DRAW YOUR DIALOGUE - an interactive, visual counseling method
Draw your Dialogue is an interactive, visual counseling method for psychologists, occupational therapists, special education teachers, student coaches, remedial teachers, and coaches of adults, teens and children (from about seven years of age). It was created and developed by Adinda de Vreede. The method is very successful in the Netherlands, Adinda's home country.
Though the method was not specifically developed for those on the autism spectrum or with ADHD, ADD, giftedness or mental disabilities, the method is proving to be very helpful for such clients. Individuals with chaotic or associative thinking styles can also profit from visually supported dialogues.
Draw your Dialogue can support and visualize all sorts of methods and can be used in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy, and with methods such as RET and NLP.
Draw your Dialogue offers counselors a concrete and visual means for a structured discussion of the problem owner’s behavior or thoughts. The thoughts milling through the problem owner’s mind are written down one by one, and faced in that way. Events, remarks and feelings are visualized on paper using the appropriate colors.
IN DRAW YOUR DIALOGUE WE USE COLORS:
RED is used for “not nice”, “undesirable” and “not helpful”.
ORANGE is used for “not very nice”, “slightly undesirable” and “not very helpful”.
GREEN is used for “nice”, “desirable” and “helpful”.
BLUE is used for “neutral” and “action”.
AND WE USE SYMBOLS:
Draw your Dialogue is based on various methods and theories:
RET: Rational Emotive Therapy, developed by dr. Albert Ellis, an American behavior therapist. RET departs from the following premise: “It is not the incidents themselves that cause people to get upset, but their beliefs about the incidents.” The RET method distinguishes two types of beliefs: effective (rational) and ineffective (irrational) beliefs, which are also often called helpful and non-helpful thoughts.
NLP: Neuro-linguistic Programming, which was developed by John Grinder and Richard Bandler. This method, too, works to reprogram your thoughts about a situation. In addition, NLP studies why success happens. What are the thoughts of people who are not bothered when success is not immediate? What do they do? What skills do they use to think, feel and act differently? Or: what did you do when you succeeded in controlling your anger? And what were you thinking? NLP assumes that people never “just do” something. There is always a reason. It is important to find out why people think what they think and do what they do. What is their intention? And can you also attain that intention by acting or thinking differently?
The Option Method, which was created by Bruce Di Marsico in USA, in 1970. I learned this method in The Netherlands with Karen Gerritsen. The Option Method is a nonjudgmental, logical and effective verbal questioning technique. The questions are intended to invite the problem owner to take the lead in finding what is at the root of his problem. And so, the first question the mentor asks is: "What would you like to explore?"
Some of the templates we use in Draw your Dialogue are directly derived from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This is a psycho-social intervention and an evidence-based practice for improving mental health. Guided by empirical research, CBT focuses on the development of personal coping strategies for solving current problems and changing unhelpful patterns in cognition's (e.g. thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes), behaviors, and emotion regulation.