Background to my interest in teaching children with autism

PSYCHOTHERAPY BEYOND THE FRINGE, continued

Then the task was changed. She was asked to picture scenes from her possible past and future, and to locate where she saw them. In this way, she established her ‘time-line’ as running right through her from the past, which was behind her, to the future out in front of her. She was asked to float way up above her time line, and drift back until she was over the time when the accident might have taken place. Over the place, way above her ‘time-line’, she was asked to construct a movie theatre in which she was seated looking at a big screen with a still picture of herself on it.

Now she was asked to leave herself sitting in the theatre and to drift up into the projection room above her. She was to look down through a hole in the projection room at herself sitting below in the theatre. She was to keep looking at herself in the theatre below to watch how the she in the theatre reacted and felt while the movie she had just made was being projected on the theatre screen. The movie was to be played through rather quickly in black-and-white and then to be rewound at fast speed in colour – so that everything would be happening backwards.

She said that the ‘she’ down in the theatre had been quite uncomfortable. She was asked to repeat the quick black-and-white forward and the fast-reverse rewind in colour, except that this time the she in the theatre should be moving her eyes back and forth from one edge of the screen to the other while the film was running. She reported no discomfort in herself either in the projection booth or in the theatre. She then drifted down to the seat beside herself in the theatre and, still watching herself in the theatre to see how she reacted, ran the film in the same way, forwards and backwards. She reported some discomfort again. She repeated the procedure several times from that perspective while the she that she was watching in the theatre moved her eyes back and forth again. She reported no discomfort at all. To be certain, this step was repeated a few more times.

She was asked to drift back into herself and to watch the film herself while it was played forward and backward as before and she moved her eyes back and forth across the screen. She said she experienced no discomfort in this task. She was asked to repeat the task several times. Then she was asked to drift up into the movie and to become the driver while it was played forward and back as before. She reported no discomfort in several runs through the movie. Felicity asked her to role up the screen, close down the theatre, and return above her time-line to the present and drift down again into the present. She was asked if she enjoyed the game. She said she did.

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