Saturday, June 1, 2013
Sculpture Design Worksheet
Sculpture is a role-play that helps you deal with unfinished business, especially a lingering, intrusive memory of a painful event. You get to attach a new, positive memory to the traumatic one that is stuck in your head and heart. It is also very powerful to have people support and validate your experience. During sculpture, your core self may take in much more of the support and caring than when simply talking about it.
• Our sculptures are about good things that we wish would have happened. The sculpture is NOT about the trauma or painful event itself.
• Choose a sculpture that is manageable for you. You need to feel safe when it’s over. We are here to
help each other, but remember that no one is acting as a therapist.
• If too many feelings are coming up as a result of your work, you have many choices for dealing with them. Go somewhere that you feel safe, ask a safe person to talk with you, take a walk, comfort your inner child, ask for comfort from another, or any other healthy coping techniques that you are familiar with.
• We do not criticize or judge anyone’s sculpture.
• The facilitator(s) may step in to help keep a sculpture safe, or to help others get a turn.
1. The sculptor reads what they wrote on their Sculpture Design Guide.
2. The sculptor can ask specific people if they will play certain roles. (asking in advance is encouraged)
3. If the sculptor doesn’t know who they want to play what roles, they can ask for volunteers right before the role-play begins.
4. Before starting the role-play, the role players will introduce themselves as “Hello my name is , and
I’ll play your mother/father/whatever.”
5. After each sculpture, the role players will re-introduce themselves as “Hello my name is , and I’m not your mother/father/whatever.”
6. If the sculptor desires, the group members can express support and positive feedback for what the sculptor had done. This time is purely for the sculptor. Time for sharing your own feelings, stories, etc. will be available at the end of each round of sculptures.
Example 1: “Sue” remembers her mother pretending nothing was happening when her father was abusing her. In the sculpture, Sue’s mother walks into the room, confronts him (Sue’s father is played by a pillow/object), tells him to get out, tells her what happened was wrong, that it wasn’t her fault, and that it won’t happen again. As a result, Sue felt heard, loved and taken care of.
Example 2: “John” remembers telling his parents that a big kid at school was bullying him and threatening to hurt him. His parents dismissed him and told him to “just ignore it”. In the sculpture, John tells his “parents” that he’s scared this bully is going to hurt him. They believe him, call the kids parents, keep John safe, and report the student to the school principal. As a result, John feels heard, loved, supported, important and safe.
Example 3: “Jane” decided she didn’t want to address a memory directly, so she did a sculpture of her telling her inner child that she loved her, understood her, and would take care of her. Everyone else supported her quietly.
Sculpture Design Guide
This worksheet is to help you to create the most positive experience for yourself and be more fully prepared. The role-plays we do in our sculptures are about those good and helpful things that we wish would have happened. The sculpture is NOT about the traumatic experience itself. We ask that you not include physical or verbal violence in the sculpture.
1. Think of a childhood experience that still hurts when you think about it. Write down the general outlines of what happened.
2. What painful beliefs and feelings stuck with you from that experience?
3. Think of a much more positive and healthy ending to that experience.
What positive beliefs and feelings do you wish you’d had from the experience?
What would you have liked to have been done for you and/or said to you that would have been nurturing and supportive? Who would be the best ones to say and do these things?
It’s OK to think about miraculous events such as people saying things they never could have said, or angels helping, etc. If it’s hard to think of these things, think of how the most precious child you can think of should have been treated after such an event.
4. What positive roles would you like others to play during your sculpture?
Would it be helpful for someone to play a repentant family member, a rescuing family member, a supportive friend or a rescue worker?
(No one is allowed to play the role of a “bad person” – use a pillow or other object if necessary. The closest is someone who hurt you once, or did not help, and who, in the sculpture, is totally repentant, apologetic and nurturing.)
5. What do you need to hear or have done from each role-player?
Do you want to hear from each person in a particular order?
Are there specific phrases you want to hear from specific roles?
6. What reassurance-gaining questions would this wounded part of you want to ask to the characters in your role-play?
E.g., Do you really love me? Am I good? Did I deserve that bad treatment? Do not ask accusatory questions, as we don’t want to trigger the role-players.
7. What words, phrases, actions, etc., do you NOT want said or done?
8. How would you like the physical space to be set up? E.g., in the middle of a circle or with a wall behind you?
In chairs or sitting on the floor? Think of what will make you feel most comfortable.