I am offering a couple of examples based on actual sketches I have used in session. All of the content has been changed, of course, to honour my clients’ confidentiality. Click here to see examples of illustrations used in counselling sessions.
My client came in saying she was really feeling “the blues.” After hearing her describe what was happening for her I quickly drafted up this diagram with her:
Next we started to explore possible factors that lead to her feeling of “the blues.” We outlined them as such, with factors and feelings recorded.
Next we turned the discussion to what she thought might help her come out of “the blues” or what had helped in the past.
While this exercise was by no means conclusive, nor did it help move her from a general propensity for feeling periods of “the blues,” she did take the diagram with her and referred to it over the course of time to remind herself of not only contributing factors but also the steps that could alleviate some of her suffering.
Here is a second diagram, similar to the first but used to help a client understand an angry outburst he had had at work that had left him extremely unsettled and distraught. He referred to the incident as “the explosion.”
We worked through the same steps as above to arrive at this diagram.
Note that the session lead to the client wondering about his drinking and highlighting that as a potential issue to get curious about and explore in another session.