People in my Life is a set of figures specially developed for helping people to talk about their relationships in counselling and therapy.
Using figures in conversation is very effective in bringing out stories about relationships. They encourage creative and constructive dialogue. New perspectives bring fresh ideas about how to understand and deal with relationship difficulties.
People in my Life has been developed for use in professional consultations in relationship guidance, psychological, health, educational and social services.
One Set of Figures in Two Different Media
People in my Life is one set of figures that comes in two media
- As a boxed set of stand-up figures
- As a digital application for PCs, laptops and data tablets
Both versions can be used to form relationship overviews, visual representations of how people are getting on with each other. These facilitate conversations arising from the choosing and placement of figures, surveying a wider relationship context, comparing different perspectives and exploring understandings of events and situations.
The Boxed Figure Set
The People in my Life boxed figure set comprises over 200 colourful two-dimensional figures and three display boxes. The figures can be set ready for selection in the way that suits the working setting. When selected, they can either be slipped into small stands and placed upright or laid flat on a surface. The set also contains six background designs printed on A3 paper designed to assist the placement of figures according to a variety of styles of professional work.
People in my Life Digital is designed for use with PCs and data tablets. It comprises the same comprehensive range of figures and backgrounds as the boxed set with an additional of symbols and a label-writing function. The figures are selected and placed simply with the swipe of a finger. They can easily be moved, flipped and turned. The backgrounds can also easily be changed and a particular arrangement can be stored before moving on. The program runs off-line and all data is encrypted and enacpsulated in the programme to ensure data security.
Talking About the People in my Life
People in my Life’s varied and comprehensive set of figures has been carefully designed to represent a wide range of ages, styles and cultural and ethnic variation. They can be used to show a wide range of social networks and settings. Setting out figures can form an overview of relationships and this visualising will often provide fresh insights into how the various elements influence each other. Viewing the whole picture can lead to a shift in understanding and discussion of how best to deal with difficulties.
Figures can be used to illustrate peoples experiences of events and situations, making it apparent to themselves and to others what they remember and allowing them to review their understanding.
Using figures can give a conversation focus and clarity and help people to collect their thoughts and express themselves. They open for playfulness and creativity in reconsidering relationships. Because the figures can easily be moved around, the relationship overview that they form is very flexible, open for contrasts and comparisons of points of view and demonstrating that things can be looked at in various ways.
People in my Life is based on systemic, dialogical principles. It is designed to open up constructive dialogue exploring the implications and possibilities of different points of view and to stimulate ideas of how to deal with dilemmas and difficulties. It is not tied to a particular approach and can be used in many different ways.
When working with couples and families, relationship overviews provide visual information about each other’s ways of seeing their situation that can both surprise and enrich understanding. Comparing and contrasting points of view helps to improve the way they mentalise each other and themselves. Relationship overviews invite questions of who I am for other people, who they are for me, how we belong together and interact.
Overviews of relationships can help people to review their understanding of alliances, values and resources and to consider how they can make changes to the things that frustrate and harm them and those they care for.
A relationship overview is formed when figures are set out to express an understanding about how people get on with each other. Making relationship overviews is an effective way of facilitating clear and constructive dialogue leading to fresh insights and understandings. People in my Life has been designed specifically for professional work with relationship overviews.
The Relationship Overviews website presents a corolla of dialogue, a model illustrating the areas of dialogue where figures are particularly useful and indicates how they can influence talking about relationships in professional consultations.
The Development Team
People in my Life was developed by Steven Balmbra, a British family therapist living in Norway, together with Birgit Pihl (graphic design), Per-Henrik Kvalnes (program design) and Jan-Kåre Reppe (programming). The development received support from KunnskapsParken Bodø and Innovasjon Norway.
The People in my Life is produced in Norway and marketed by Banter AS. The boxed figure set is assembled by Vev-Al-Plast AS, a company that provides work experience and training to people with disabilities and other difficulties in gaining employment.
Photographs by Ian Dawson and Bjørnar Hansen.
This website is built and maintained by Vindir.
Ordering People in my Life
Available from October 2019
The digital app can be downloaded from Microsoft Store, Google Play Store and App Store. There will be a 30 day trial period and then a yearly subscription fee.
The boxed figure set can be ordered from Banter AS. Please send enquires to firstname.lastname@example.org.