Research Publications

“A Novel Visual Tool to Assist Therapy Clients’ Narrative and to Disclose Difficult Life Events: The Life Story Board”

 María Fernanda Medina-Munoz, Rob Chase, Kerstin Roger, Carla Loeppky, Javier Mignone, 2016

Journal of Systemic Therapies, Vol. 35, No. 1, 2016, pp. 21–38 

This article describes an innovative play board and kit called the Vidaview Life Story Board (LSB) that combines features of the genogram, eco-map, and timeline for use with therapy clients. The goal of this study was to explore and understand the experience of clients and therapists during and after therapy sessions using the LSB, with particular focus on the disclosure of difficult life events. The LSB is a visual interview tool that uses a colorful board, sets of cards, markers, and a notation system to construct a multidi- mensional view of a person’s life situation. The board facilitates the “translation” of narrative life stories into a “life-scape representation” through a process of co-construction between the client and the therapist. Methods: The study took place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in 2013 and involved the staff of a counseling program in a non-profit community health center that provides services to inner city residents. Clients were mostly newcomer Canadians, First Nations, and Métis. The study collected qualitative data in interviews and focus groups from clients (n = 7) and therapists (n = 8). Findings: Clients created a visual representation of their difficult life events and experiences in an organized way in a process of co-construction with the therapists, achieving effective communication. Its contrast to other visual methods used in psychotherapy was reviewed. The LSB facilitated clients’ disclosure and gave them personal relief by depicting a number of factors that affected their lives. However, further research with a larger number of participants is required to better understand the process by which the LSB, as a visual tool, assists clients and therapists during sessions.

Read the full article here.

“The Life Story Board: A Feasibility Study of a Visual Interview Tool for School Counsellors”

Robert M. Chase, María Fernanda Medina, Javier Mignone, 2012

The Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, Volume 46, #3  August 2012

The study was a feasibility assessment of a prototype version of the Life Story Board with school counsellors in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada.  In this small qualitative study, six LSB-trained school counsellors held 20 sessions with newcomer immigrant students; methods included: series of user focus groups, session feedback forms and student follow up interviews. Results confirmed the process facilitated rapport and elicited useful information, and that LSB methods are suitable for assessment and interventions common to schools.

Read the full article here.

Abstract

The article describes the findings of a pilot study of the Life Story Board (LSB), a novel visual information system with a play board and sets of magnetic cards designed to be a practical clinical tool for counsellors, therapists, and researchers. The LSB is similar to a multidimensional genogram, and serves as a platform to depict personal narrative information and catalyze verbal and nonverbal approaches in assessment and therapy. A prototype version of the LSB was pilot-tested to assess its clinical feasibility for school counsellors in Winnipeg, Manitoba, working for the most part with newcomer immigrants. Results confirmed that the visual participatory process facilitated rapport with students and elicited useful information. LSB methods may be well suited to assessment and interventions common to schools and in diverse therapeutic and assessment applications.

 

“Life Story Board: A Tool in the Prevention of Domestic Violence”

R. Chase, J. Mignone, L. Diffey, 2010
Pimatisiwin Journal of Aboriginal and Indigenous Community Health, Volume 8, #2

Abstract

The high rate of domestic violence in Aboriginal communities points to the need to explore new ways of understanding how this violence occurs in its context and to seek new and creative ways of preventing the perpetuation of this vicious cycle. The Life Story Board (LSB) is a game board with sets of cards, markers, and a notation system with which to construct a visual representation of someone’s life experience at personal, family, and community levels. Initially invented as an interview tool in an expressive art program for war-affected children, the LSB has broader potential for use by those working with youth, adults, and families in a variety of contexts, and as a tool for program evaluation and applied research. This article describes LSB methods and how they may apply in the context of Canadian First Nations, Inuit, and Métis community efforts to respond to, understand, and prevent domestic violence.

“The Life Story Board: Pictorial Assessment Methods
for Canadian School Counsellors”

R. Chase, J. Mignone and M.F. Medina, 2010

Final Report to the Winnipeg School Division of the 2010 study of the feasibility of Life Story Board methods for use by school counsellors  and social workers in newcomer immigrant students. The project was funded by University of Manitoba University Research Grants Program


Butterfly Peace Garden, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka

  • Book excerpt  about the Butterfly Peace Garden’s approach to healing
    and the ‘Amma Appa Game’  –  the early version of the Life Story Board (10 pages)
    BPG-2000-Excerpt.pdf

Pilot testing Life Story Board methods with War Child Canada
in Northern Uganda (February 2007)

“The Life Story Board: a pictorial approach to psychosocial interviews of children in difficult circumstances”

R Chase, 2008

[written as a monograph based on a presentation at the May 16-17, 2008 Conference on War, Immigration and Trauma, CPAD/ Child Psychotherapies Program, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto Ontario]