I’m the type of person that loves to listen to audio, be it music, broadcast, radio. Maybe it’s the social worker in me that loves to listen, decipher, analyze, contemplate, re-frame, and visualize without actually being in the time and place that the client was at in the story they’re telling me. My favorite types of audio (besides music) are informational podcasts (e.g. social work related, mental health issues, NPR), entertainment-related (e.g. Howard Stern, Kevin Smith (movie director) ), or those about a product (e.g. Evernote’s podcast).
I prefer listening to audio than I like to watch video. I like to multi-task while I am being entertained, which I can’t really do if my eyes have to be glued to the television set to capture all important details to the storyline.
As noted above, there are quite a few exceptions. I love music videos because they tend to last five minutes or less, and are typically an artistic expression set to music I enjoy.
I set this all up to bring you to get you to Visualize the following:
Read More about how I use digital stories after the break! I posted some great videos below!
Vignette 1: A Love Story
Below is a very powerful clip that can be best described as a tear-jerker. The circumstance for me finding this clip could be best described as a lucky accident – it’s really hard for me to check twitter when I’m busy, and I happened to find this clip posted by @sinkov when I took a five-minute break.
I enjoyed this clip: a wonderful story told with heart and emotion by the main character. Without the visual, the story would have still been solid, but the animation adds a depth to it that makes it much more appealing and engaging.
Vignette 2: How to Cope With Depression
While this video is a little risque and some may argue, Not Safe For Work [NSFW], I love the message at the end of it. The drawing is much more crude and the narrator’s voice is very dry, but one can’t help but feel empathy for his direction in looking everywhere for a resolution.
Vignette 3: Gay Education
A little sassy video on LGB issues (May also be applied to T, but it was not mentioned). For the social workers that visit this blog, see if you can find the shot-out given to us and holler when you see it 🙂
Application in Practice
“Danny and Annie” touches on various subjects: death, life, love, marriage, grief, bereavement, etc. In practice, I would use this as a therapeutic tool in a hospice situation to normalize the pain that people are going through so that they do not feel alone. For a loved-one of the soon to be departed, the story shown is that of a man courageously facing the twilight of his life.
“How to Cope With Depression” touches on the theme of sadness, abandonment, and support systems. Most likely, I would use it with a young man (or late adolescent) to normalize the isolation that is sometimes felt by people not understanding their sadness. Also, I would use it with someone that is stable, has a good relationship with me, and whom I think could benefit from seeing this for more than just laughs.
“Gay Education” is a humorous look at defining what it means to be LGB[not-so-much-T] in the context of social/biological factors and touched on issues of power, privilege, and oppression. I believe that it provides a good run-through of what it means to be gay, how our society has come to view gays, and can be empowering for those who have figured out their sexual orientation/identity (or are starting to). I may perhaps use this (with consultation from my supervisor/peers) with a client who was having difficulty adjusting to their recently-out sibling.
I would use all of these clips in practice, though I would take more caution with the second clip (due to language and sexual tone) and third clip (because fundamentalist Christians may find it offensive).
Once again, i would use caution and consult with your supervisor if you find an emotionally stirring clip (such as any of the three above) and wish to use it in a session or group setting.
A client may want to know the name of a clip to find it on Youtube. I would advise that caution be provided to a client, especially with LGBTQIQ-related material, as the internet can be a vicious place and some comments are particularly painful to read, gay, straight, bisexual or otherwise.
As with the road to hell being paved with good intentions, let us not add a situation where we offend or are completely insensitive/oblivious to our client because we did not ask the right questions or ask: does this provide any therapeutic benefit to the client?