From Once Upon a Time to Dear Diary: A Narrative of Storytelling, Therapeutic Games and Third Hand Art Making

by Evie Dunville

The intern explored the creative process of an adolescent client as they collaborated to develop a book. Considering the client as the protagonist and her personal narrative as the antagonist the art therapy intern used Gustav Freytag’s ‘pyramid of dramatic structure’ to break down the events of a therapeutic process into the parts of a story; exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. The story is written in first person to reflect how the intern used a feminist and narrative approach to support the client to overcome the obstacles in the writing process. Employed as a spontaneous storytelling device, a therapeutic board game facilitated the client’s transition from writing fiction to creating a narrative of her life experience as she revealed the poignant dialogue of the inner turmoil of a difficult experience. The value of having this experience witnessed and reflected was made evident as the client and intern co-created to illustrate the rich metaphorical language of the narrative by third hand art making.