story with activities for children, young people or adults who struggle with fear and anxiety of the unknown and the terrible fantasies that can fill that void.
Activities include:Creatively visualising your own Unnamed Dread.
Identifying how you experience anxiety and fear.Identifying personal fears.T
he Calm Countdown - sensory grounding exercise.
I Can Breathe a Rainbow - breathing exercise
The Only Way Is My Way
Penny is so bossy and controlling!
Everybody has to do just what she says.
Penny feels like she HAS to control everybody and everything around her and the only way she can do that is by being a big bossyboots.
The problem with this is it gets her into trouble and no one wants to play with her anymore.
This makes Penny feel really bad about herself.
A story for children for whom the only way they can begin to feel safe and in control is by controlling others.
Ozzy's Learning Brain
Ozzy hates going to school.
Nobody knows, but he finds the lessons really difficult.
It's like his brain just doesn't work properly.
The letters dance around, the numbers muddle themselves up, he doesn't remember instructions and his handwriting just does whatever it wants.
Ozzy doesn't want anybody to know how hard he finds lessons, because everybody else seems to be learning and working, so he starts to behave in ways that make the teacher cross. She then sends him out of the room so he doesn't have to do the work.
Ozzy thinks it is all his fault.
Why doesn't his brain learn like everybody else's?
Mr Musinga is a new teacher who is interested in how children's brains learn.
He realises Ozzy's brain learns a different way.
Then he has to learn how to teach it so Ozzy can learn.
A therapeutic story for children who struggle with lessons and feel bad about themselves
Through The Dark Together
One day a great darkness swallows the world.
Within it, all the creatures have to try and survive.
Those that do have to find their way through the dark.
One little ant has set herself a big mission, to carry the weight of the world up the tallest, most arduous mountain full of twists, turns and obstacles. If she manages to do that then maybe the light will come back.
Just when it feels at its most impossible an unexpected friend pops up to help bear the burden.
For anybody who knows what it is like to have to walk through the darkness, against the odds, to do the impossible and the value that having somebody to support you on that journey can bring.