This activity must be conducted with a trained professional (e.g., a therapist) and supportive group members. If you do not feel safe with the people around you, do not attempt this activity.
Feeling safe is extremely important, as you will be dealing with emotionally-loaded memories. Only when you feel safe will you be able to say things to your “father,” your “mother,” or anyone else with whom you have unresolved issues.
This activity will help you regain some control over your memories. You will be able to play an active role in restructuring your past and making decisions you never had the freedom or opportunity to make before. Through this activity, you may be able to create an alternative memory in which your basic human needs are met and your longings for love and protection are fulfilled.
Nominate people to play the role of significant people in your life.
For example, they can play the role of your parents and other family members.
Nominate others to play the ideal versions of these significant people.
These “ideal versions” would provide the support, love, and protection that had been lacking at critical moments.
Begin recreating a scene from your past and direct the members of your group.
For example, you can recreate a scene from your childhood in which your father was yelling at your mother. You can place your “real mother” in the corner, cowering in terror as you feel a deep longing to protect her and realize how powerless you felt as a child. You can then direct your “ideal mother” to stand up to your father, and you may experience relief and an unburdening of that old guilt and helplessness.