Psycho – I am a psychotherapist and I go out every day with children and teenagers.
I am also a writer and I know the importance of writing in a therapeutic manner.
It seemed obvious to me: I need to help children and adolescents who lack confidence or who are in a broken family.
I have seen in my practice that many children and adolescents keep their feelings to themselves for a variety of reasons: out of modesty, but fear of disappointing their parents, fear of being upset, fear of being judged by others. I then decided to create a confidence course for children and adolescents.
Descriptive therapy was developed by two Australian psychologists, Michael White and David Epston. It operates according to 3 principles:
- Describe the problem (my lack of confidence, I can no longer communicate with my parents) (his influential scene);
- I seek alternative perspectives through the construction of the present narrative;
- The therapist helps the patient to create more useful and satisfying stories: for example writing a letter to his parents, listing all his qualities and strengths, writing small challenges …
This approach specifically makes it possible to keep the problem out of yourself: on paper. It has a strong symbolic value and it allows you to reclaim your life.
There is also a very strong idea of respecting all personalities: like the most outgoing, the most shy. Not all of us have the ability to express what we feel.
“By putting them on paper, the child manages to continue to express them, just as he did when he was a child.”
I got A., 9 years old, who has a problem with his sister. She doesn’t want to tell me verbally what’s bothering her. I ask him if he can write it on a piece of paper for me: he immediately agrees and gives me his piece of paper.
Jay, 5 years old, is not a very reserved and very broad little girl. No one can feel her cold and distant. However, when he gives Marie his birthday card, it says: “I love you.” Then we have J. We can be immediately reassured about its ability to feel strong emotions.
V. 16, tells me that she does not present herself in a story because she is not worthy of love, she does not think she is beautiful, and not worthy of interest. I then ask him to write down all his qualities on paper. He writes 4. It’s a lot for those who don’t believe him. I congratulate him.
A, 14-year-old is in conflict with her father, she has a lot of anger inside that she can’t express. I suggest that she write a letter to her father, which he decides to give her when he feels like it.
P., 10 years old, recently lost his grandmother and she is suffering a lot. She misses him so much. He is shocked at the weight of his absence. I suggest that p. Write to her grandmother every day, telling her about her day, her joys, her frustrations, as she did when she called on the phone. Thus, p. He can rediscover the symbolic connection he had with his grandmother and what he misses so much. If we can’t revive the physical link, the symbolic link is eternal with it, and writing helps us revive it.
E, the eldest of a 9-year-old sibling, and it’s complicated with his parents at the moment. There are many rebellions and crises. We decided by mutual agreement with E to write her a small note to her parents that she would put on their pillow in the evening, to explain to them her frustrations, the fact that she sees that she misses taking care of her . Siblings, but she doesn’t know how to express anything other than anger. Moreover, E is very proud and the writing helps her to express her needs more easily.
Released through writing
With the kids, we decided to write on several themes: our dreams and our goals (identifying their enthusiasm and improving their motivation), listing their strengths and their qualities (strengthening their confidence), a letter to them as one of their favorites Individuals (to learn how to express their emotions) and finally an imaginary exercise to develop their imagination, and help them to project themselves: the child who projects himself is a child who is good, who develops, who wants to move forward And build yourself into the future.
From the age of 7-8 years, children can abandon carelessness and slow down the expression of their emotions. By becoming more integrated in society (especially in imitation of his peers), he came up against 2 dangers: comparing himself to others and restraining a weak image and emotion of himself which he would judge very personally.
By putting them down on paper, the child manages to continue to express them, as he did naturally in childhood, preserving his intimacy and modesty due to his development.
For pre-adolescence and adolescence, comparisons with others are very strong and lack of confidence is rarely avoided. Feelings of shame are also seen due to social pressures and school pressures.
Writing about his doubts and concerns at this age is vital and liberating. He can also resolve trusting disputes with his parents.
For the future:
You can contact Solveig via email at his Peace and Family website or via his Instagram account.
See also The Halfpost: To better manage your emotions, use writing