Interviewing Formats for Children

You will find below interviewing instructions for both dreams and life issues in a format to use with children.

Interviewing children provides an exciting opportunity to save the next generation from years of needless pain due to an inability to separate social scripting from who they most centrally are.  By defusing drama and identification with it while building the six core qualities within them, a child creates an internal culture that transcends and includes the cultures of their family and society.

Children naturally grow by taking on the roles around them. Consequently, it is natural and normal for them to take on the roles of dream characters of all types as well as the personifications of life issues. Interviewing children is fun and spontaneous, with little of the blocking that you will find in adolescents and adults. Remember that children are concrete and to keep your language simple and the entire practice fun and exciting.  Encourage children to act out their character; consider having hand puppets, capes, masks and so forth available.  As with adults, the most important consideration for the interviewer is making sure that the child is in role and stays in role.  When in doubt, ask of the character being interviewed, “(Character,) is that you talking right now or is that ____?”  If they answer that it is the child, ask the character, “(Character,) how do you feel about _____ not letting you talk?”  “Why do you think they won’t be quiet and let you speak?”  This is usually sufficient to provide a return to role, but do not hesitate repeating these questions if you again have doubts as to whom is speaking at any time during the interview.

Generally one interview will get eliminate repetitive nightmares in children.  Chronic anxiety and post-traumatic induced nightmares will require regular interviewing over a period of weeks, as does depression and self-esteem issues.

The free e-book, “Ending Nightmares for Good,” available through this site, provides examples of working with nightmares, night terrors, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

If you interview children, we would love to have you let us know about your experiences so that we can post them anonymously on our blog for the benefit of others.

To explain the six core qualities to children:

How would your life be different if you:

Confidence:   …were never scared?

Compassion: …always respected and cared about yourself and everyone else?

Wisdom: … always learned from the mistakes of others?

Acceptance:  ….accepted yourself completely for who you are?  …and others too?  (but not excuse injustice or cruel actions)

Inner Peace:  …felt as peaceful as your favorite big tree or the depths of the ocean all the time?

Witnessing:  …looked at your feelings and the upsets of life the way the sky looks at the world?

Integral Deep Listening

Life Issue

Interviewing Instructions

For Children

Joseph Dillard, LCSW, PhD

Joseph.Dillard@Gmail.Com

Is there anything you’d like to change in your life?

I

Is there anything else?

I

Is there anything else?

I

Which issue brings up the strongest feelings for you?

I

If those feelings had a color or colors, what would it be?

I

Imagine the color could turn into any animal it wanted. What would it want to be? (alternately, “ Imagine the color could turn into anything it wanted. What would it want to be?)

I

Now pretend you’re that character, OK? Say the first thing that comes to your mind!

I

(Character,) I’m going to ask you some questions, OK?

I

(Character), what do you like most about yourself?

I

(Character), what do you dislike most about yourself?

I

(Character), _____ created you out of those feelings and colors, right?

I

What part of ______ are you most like?

I

(Character,) if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any shape you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

I

(Character), Do you ever get scared?  If you’re scared all the time, give yourself a zero.  Give yourself a “10” if you’re never afraid!   Why?

I

(Character), how much do you care?  Give yourself a “10” if you care about everyone, or are always loving toward everyone, including yourself!  Give yourself a “0” if you are mad at everyone, including yourself!  Why?

I

(Character), how wise are you?  Give yourself a “10” if you always know what to do and say.  Give yourself a “0” if you never do!  Why?

I

(Character), how accepting are you?  Give yourself a “10” if you accept everyone, including yourself!  Give yourself a “0” if you reject everyone, including yourself!  Why?

I

(Character), how at peace are you?  Give yourself a “10” if you’re always deeply at peace!  Give yourself a “0” if you’re never peaceful!  Why?

I

(Character), how objective are you?  Give yourself a “10” if you can always watch the drama of life and not get caught up in it!  Give yourself a “0” if you’re always caught up in life’s dramas!  Why?

I

(Character), if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would your life be different? If so, how?

I

(Character), if _______ scored tens in all six of these qualities, would his/her life be different? If so, how?

I

(Character,) if you could live ______ life for him/her, how would you live it differently?

I

(Character,) if you were _____, how would you deal with the first thing he/she wants to change?

I

(Character,) if you were _____, how would you deal with the second thing he/she wants to change?

I

(Character,) if you were_____, how would you deal with the third thing he/she wants to change?

I

(Character,) would it ever be helpful for ______ to imagine that he/she is you and act as you would?  When?

I

(Character), how is ______ most likely to ignore what you are saying?

I

What would you recommend that _____ do about that?

I

______, what have you heard yourself say?

I

Did  you hear anything you can use to make your life better?  What?

I

What could you do differently this week to test (character) to see if his/her recommendations make your life better?

I

If this experience were a wake-up call from the most central part of yourself, what do you think it would be saying to you?

I

I am going to send you a copy of this interview. To sleep better and feel better in the morning, read it over before you go to bed!

I

Integral Deep Listening

Life Issue

Interviewing Instructions

For Children

Joseph Dillard, LCSW, PhD

Joseph.Dillard@Gmail.Com

Is there anything you’d like to change in your life?

I

Is there anything else?

I

Is there anything else?

I

Which issue brings up the strongest feelings for you?

I

If those feelings had a color or colors, what would it be?

