How to use Roads
Choosing one card :
The user chooses a card in order to describe, represent or answer a question s/he is dealing with. For example: “Which card can describe a new path you would like to take?” Another example: “Choose a card to represent the current phase in your life journey” (or; in your motherhood/career/ rehabilitation/etc.)
Choosing and combining several cards (“A Continuum”) :
The user chooses a few cards in order to describe different phases of a process. S/he places them one next to the other so that they form one long road (i.e. the whole process). For example: the user is invited to choose three cards to symbolize his/her childhood, adolescence and adulthood. By joining the three cards, a visual and thematic ‘life-continuum’ is created and can be further observed and processed in the session.
Combining cards chosen by different users :
Cards chosen by each one of the members (in a group) are combined into one road-continuum in order to represent situations or processes in the group or family. For example: each member is invited to choose a card to express “Things that restrain your personal journey in the group” and to put it next to another member’s chosen card. A long road is thus formed, which reflects the prevailing inhibitions upon the progress of the group, at the given time.
Working with /observation/comparison between road-continuums built by the same user :
The user builds several road-continuums in order to represent and deal with an issue in her/his life. For example: “On one continuum describe your relationship with your father and on a second continuum describe your relationship with your mother – before, during and following your diagnosis”. (3+3 cards chosen)
Working with/observation/comparison between road-continuums built by different users :
Users or clients in a marital, family or group therapy session build separate road-continuums dealing with a common topic. For example: each member in a family therapy chooses and joins three cards according to the instructions: 1st “What was your life like before the parents’ divorce?”, 2nd “How did you feel during the period of divorce?” and 3rd “Which card can symbolize your situation now?”
Observation, interventions and further therapeutic work can follow the choice of cards and the construction of continuums. Adding objects or words to symbolize thoughts, feelings and characters connected to the different phases of the process as well as using story telling, drawing or acting techniques – are mere examples.
Multiple ideas and applications can be found in, and adjusted easily from “The River guide book”(a part of “The River” set, not included in this box)
The person leading the work is responsible for applying the deck in a way that suits the age, ability and state of the clients/users, the issues they are dealing with and the goals of the work.
I would like to thank Natasa Nedelkova and Viktorija Poposka; the Macedonian artists who painted the cards and Shani Hen-Marom for painting cards 57, 58, 59. Working with you was an important and fruitful process. Some of the paintings were later processed in the computer.
© Gali Salpeter. 2014