Three quarters of my grandparents are from Switzerland, and pocket knives are a family tradition. On my tenth birthday, I received my first Swiss Army knife.
Ten was my favourite birthday. As I had eagerly anticipated, a special Swiss package arrived. I excitedly opened it up to find my very own knife: the original red design, complete with tiny scissors – just right.
My excitement was fueled by the sense of possibility the pocket knife brought me. As I pulled out each tool, I imagined the places I’d go and the things I could do. Now I could open my own can of soup when we sat around the campfire, sharpen a stick for marshmallow roasting, or cut a tangled fishing line. These were things I needed help with before. But now I could do them myself.
The knife was a gift of independence. It meant that my family trusted me. They believed that I could use the tools responsibly. They trusted my ability.
This gave me confidence. With my knife in my pocket, I was ready for anything. I knew that if a challenge arose while I was adventuring, I could figure out a solution. I was prepared. I had the tools that I needed.
Since turning 10 I have taken my pocket knife on many adventures. And when I go camping each summer, I still bring it with me. As I feel the weight of it in my hands, it gives me that same sense of excitement and confidence.
I chose an art-filled pocket knife to represent Resourceful Me because it reflects my mission in art therapy.
My hope is that through the process of art therapy, my clients will gain what my family gave me on my tenth birthday: independence, confidence, and a deep knowledge of their resourcefulness.
I hope that as our relationship grows, my clients feel how much I believe in them. I trust that they have what it takes to overcome difficulties. I have confidence in their ability.
During our work together, we will collect and create tools that clients can use in all kinds of situations. Together we are building their “pocket knife for life”. We will practice using it in the art room, but after the session clients take their tools with them.
Even if we have amazing tools, unfortunately there will always be more difficulties. The difference is that once we know our resourcefulness, we aren’t overpowered by challenges. We may need to add a new tool or try a different strategy, but we know we have the ability. We can be creative, use what we have, and make what we need. We can overcome the difficulties.
The Resourceful Me pocket knife represents the big ideas, like our mission to discover resourcefulness, as well as the more specific ideas, like using art materials to create practical tools and art making experiences to build confidence. It’s an all-in-one, complete with tiny scissors – just right.
If you’re excited about this pocket knife metaphor and want to chat about how we can build yours, I hope you’ll get in touch for your free meeting. I’m looking forward to connecting with you!
Written by Rubi Garyfalakis, DTATI, RP, RCAT