chapter  20
“Interplaying”
Pages 31

As a clinician and “narratologist” I use many text-based exercises-both written and oral-to access and help revise diffi cult client stories. Th is chapter focuses on the experiential harvesting of spoken text, employing a technique that I call interplaying. Originally trained as a playwright, I developed interplaying as an accessible way of extending and reframing client material dialogically, allowing our two voices (client and clinician) to safely and fl uidly create an illuminating “play-of-words” together. Anyone who has ever attempted to implement chair work, inviting the client to place a troubling character from their lives into an empty chair in the room and then having them speak a sometimes painful and long-held truth to this invisible presence (Perls, 1969), has probably encountered the diffi culty of getting clients to comfortably drop into this kind of experiential monologue. I’ve found this to be particularly true of the bereaved, who are facing a loved one’s newly emptied chair daily. When the clinician joins in the playmaking, and leads and follows with attunement, interplays can beautifully help to create the climate for this kind of exploration, because the client feels that you are in it together.