Magical metaphors

The magical element of story that defies rationalisation is what makes it attractive to the
child. Story writing is essentially a playful and creative activity.

Children who are preoccupied with the anxieties of their internal world can find it difficult to
focus on classroom tasks. Sometimes their particular life circumstances can also make them
feel ‘different’ to other children. By projecting personal experiences onto story characters, the
child can find the freedom to explore personally significant feelings in a way that is both
playful and safe.

The language of the unconscious is that of symbol and metaphor. Our minds seem
remarkably capable of synthesising images which express the nature and quality of emotions
locked in our unconscious. These images are often expressed through dreams but can also be
accessed through the creative arts including storywriting.

Often people ask ‘How does Therapeutic Storywriting work?’ I reply that it works in the
same way as drama therapy or art therapy – by bringing ‘unconscious’ feelings into
awareness and playing with them through the creative process of making a story.

Dr Trisha Waters