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Using the Virtual Tool with clients

Updated: Dec 6, 2023



Making a BioGraff is instantly clarifying. But how do you use the BioGraffs method with your remote clients, short of having them buy their own set (good idea!)?


Did you know we have a FREE online virtual tool? You get all the benefits of externalization and thinking things through slowly, and creating a visual that is shareable... but online!


Simply send you client a link to https://www.biograffs.com/tool and tell them to open it on a desktop, laptop, or ipad (not a phone). Making a BioGraff is so unique that at first people might be puzzled. But as soon as they start to do it, it starts to becomes clear. So the first thing I would say when you're trying to explain it to people is reassure them that that's going to be the case and just trust the process. It's such a different way of thinking about things, so set their expectation to be confused to just go with it and take it step by step.


When they first go to the tool online, they will see a quick step step by step illustration that will be helpful them to get their bearings, or to get an idea of what they're going to do.


And the steps are, first, what's the story you're going to tell? They'll click to T for title, and input their title. They can change it later if they want.


I think it helps people to think of that in terms of a title. You might think of it as a prompt, and you'll let the work you are doing with your client guide your suggestion of what they should focus on.


You can find lots of ideas here but here are a few to illustrate:

  • What's important to me

  • A Day as Depressed Me

  • A Recent Anxiety Attack

  • An Ideal Day With My Partner

  • Me In My Family As A Child

  • What Gives Me Resiliance

  • My Feelings About Food

  • What Happened In This Traumatic Event

  • What I Have Now and What I Would Like To Have In My Relationship

  • A Typical Argument and How It Goes

  • My Brain In A Social Situation


Titles like these get people thinking in terms of storytelling. They are going to regard this experience, or feeling, or values, or event as outside themselves and try to creatively express relationships and metaphorical connections. They are going to slow down and think about this one lived experience and what it is as an internal story for them.


The next step is to start thinking of the parts of it. What are the things that are part of the story they are going to tell? Or what are the parts of this experience that are meaningful to it?These things might be feelings, thoughts, people, something somebody said, actions, objects, abstractions, moods, things that happened or might happen... anything. You're just dragging a cube color onto the pallette, and typing in a few words for what that color represents. They don't need to say much -- just enough to remind them of the whole tapestry of meaning connected to that one part.


Once that's accomplished, then they're in a position to start playing with the squares and moving them around, dragging more squares onto the palette, and arranging them in meaningful ways.


At that at that point, I think it's really helpful to see other examples of what these can look like. They can scroll down to the bottom of the page and see a gallery of examples of what other people have done. They kind of just browse through those and can get an idea of how different they can look and what you can do with them.


Then they will build their BioGraff. Many people gravitate toward spatial metaphors as they are arranging the squares, indicating by how squares are arranged in relation to other squares how those two things relate in their lives and experiences.


When they're done, they can find the button that says finish, and they could go download to their desktop the picture of their BioGraff, and then they can email that to you so you can talk about it in your next session.


Once you see what someone has done, it will be easy to see how they can talk about it. In a session you could be looking at their the BioGraff they sent you. They could be looking at it and telling you about it.


If they have in-person sessions, remaking the BioGraff they made online with an actual BioGraff Mag Plus set can be enormously helpful.


Once you see the story that somebody is trying to tell visually, it'll be obvious to you what the questions are to probe what their meaning is. Let them first tell you the story of what their image is communicating, and say more about what each square represents. They might say something like, "Well, on the right there's green, and that's the thing that triggers this feeling in my body. That's this thing, that event and then these cubes mean.... etc" You might ask questions then such as "I see you used a lot of red. What does that mean? I see you've put these squares above this other square or you surrounded this square with these other squares. What do you mean by that?


And it might also be at that point you'll think, well, what if you re-made this BioGraff, and you changed one thing. What If after that triggering event you did ten deep breaths -- can you add that as a cube and then see how it unfolds differently or something?


If this is a BioGraff of where they are now in their life and experience, could they remake it at using the same key showing where they would hope to be or where they hope to go?


Now that they understand this tool, they can use it in the future for anything that seem complex and hard to talk about or explain to someone else.


Subscribe to this blog for more ideas for using the BioGraffs method!


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