Is it suitable for children?

Yes! A significant component of Narrative Therapy is “externalising”. The process of externalising a problem is the key idea underpinning the narrative saying: the person is the person; the problem is the problem. Externalising separates the person from the problem. This concrete way of looking at problems, lends itself to making the whole process of counselling accessible to children.

Externalising a problem leads itself , very naturally, to a playful approach to problems. Once externalised “issues” or problem can be drawn, painted or acted out. This concretising process relates immediately to children – as it makes what was abstract and insidious – clear. Clarity and concretising of issues enables children to create their own language around their own issues.

Children have referred to problems around anxiety as: The Worry Bug, The Black Hole - sometimes they even give their worries a first name – Waldo ( an example). This lends itself to children feeling they have control or power over their problems. They can work out how to make The Worry Bug smaller, move further away or stop it when it is sneaking up on them. In this way the counselling process is meaningful to children. It shows respect to their experience with their issue. In this way change is often seen quite quickly with children.