Sunday, July 5, 2009

ways to use Therapeutic Stories

just would like to share on what i has read from Nancy Davis

Do not interpret the stories as they are designed to talk to the unconscious, which interprets the stories according to the needs of the listener. interpreting moves the story into the conscious mind and diminishes their power, make sure that you change and individualize stories to fit the listener.

  • For children age 1-8 years or younger, make an audio tape of about 30 minutes with stories designed for the presented problem during the first or second therapy session. if the child is younger, tell "The Hero" first, inserting the name of the child. Ale the child questions as you record stories, since a young chil likes to hear their own voice. If the child seems to have been traumatised and needs to talk about it, including the story "Rags" or "Taffy". Have the parent or caretaker play the story tape as the child goes to bed. It does not matter if the child is asleep while tape plays, since the messages from the stories are heard by the unconscious
  • Add new stories to the story tape as therapy progresses and the needs of the child changes
  • If a parent calls about a first appointment for a child who has been traumatised and will not talk about their trauma, send the chid a tape of stories with your voice so that they will already find you a comfort when the first sessions begin

  • Stories can be grouped for a variety of problems, including the following: symptoms and problems related to experiencing abuse and trauma, grief and loss, school and academic problems, social difficulties, rebelliousness, and oppositional behaviour, self image, expression of feelings, questions as to why something happend, anxiety, fears and phobias, rape, trauma, distorted perceptions, etc.
  • Record stories on child's tape that are designed for their paren; the parent's unconscious will listen and learn

  • Have family listen to the tape when leaving or coming to therapy
  • Give the parens stories to read to their child. Have the parent make tapes of stories for their child. Three stories can heal both the parent and child. (only do this if parents will not sabotage the stories). This technique can be used in therapy sessions, i.e., parent of child removed from home because of abuse can read a story picked by therapist to their child in a session.
  • If a child or adolescent begins the therapy and refuse to talk, begin reading therapeutic stories. do not explain whay you reading the stories. Read stories that you believe will help the problems. If you read stories that are not for their problem, their unconscious will ignore them and focus on stories that are appropriate for them. When the session is over, say "see you next week". If the child goes to sleep during the session, continue reading anyway.... their unconscious will listen. generally by the third session, the child begins to talk. The messages of the stories tell them you understand and are there to help them heal.

  • If you are a pscyhologist, assigned to test a child who refuse to be tested, after establishing that you are going to sit with them until they take the test, begin to read therapeutic stories. Generally they will begin taking the test after several stories are told.


  1. Thanks for posting Nancy's site and resources, I do hope that your peers will make use of her excellent site. Will see if I can bring her book to Malaysia on my next trip back.

  2. I have just posted a story resource in elgg resource pages for working with children with undisclosed trauma/abuse, an excerpt from Nancy Davis book. Do have a look.

  3. Thank you Alex :) How sweet u are :) i will do a reading on that