Fairy Tales in Clinical Psychology

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Fairy tales are relevant in the field of clinical practice in several ways. The therapeutic value of fairy tales is important not only for children but adults as well. Like myths and legends, the fairy tale touches the most primitive parts of the psyche. Fairy tales help us open a window to the past, they provide a mirror to the present and they also present a vision of the future. Fairy tales help open a window to the past by revealing patterns of human behavior and focusing on human conflicts such as relationships or death. Like in real life, there are both problems and solutions in these tales along with a documented long history of human conflicts. Fairy tales open up our imaginations and also reach us on a deep emotional level by providing us with a mirror to the present. Fairy tales allow for serious discussion without intimate exposure, instead they provide gentle, non threatening ways of looking at issues that are difficult to face; such as death, medical issues, going bankrupt, and change in general. They also depersonalize human problems; this helps us evaluate our own feelings and thoughts rather than believing everything we are told. Fairy Tales also present a vision of the future by encouraging creative thinking. The tales help us find new solutions to age old problems. By rescripting our lives through tales we can establish a hope for the future. We can see other life situations and know it an always be worse or we can have that fairy tale ending by transforming our own lives. Through clinical practice we can open our imaginations and tell stories if we are not comfortable enough expressing them ourselves.
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