Part 3 of our day with Dimples.
After lunch we gathered with a group of families to do an activity called “Family Sculptures.” The basic idea is that one person physically arranges the people in their family into a sculpture that symbolizes their perception of how the family members relate to one another. I can’t share any details about other families’ sculptures, but it was fascinating to see how a parent would arrange the family, and then a child would arrange the family. Or sometimes the therapist would guide them to arrange the family members as they are now, and then follow with arranging them in the way they would like their family to be.
Nobody had every member of their family present, so they chose others in the group to stand-in for a sibling or parent. Dimples got to represent a sister in a few family sculptures, which probably helped her to stay engaged with the exercise. It was fascinating to see how people arranged their families – were they close or separated by distance? Were some of them gathered together while one or two people were separated and turned away? Were their arms reaching toward one another or crossed?
Time ran out before we got to do our sculpture, but Dimples clearly thought about it and the next day she was able to draw a representation of her sculpture in our therapy session. That drawing was very profound in helping us to “see” how she perceives herself in our family. She was able to express her thoughts better than ever before.
Following the family group, we gathered on the lawn for an all-campus kickball game. The one caveat was that parents and kids had to hold hands while we played. Dimples did not like this at all and was clearly unhappy, but once the game really got going, she began to have fun and the irritability faded away. It was a really good time with Dimples – we all laughed, ran the bases, and she made a fabulous catch getting another family out (we did let go of one another’s hands to let her catch the ball!).
The last part of the day was spent relaxing outside visiting with other families followed by a very yummy dinner the cottage counselors cooked. We spent most of our time visiting with another mom that we’ve gotten to know on previous visits. Dimples came and went – shooting some hoops and then checking back in, talking with friends, then returning to us. She even brought two of her friends over to meet us, which was extremely unusual and encouraging. It felt strangely “normal” and appropriate for a nearly 12 year-old girl.
Happy Thursday, friends. I’ll wrap this up tomorrow (hopefully).