Just when you think that you've got your attachment therapist all figured out... just when you begin to feel comfortable with their "predictability"... they have to go and catch you offguard by introducing something entirely new to a therapy session.
Like the day that Joe pulled the container of bubbles off the shelf. I have to admit that I was watching with great interest to see exactly what kind of new tricks Joe had up his sleeve. Imagine my surprise when he told me that we were "all" going to play a new game. "Oh no!" I thought to myself. Now, if I was a really vocal person, I would have cleared my throat at that point and motioned for Joe to step out into the hallway with me. I might have said something like, "I'm actually kind of tired of playing games with my son today Joe. I'm somewhat annoyed with him... and I'm really not in the mood to play any more games. Why don't you just play with him... and I'll "watch" you guys instead." But, being the really polite person that I am... I just sat there smiling... and trying to pretend that I was interested in being a part of this new game of his.
Joe began to explain the rules to us. My son was going to do some "Strong Sitting" in the middle of the floor... Joe was going to start blowing bubbles... and "I" was going to tell my son when he could get up... and what body part he was going to use to pop the bubbles. When all the bubbles were popped, my son would sit back down and wait for me to give him more instructions. Sounded quite simple to me. "Yes," I thought to myself... "He's not going to make me stand up and do something really embarrasing in front of both of them. Okay, I can handle this."
So... my son sits down on the floor... legs crossed... hands folded in his lap... back straight... and Joe begins filling the room with bubbles. At first the game appeared to be pretty easy. I instructed my son to rise and pop the bubbles with his elbow... his index finger... his knee... etc. "Okay.. this is very easy," I thought to myself. Well, that was until I discovered that as the game went on... you begin to run out of body parts. : ) So... I started using left hand... right ear... etc. It was then that I discovered that my son didn't know the difference between his right and his left. Interesting that I didn't know that before. So... my son was getting a little frustrated with the game... and I was getting a little frustrated because Joe kept blowing bubbles faster than I could think up new body parts. Things started getting a little silly as I began instructing my son to pop the bubbles with his butt... his tongue... etc. Sometimes I was at an absolute loss for what to say next... and just sat there saying nothing... as they both stared at me... waiting for me to call out the next command. In the end... my son was laughing... Joe was laughing... and believe it or not... I was even laughing... which was kind of nice considering the kind of day that we had before we walked into Joe's office.
Then Joe took it a step further as he sat my son down and gently tapped back and forth on each of his shoulders (EMDR)... and calmly said things like, "It makes us feel really good when we follow directions." Then he would stop... and we'd go right back to playing the game again. The really amazing thing about this "bubble game" was that both my son and I were much more relaxed when we left Joe's office that day Sometimes I think that we just get so stressed out with our day to day struggles, that we forget to stop and take the time to have a little fun with our kids. Or... sometimes we're just so angry at them that we don't even want to have fun with them. Thank God... The Little Prince and I have Joe in our lives... "forcing us" to stop every once in a while and share a laugh or a smile... whether we actually want to or not.