Taping: A playful method for working with internal and external relationships.
During the last couple of years, Taping has become a wide spread method used in both social work and psychiatric evaluation and treatment as well as in supervising. Through Taping’s concrete and visual representation of the client’s/family’s situation, a common focus for the psychotherapeutic conversation is developed.
Through Taping everyone involved in the session can see the situation being portrayed on the “stage”. This makes it easier to find and define new pathways and solutions to the problem in the therapeutic work.
In Taping the therapist allows the client/family to visually represent their social network, life situation, an internal or external conflict, or a traumatic event with the help of small, painted, wooden figures. These figures can be representations of the actual person or even representations of different “parts of self” within the client. The action takes place on the “stage” which has previously been defined by the therapist with tape on the table.
The therapist also participates in the action, using his own “alter-ego” doll and contributes to the play with dialogue, explanatory stories or by helping the other participants communicate and relate to each other in a better way. Through the various representations an “intermediate area” is created where the therapist and client see the problem areas clearly illustrated. Though this externalisation the client is free to adopt a different perspective, thereby opening the door for different solutions to the problems presented and represented.
Taping can be used to illustrate both internal and external problems. Through the playful techniques described above the therapists can successively come closer to more difficult themes within the problem areas and help direct the client into finding concrete solutions. This playful visual representation is added to the verbal therapeutic conversation. It makes it easier for the client to give his or her narrative or description of the problem situation and to find means, through playful experimentation, to solve the problems and reach the desired goals.
Taping is especially useful in treating PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and traumatic experiences.
Taping is an appropriate technique to use when words are insufficient. The visual representations reinforce the client’s narrative abilities. Taping liberates both the client’s and the therapist’s resources and creativity.