All of the children in Create-An-Image Trauma Therapy use the Old Me New Me Relaxation Program which includes stories in the imagination. These stories are set in nature and are filled with imagery related to that nature scene. At times, my patients decide they want to create their own story which includes a trip into the imagination. The child decides how the negative emotions are released and how the positive emotions are received.
This story was created by an 8-year old female who was sexually abused when she was three years old. We will call her Susan, but of course, this was not her name. Susan identified her negative emotions as anger, sadness, and fear. She decided that she would choose blocks, like children’s blocks, to spell out the words of the negative emotions. She put the blocks into a large purse; she had a key on a braclett around her wrist. She said that she was going to go to a high rock overlooking the ocean and dive into the ocean. When she dove into the ocean she traveled through a tunnel where she became a mermaid. When she got to the bottom of the ocean she unlocked a treasure chest, placed the blocks in the chest, and locked the chest. Just as I finished reading the story to her, she suddenly said, "Now the light has overcome the darkness" and she smiled. This theme about overcoming evil or darkness is sometimes found in the children's pictures or, in this case, in a story.
Three of my patients came to therapy together and decided to write a story together. The story begins with the children walking on the beach when suddently Atlantis rises up from the sea like an intricate sand castle. The water rushes off the castle like bright, bronze water running down like a waterfall. They sit on the beach and look at Atlantis. The dolphins come and take each of the negative emotions out to sea as the children name them one by one. The sun brings down rays of light that become different colors for each of the positive emotions. The patients pick their positive emotions and pick the color of the light for each positive emotion. When the colored light comes down, it enters their body and flows into their brains, minds, hearts, bodies, and spirits. Again, one of the unique aspects of this therapy is that the patient picks the specific images and the colors of each light.