So what is 'Integral' Fairytale Counseling?
The fairytale counseling methodology that I'm using and continuously developing is called 'integral' fairytale counseling, and in it I blend different ideas and methods – in order to create a mixture that best serves the well-being, self-awareness and personal growth of all who come into contact with it. There are several reasons why I'm referring to my method as 'integral' fairytale counseling. So here's a non-exhaustive list of what this methodology integrates...
1. My method is built on the foundations of Integral Psychology. I use the integral framework in understanding the life stage of my client, the challenges, the potential next steps and ways to get there – and this enables me to offer the exact fairytale that's relevant to the client, the situation and the moment, to process it in a relevant way, etc.
2. The method integrates the old and the new: not only are the fairytales passed on from generation to generation, but the ancient fairytales here also meet innovative counseling techniques. We work with symbols and archetypes, and while doing so move and create art, participate in rituals, etc. We experience storytelling in the same way as countless generations before us - then blend that experience with techniques. Some of the specific methods are based on Marta Antalfai's jungian fairytale method, others from various counseling techniques I have come across during my training.
3. Through the symbolic language of fairytales, we help the subconscious integrate parts of the self that have earlier been neglected or repressed... when that prince or princess, witch or dragon appears in the story, it will always mirror a part of ourselves... and as the fairytale comes to balance and a happy conclusion, so will our soul feel inspired for new, constructive solutions.
4. The method integrates all regions of the world, as we work with fairytales from various cultures. I keep on challenging myself to find new fairytales from all parts of the world and present them to my clients and groups in relevant ways. One of the few things that unite us, humans, are fairytales, and in my opinion fairytales have the power to foster intercultural understanding and acceptance. That's why I find it important to help the further integration of the world and its cultures – one fairytale at a time.
5. I find it important that whatever we do in groups and in individual counseling, it should be of practical value to the participants: it should bring about positive change in their lives. That's why it is an important aspect of my approach to enable people to integrate the wisdom of the fairytales in their everydays, and I use practical methods to ensure just that.