Introducing The World of Trains by Gali Salpeter – This unique train-themed set contains 50 illustrated cards and 50 story cards, accompanied by a professional guidebook detailing suggestions for individual and group sessions.
Gali shares with us her reasoning behind developing this exciting NEW set of therapeutic cards for healthcare professionals.
How and why these are developed?
I am an expressive therapist (M.A.) with specialization in drama and narrative therapy. My background is in psychology, sociology and anthropology and I am always fascinated with the ways in which these fields interact. I have been fortunate enough to live in different countries and work with inspiring children, in settings of individual therapy and group therapy.
I like to travel… Each station along the path of my life has had valuable lessons to teach me. I enjoy discovering new environments, studying them and finding my own way of being and becoming along their fixed rails and wild landscapes.
I also respect the power of narratives, both those built word by word within and – the ones told by others. Narratives are carried by the wind around us and I try to open myself to listen to them.
These are the grounds from which “The world of trains” set has grown and developed. “The world of trains” set is a psychological tool designed for facilitating, enriching and supporting therapeutic work with children. The set includes a deck of projective cards and a deck of story cards, as well as a professional encompassing guidebook.
The visual and metaphorical channels of expression, combined with the verbal and imaginary channel provided by the two decks – enrich the modes of communication offered to the client and to the therapist.
The client-child can thus choose whether to express her/himself verbally, to work through a visual mode or (as often happening naturally-) to combine the two.
The projective therapeutic space provided by the theme of an imaginary world of trains, which is shared by carriages and engines of different types, enables the client to get to know issues from his own world better and to share and process them with the therapist in a safe, metaphorical arena.
It is the flow between working therapeutically in the layer of the imaginary and working in the layer of reality that adds value to the therapeutic process.
The theme of the set – a world of personified trains – was chosen as it holds images and metaphors that can easily apply to issues children cope with daily.
Why these are different from everyone else’s card resources? What is their unique selling point?
The set is a rich and useful resource which contains a deck of 50 illustrated cards, a deck of 50 story cards and a professional guidebook for therapists. Three professional tools for therapists in one kit ! As such it is unique.
The deck of projective cards contains 50 images of carriages and engines, where each card can be worked with as a single stimuli. In addition, when the child puts one card next to the other, it creates an image of a train. The train and the cards composing it can represent a situation, a place, a feeling, an event or a group of people from the client´s life.
The deck of story cards contains the beginnings of stories told by different carriages. The client can work with the story cards, either in combination with the illustrated cards or separately.
The professional guidebook describes methods for working with the cards in settings of individual therapy and group therapy. These suggestions are organized according to relevant themes, such as: relationships and groups in different areas of the child´s life, strengths, difficulties, separation, transitions, issues within a family, coping with illness or death, aggressive behavior and violence, control, fears and more.
The set is a wonderful resource that can be used by mental health professionals from different fields according to their areas of expertise.
Tell me why you are so proud of them and how long they took to develop.
For the world of trains to develop and come to life – as with many meaningful journeys in our life – it needed time and space, involved building relationships and demanded many hours of working alone.
A couple of years of hard work went by before I managed to create the imaginary world I envisioned, a world where therapists and clients join and are enabled to embark together safely on meaningful journeys of their own…
Each illustration was carefully designed to address relevant issues that can be processed in therapy. The colors of the cards, the material, size and shape of each illustrated carriage, the relation between each carriage and its environment, as well as other objects and features in the cards, were all carefully and professionally controlled in order to address a wide area of themes and emotions. The result of these efforts will hopefully assist the clients working with the cards to deal with the issues they are dealing with.
The story cards were created one word at a time, with the goal of offering beginnings of stories that would both enable and encourage children to relate to, articulate and work with narratives from their own lives.
The numerous options of using the cards in therapy when working with children having different needs emerged in a flow of ideas stemming from my professional knowledge and experience. These suggestions for application were edited (and re-edited☺ ) to result in the broad and useful guidebook, which can stand as a valuable therapeutic resource on its own.
As in other adventures we embark on, there were obstacles along the way, stations that kept the train from moving forward or times when an engine or two had to halt or search for the right rails to follow.
Hence, when I hold the set now, with both hands… I feel and acknowledge its visual and thematic richness and the professional therapeutic value it contains. These were born and embedded in the stations and over the tracks, in the carriages and through the changing vistas of this world of trains.
I am proud of this set. I would like to believe that the future inhabitants of this world of trains, be it passengers or drivers, by-passers, clients or therapists – will benefit from exploring its landscape and find their own trails and stations along it.
Please use it with respect, responsibility and sensitivity, for with these it was created.
From the bottom of my heart and mind, I wish you a safe and fruitful journey.