Contributions from Mary Brownlow and Irena Stenner
IDT says that there are no resistant clients, just a need for self-protection. If you are working with a client who doesn’t feel safe enough, you can use a simple intervention to build more safety ((emotional safety). We can use the metaphor of a “safe space” to build an experience of safety in the client. This can also be a very good intervention for a first session with a new client.
The metaphor is an expression of an inner state. As the client works on the safe space on the page, their inner world experiences an increased sense of safety and comfort and they have a literal experience of more safety. Make sure the client adds themselves to the drawing once the safe space is on the page. Then work with feelings and “work around the triangle” a few times adding words, image and feelings to the page.
Here are the drawing cues for the counsellor:
Blog submitted by Frauke Hobbs
During the last 10 years of using IDT with many young and some older people in therapy sessions I have become increasingly aware of and interested in aspects of intergenerational trauma showing up and being processed on the IDT page. Trauma therapists may assess these presentations as developmental and/or relational trauma, for example as the result of attachment issues with caregivers or resulting from other adverse experiences in earlier life.
In IDT practice the indication that a psychological issue or complex has significance beyond a client’s lifetime may show up as ancient or very old parts or aspects on the page, elements that have been around for a long time, and are further revealed via archetypal components and forces once we work at depth with clients. It could be as obvious as clients’ ancestors being identified or named on the page when working through a relational, family or intergenerational issue. By the time clients get to about the third page of writing and drawing, archetypal themes, characters, objects and story lines of fables, legends or fairy tales may show up that carry intergenerational significance.
It is helpful to look out for clients’ spatial or time context descriptions of what is beyond, behind, above or below and ancient, pre-historic, very old or been around for a long time. I am always on the look-out for potent drawing cues that lead people into a bigger and more expanded perspective beyond the limits of our constructs of time and place. You never know whether this could lead to a more enlightened perspective on how the resolution of seemingly personal issues or challenges could also help resolve bigger and more far-reaching issues concerning our ancestors and future generations to come.
Here are some examples of drawing cues that could help uncover intergenerational issues:
Frauke works as an IDT practitioner in her private practice Beyond Talk Therapy and is researching the use and benefits of IDT in recovering from trauma. Frauke co-facilitates the monthly, online IDT Peer Support Group and supports the development of this Expressive Therapy modality through an IDT Custodian Group.
For more information about Frauke go to: https://www.beyondtalktherapy.com.au