Once upon a Time in Therapy: Crafting Therapeutic Narratives to Help Familiarize Children with the Therapeutic Process

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Ragnar Storaasli

Second Advisor

Lynett Henderson Metzger

Third Advisor

Mary Monroe


Therapeutic narrative, Treatment manual, Children, Fantasy, Diversity, Multicultural counseling, Therapeutic alliance, Child psychotherapy


Young children often harbor misconceptions about psychotherapy and the role of psychologists. These misconceptions are ignited by rumors and misinformation that are provided to the child by a variety of sources and can compromise both the effectiveness of therapy and the therapeutic dyad. In this paper we explore how recent trends in patient engagement in child psychotherapy, cultural dynamics between patients and practitioners, and children's lack of knowledge surrounding mental health services can negatively impact therapy. Wednesday Afternoons with Dr. J. (WADJ) is a whimsical fictional therapeutic narrative created to inform children about aspects of the therapeutic process while providing adults with tangible structure surrounding how to talk to children about mental healthcare. The advantages of utilizing this narrative to prime children for therapy are discussed, as are methods for promoting the narrative to the greater community.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


28 pages

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