A Visual Thinker

During sessions with David Goodwin, he shared a real case story with us. The story was about John, an 11-year-old boy, who had gone through hard times in his family. His father rejected him and told John that he didn’t love John. His father disliked him for no reasons and told him in his face that he only loved John’s brother and sister. John became a very hard child to taking care of. His mother had seek help from numbers of psychologists and counselors, until his pastor rang David and asked him to fly to Australia … to help John overcome his bad behaviors.

John had been diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder). One characteristic of ADHD child is a fact that he is a visual thinker. He can grab the essence of a story or explanation when it is visually transferred. It will be hard for a child like John to understand something abstracts.

So, David did what he had to be done. He flew to Australia for 4 days of staying. He arranged a double sessions for each of those 4 days. Each session was 1.5 hours. It was not something easy to do, both for David as a counselor and also for John, because with a child, each counseling session usually goes for only 45 minutes.

After a few session (3 or 4), David started to get the grip of John. He told John a story about an almost-sinking boat. The boat represented John himself. He drilled his own boat using a drill and created a lot of holes. That’s why his boat was almost sinking. His mother, youth pastor and children pastor working hard to close the holes. Meanwhile, at the same time, he kept on drilling on his boat. So, he’s still the same an almost-sinking boat. When David asked John about what can he do to stop making holes, John said, ‘I can snap the power drill!’

John was able to understand at an instance of how this analogy worked for him. He knew that he had to snap the power drill in order to help himself (and focusing on himself) of not being sinking. He knew that he had the power to change and living a better life.

The rest of the session went well. John was able to told his whole life’s story through drawing and and sharing. All the counselor need to be done is having a heart to listen to any stories that may come up during sessions. Sometimes the story is just out of our imagination, but it happens everywhere.

So, I learned another lesson…

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