What is map and talk? 

  • It is an interactive method of putting key words spontaneously on paper between us to keep track of our conversations and stories as we talk.   

  • It helps us guide, shape and review what we are saying and where the conversation is taking us.   

  • The process enhances the experience of talking and is an aid to therapy, reflective practice and any form of serious discussion. 

  • The focus of map and talk can be on the words we are using, the patterns of interaction emerging in the story and the links we are making.   

  • It can be used  therapeutically, educationally, organisationally, politically and conversationally whether with individuals or in groups.

Image by Kelly Sikkema

Upcoming Events

  • 13 Jul, 09:30 – 12:30
    Zoom workshop 9.30-12.30
    Introductory examples and guidance for therapists in working with the voice using mapping and writing based on Cognitive Analytic Therapy
  • TALKING WITH A MAP                                    (1)
    Wed 07 Sept
    07 Sept, 09:30 – 13:00 BST
    Zoom webinar 9.30am - 1.00pm
    Introducing ten key skills for keeping track of conversations with pen and paper as they happen to help each other in our everyday discussions with groups and individuals at work.
  • 20 Oct, 09:30 – 13:00
    Online webinar workshop
    A CAT approach to family stories through revisiting reciprocal roles with siblings. This experiential online workshop will reflect on personal experiences of sibling relationships and the ‘reciprocal roles’ or patterns of relating that they have given us and might still be active today in our work.
  • It helps us talk more openly especially when talking about difficult ideas, complex situations and mixed feelings.  

  • Mapping helps us see patterns in our ways of relating and in the stories we share. 

  • The method of mapping develops relational awareness and draws upon ideas from Cognitive Analytic Therapy

  • It helps make different points of view visible and negotiable

  • It is widely used as aid to therapy, team discussion and reflective practice 

  • It turns conversation into a more tangible and tactile activity, working co-creatively side by side.  

Image by Harli  Marten
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Image by lilzidesigns
  • Sit together with pen and paper between you  

  • Agree to use the words on paper as something that will help you listen.   

  • Write down key words that resonate with the flow of the conversation or give shape and meaning to the story.

  • Use the words on paper to go back over the 'story so far' and deepen and widen your conversation and your understanding. 

  • Dont expect to make a tidy map.

  • Use the mapping process to help get into the conversation without getting lost or put on the spot

  • Watch the hand drawn videos that show the process of mapping in action. 

  • The grid explains the idea of relational awareness as the quality that is enabled by mapping as we talk and therapy with a map. 

  • The grid combines three qualities of relational awareness against three dimensions in a grid of nine items 

Image by Pierre Bamin
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This integrative and relational approach to psychotherapy and mental health is a central influence on the ideas, values and methods on the map and talk website, the Therapy with a Map book and all the various contributions.

Image by Aaron Burden

Besides the book Therapy with a Map and the blog there is also:

  • the grid (explore relational awareness - its qualities and dimensions)

  • a small collection of past articles (download the PDFs)

  • a pilot measure of relational awareness (RAM) supported by an international research group

  • webinars and workshop events

  • hand drawn videos that show how to enter into the process of mapping and talking whether for therapy, reflective practice or just having a good talk.  

Image by Jed Villejo
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