Buttons & Stone Therapy

Traditional talking therapy involves contact with the emotions within the person as well as with the intellect as this is what we all use to process new ideas.

Sometimes, however, the emotional core of an issue is hard to reach; sometimes the intellect prevents us from getting to the core of the matter. It defends the vulnerable emotional part of us very efficiently and often without even being aware of it. This is great for our survival through tough emotional times but, if there is damage there, we do well to gently access that damage and begin to heal it.

The use of stones and other objects can help to overcome their defence reactions. Shifting the focus from interacting with the therapist, I will ask my client to choose an object to represent significant people in their life connected with the issue or to represent thoughts and feelings. Each object is placed in the sand or on a hard surface by the client. Usually, this is done in silence; while the client goes through this process contemplatively.

When the choosing and placing of the objects is complete, the client and therapist can literally see the problem in a different way. Relationships between the objects – whatever they signify – can provide surprising insights as can the choice of the objects themselves. People usually need very little input from the therapist to explain what they have done and to draw new conclusions about the situation they face.

This kind of work doesn’t appeal to everyone and I’m careful to ask my clients if they would like to try it if we think it might be helpful to them. It’s absolutely ok if they don’t want to, for whatever reason.

Usually, though, people are keen to have a go once the relationship between is client/counsellor is established and they know we’re not suggesting something wacky just for the sake of it.

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