Why Map And Talk?

  • It helps us track and develop our conversations so we can share our thinking and see more easily who said or meant what.

  • We can show and share our mixed feelings about complicated issues and we can draw out patterns from stories. ​ We can link these patterns to the interactions that shape our identities and personalities

Why mapping matters now?

  • Because if we want to change our world for the better, we need to talk more about our experience of it and share our ideas. This is easier with words on paper between us.

  • Because we need slow thinking in a fast world.  Mapping together helps us slow down and see what we are saying.

  • Because mapping can help sort our personal thinking from ideology and opinion; 
    It helps us hold in mind multiple points of view and conflicting feelings.

Image by Ben White

Why should you learn it?

  • Because the most important things we need to talk about, are the hardest to discuss​.

  • Mapping reduces the shame or blame of not knowing what is going on or knowing how to say it;

       As we map and remap the relationships with ourselves and others we rekindle, rework and                                 re-consolidate our memories.

  • The words spread out on the map can help us see the patterns to what we are struggling to say;

       It helps us find the words with legs on that can help us explore.

Image by Daniel Fazio

Why does map and talk help?  

  • Mapping helps enable an open quality of listening together and keep track of where the conversation is going.  When we talk well together, we are thinking out loud

  • Mapping helps us reflect on the process of talking whilst comparing and contrasting each other’s ideas.

 ​

  • We are negotiating our feelings and thoughts and this quality of conversation opens our minds, training them to be in more reflective dialogue

Image by Aarón Blanco Tejedor
  • When we recap and review the conversation through the words written spontaneously on the map to keep track of it, we can shape where our discussions go. 

  • Ultimately mapping and talking helps improve our reflective capacity through enabling our ability to hover and shimmer, zoom in and out between picture and detail, make links between past and present, self and others, one part of our lives and another part.

How to map and talk 

Sit side by side with pen and paper.  Larger sheets of paper are best.  Say to each other that it will help us talk and listen if we write down the words and phrases that come up in the conversation.  Have in mind that you are looking for patterns in the conversation and in the stories and memories being shared.   Learn to use the methods and concepts of map and talk and keep practising.  If you are mostly doing the mapping say to the person whose words and stories you are listening to that as we talk we can:

 

  • talk more openly and transparently and tolerate the messiness of seeking understanding and the worry of getting lost for words 

  • create a shared thinking space where we can see what we are saying  

  • models working democratically side-by-side as a step to getting alongside the inner dialogue with one’s self

  • offer a record of what was discussed and how the conversation went.

​For more watch the ten hand drawn videos listed in the box below, or read part one of Therapy with a Map  

Hand Drawn Videos

Hand Drawn Videos

Hand Drawn Videos
Why Map and talk

Why Map and talk

03:51
Play Video
Words on Paper - Hand Drawn Video 2

Words on Paper - Hand Drawn Video 2

04:38
Play Video
Doing and feeling - Hand drawn Video 7

Doing and feeling - Hand drawn Video 7

07:34
Play Video
Sensing and Saying - Hand Drawn Video 3

Sensing and Saying - Hand Drawn Video 3

04:12
Play Video
Hopes and Fears - Hand drawn Video 5

Hopes and Fears - Hand drawn Video 5

05:01
Play Video
Stories and Patterns - Hand drawn video 8

Stories and Patterns - Hand drawn video 8

04:30
Play Video
Here and There - Hand Drawn Video 4

Here and There - Hand Drawn Video 4

03:59
Play Video
Links and Gaps - Hand Drawn Video 6

Links and Gaps - Hand Drawn Video 6

04:11
Play Video
Hover and Shimmer - Hand Drawn Video 10

Hover and Shimmer - Hand Drawn Video 10

04:57
Play Video

Therapy space + reflective mapping= relational awareness 

If we create a space which is therapeutic (whether with a therapist or on our own or with friends or activities) and combine it with reflective mapping then we are likely to create the conditions for relational awareness.  Find out more about why mapping helps