22 Chapters
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CHAPTER NINE: Only if They'll Meet with You

Davies, Hilary A. Karnac Books ePub

The trainee returned the next week, obviously bursting to talk.

“Sit down and tell me what's been happening,” the therapist soothed as soon as she opened the door.

“Well, this week I saw a new family who I knew had attended many different agencies and were generally thought to be a pretty difficult case, a really difficult family” she blurted immediately, and looked at the therapist anxiously.

“Right, the family came with a bit of a reputation and you may have felt a bit apprehensive?”

“A bit! I felt terrified. I wondered how I was expected to do anything to help, when all these other agencies presumably had not been able to.”

“Yes, I can see that that was probably a little daunting. Tell me what happened.”

Well, what happened was that I received a phone call from the mother in response to my letter of appointment. She said that the family did not want family therapy, that they had had it a number of times before and had found it did not help; in fact, it made things worse as it was so upsetting.

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Davies, Hilary A. Karnac Books ePub

“It seems that we are talking about creation, nurture, and development and not about formats and frameworks” the trainee began, without a pause, in the therapist's room exactly one week later.

“Yes?” there was more than a hint of query in the 3-Point Therapist's response.

Theory, the theory that we were discussing last week, when I told you about Dorothea, I was thinking after-wards that theory can be limiting and constraining, constricting even, but it can also be expansive and illuminating and creative, when it is used in the proper way”

“And what seems to you to be the ‘proper way?”

“It seems to me that we cannot go in to see our clients with theory as a format or a famework that determines our practice.

“I was thinking that it's a bit like growing plants, flowers fom seed. You have the ingredients, you have the soil, maybe well fertilized, you prepare your pots, and you sow your seeds. And then you nourish them regularly, maybe check on them fom time to time, but you trust that the seed will eventually in its own way develop and sprout. If I want to be the best gardener that I can be, I must make my preparations well, sow my seeds carefully in the best possible environment, and look after them diligently. I cannot determine exactly how they will grow andblossom. But I note with interest and care what works well and what does not.”

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Davies, Hilary A. Karnac Books ePub

They settled into their chairs exactly one week later.

Suddenly and a little unexpectedly, the therapist began, “You have seen my cat, the small black cat who is often sitting outside when you come to the door?”

Yes, she's so sweet and friendly, I think you called her Millie?

“That's right. She was a stray, just decided to move in one day and has been here since. She is a very sweet cat, but she did arrive with a couple of very bad habits. I'll tell you a bit about one of them.”

Yes, fine,” the trainee replied briskly, feeling a bit unclear, but was sure that the story would be of interest.

“When Millie arrived here, she had a bit of a bad habit, the habit of scratching on the furniture. She scratched on a few pieces of furniture. This didn't matter too much, but the furniture she chose included a favourite chair of mine which had belonged to my grandmother. So I thought I must find a way of discouraging her as the chair was becoming a bit of a mess.”

“All cats do that, don't they?

“Yes, I think that they probably do. I really don't know, Millie is the first cat with whom I have become closely acquainted. Maybe some, most, or all other catsdo the same, I really wouldn't know. But back to Millie and her scratching …”

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CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Funny That/Funny This

Davies, Hilary A. Karnac Books ePub

When she met again with the 3-Point Therapist exactly one week later, the trainee was pleased but confused.

I thought a lot more about the Barker family and the meeting of which I told you last week. It seemed that all I really did was ask them a couple of questions and gain information about them and what they had already done”

“And?” queried the therapist simply.

Well, what happened then was that they told me that their real problem was that they had never agreed between them on how to manage their son's behaviour, though they seemed to me to have tried everything. There was nothing that I could add and again I felt pretty useless and helpless.

“How do you think the parents were feeling?”

They told me that they had been feeling completely useless and helpless. Funny that, I seemed to have been feeling the same as them.”

“Yes, funny that, but maybe useful information, do you think?”

Yes, maybe” replied the trainee slowly and thoughtfully.

“So what do you think happened in the session?”

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CHAPTER SIXTEEN: . . . And the Balls

Davies, Hilary A. Karnac Books ePub

“So now, then, you can go on and teach Millie more and more things using the same method” the trainee offered eagerly, returning to the story of the cat as soon as she had sat down into her comfortable chair exactly one week later.

“You could teach her almost anything”

“What exactly did you have in mind?” enquired the therapist, seeming a little perplexed. “Could you give me an example or two?”

I think I can give several.” The trainee became enthusiastic, thinking ahead to transferring this conversation and this technique to her therapy sessions.

“In a similar way, you could teach her some tricks, teach her to …

The 3-Point Therapist stood up and went over to the mantelpiece just a few paces away. She picked up five or six small coloured juggling balls. She threw one gently to the trainee who caught it deftly and stood up as she saw another ball coming her way.

“Can you juggle with two balls?” the therapist asked, as she herself easily tossed two balls rhythmically into the air.

“Yes, I think so .” The trainee was again feeling a little perplexed, but had learnt to go with the flow and see what happened.”Yes, I am sure I can, it's not too difficult” and with some ease and more than a little concentration she juggled the two balls above her head for a few moments.

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