From Hole to Wholeness
This activity has been in the works for a few years. I'm excited to breathe life into this one, and I really hope that it helps facilitators and therapists in the mental health field as well as the clients they serve.
The idea for this activity began when I came across a unique photo of looking down into a deep dark hole. It made me think of all the phrases we use in everyday speech around, 'Digging myself a hole' or 'She's in a deep, dark place right now.' The metaphors are rich, but when you add photos to them, it adds a new level of realness.
So if you're the person in the hole, what does it look like from their perspective? What resources or solutions would you need to get out of the hole and work towards wholeness?
I created this double-sided tarp and unique card decks to help aid in this kind of discussion.
Along with the 3' double-sided tarp, it comes with three different card decks. One is common Medicators, one is Resources and Solutions, and one that is Hole to Wholeness Metaphor Cards.
Basic Instructions for Medicator Cards:
- Place the double-sided tarp face up on the Top-Down view looking into the hole on the table or floor.
- Spread the Medicator Cards out on a table. Decide whether you want participants to select the photo or the word.
- Invite participants to select a game piece and place it somewhere on the image of the hole.
- Ask participants to select the Medicators that they commonly use or have used.
- Instruct them to place the cards in proximity to their game piece to how important, how often, or how problematic it is in their life.
- An added point of discussion: Addictions vs Medicators – 10% of the US population meets the DSM for a severe substance use disorder, yet we are the most obese, medicated, in debt, lonely, disconnected cohorts in the history of the human race. Suicide, anxiety, depression, loneliness, and addictions are at an all-time high, while at the same time, we have the best resources for therapy in history.
Basic Instructions for Resources & Solutions Cards:
- Place the double-sided tarp face up on the Bottom-Up view looking up out of the hole on the table or floor.
- Spread the Resources & Solutions Cards out on a table. Decide whether you want participants to select the photo or the word.
- Invite participants to place their game pieces somewhere on the image.
- Explain that there is always a reason that you reach for a medicator. That is a need. Take away the mediator, and all you have is the need. The resource can be the replacement for your medications.
- Ask participants to select the Resources & Solutions topics that they are drawn towards or are open to trying.
- Instruct participants to place their chosen cards near their game pieces and discuss why they chose these strategies.
- Explain that recovery or healthy living is short-term pain for long-term pleasure. It requires doing things that are necessary to bring life back into balance. How can you utilize these resources and solutions to escape the dark hole?
From Hole to Wholeness Metaphor Cards Instructions:
- Invite participants to select one or more Top-Down view photos that speak to them or represent their story of what got them into a dark hole.
- Invite participants to select one or more Bottom-Up view photos that represent feelings of hope or their journey toward recovery.