I

Imagine the color could turn into any animal it wanted. What would it want to be? (alternately, “ Imagine the color could turn into anything it wanted. What would it want to be?)

I

Now pretend you’re that character, OK? Say the first thing that comes to your mind!

I

(Character,) I’m going to ask you some questions, OK?

I

(Character), what do you like most about yourself?

I

(Character), what do you dislike most about yourself?

I

(Character), _____ created you out of those feelings and colors, right?

I

What part of ______ are you most like?

I

(Character,) if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any shape you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

I

(Character), Do you ever get scared?  If you’re scared all the time, give yourself a zero.  Give yourself a “10” if you’re never afraid!   Why?

I

(Character), how much do you care?  Give yourself a “10” if you care about everyone, or are always loving toward everyone, including yourself!  Give yourself a “0” if you are mad at everyone, including yourself!  Why?

I

(Character), how wise are you?  Give yourself a “10” if you always know what to do and say.  Give yourself a “0” if you never do!  Why?

I

(Character), how accepting are you?  Give yourself a “10” if you accept everyone, including yourself!  Give yourself a “0” if you reject everyone, including yourself!  Why?

I

(Character), how at peace are you?  Give yourself a “10” if you’re always deeply at peace!  Give yourself a “0” if you’re never peaceful!  Why?

I

(Character), how objective are you?  Give yourself a “10” if you can always watch the drama of life and not get caught up in it!  Give yourself a “0” if you’re always caught up in life’s dramas!  Why?

I

(Character), if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would your life be different? If so, how?

I

(Character), if _______ scored tens in all six of these qualities, would his/her life be different? If so, how?

I

(Character,) if you could live ______ life for him/her, how would you live it differently?

I

(Character,) if you were _____, how would you deal with the first thing he/she wants to change?

I

(Character,) if you were _____, how would you deal with the second thing he/she wants to change?

I

(Character,) if you were_____, how would you deal with the third thing he/she wants to change?

I

(Character,) would it ever be helpful for ______ to imagine that he/she is you and act as you would?  When?

I

(Character), how is ______ most likely to ignore what you are saying?

I

What would you recommend that _____ do about that?

I

______, what have you heard yourself say?

I

Did  you hear anything you can use to make your life better?  What?

I

What could you do differently this week to test (character) to see if his/her recommendations make your life better?

I

If this experience were a wake-up call from the most central part of yourself, what do you think it would be saying to you?

I

I am going to send you a copy of this interview. To sleep better and feel better in the morning, read it over before you go to bed!

I

Integral Deep Listening

Dream

Interviewing Instructions

For Children

Joseph Dillard, LCSW, PhD

Joseph.Dillard@Gmail.Com

Is there anything you’d like to change in your life?

I

Is there anything else?

I

Is there anything else?

I

Have you ever had an interesting or scary dream?  Tell me!

I

Why do you think that you had this dream?

I

If it were playing at a theater, what name would be on the marquee?

I

These are the characters in the dream…

I

Which character are you most curious about?

I

Now pretend you’re that character, OK? Say the first thing that comes to your mind!

I

(Character,) I’m going to ask you some questions, OK?

I

(Character), what do you like most about yourself?

I

(Character), what do you dislike most about yourself?

I

(Character), _____ created you out of those feelings and colors, right?

I

What part of ______ are you most like?

I

(Character,) if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any shape you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

I

(Character), Do you ever get scared?  If you’re scared all the time, give yourself a zero.  Give yourself a “10” if you’re never afraid!   Why?

I

(Character), how much do you care?  Give yourself a “10” if you care about everyone, or are always loving toward everyone, including yourself!  Give yourself a “0” if you are mad at everyone, including yourself!  Why?

I

(Character), how wise are you?  Give yourself a “10” if you always know what to do and say.  Give yourself a “0” if you never do!  Why?

I

(Character), how accepting are you?  Give yourself a “10” if you accept everyone, including yourself!  Give yourself a “0” if you reject everyone, including yourself!  Why?

I

(Character), how at peace are you?  Give yourself a “10” if you’re always deeply at peace!  Give yourself a “0” if you’re never peaceful!  Why?

I

(Character), how objective are you?  Give yourself a “10” if you can always watch the drama of life and not get caught up in it!  Give yourself a “0” if you’re always caught up in life’s dramas!  Why?

I

(Character), if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would your life be different? If so, how?

I

(Character), if _______ scored tens in all six of these qualities, would his/her life be different? If so, how?

I

(Character,) if you could live ______ life for him/her, how would you live it differently?

I

(Character,) if you were _____, how would you deal with the first thing he/she wants to change?

I

(Character,) if you were _____, how would you deal with the second thing he/she wants to change?

I

(Character,) if you were_____, how would you deal with the third thing he/she wants to change?

I

(Character,) would it ever be helpful for ______ to imagine that he/she is you and act as you would?  When?

I

(Character,) why do you think _____ had this dream?

I

(Character), how is ______ most likely to ignore what you are saying?

I

What would you recommend that _____ do about that?

I

______, what have you heard yourself say?

I

Did  you hear anything you can use to make your life better?  What?

I

What could you do differently this week to test (character) to see if his/her recommendations make your life better?

I

If this experience were a wake-up call from the most central part of yourself, what do you think it would be saying to you?

I

I am going to send you a copy of this interview. To sleep better and feel better in the morning, read it over before you go to bed!

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