How to use the cards

Whether you’re a therapist, an educator or a workshop facilitator, our Emotional Learning Cards can set the scene for important conversations on race, identity, collective histories, and the stories we tell.

Getting started

A useful place to begin is with the artwork. Before looking at the commentary and questions on the back, you may want to ask questions such as, ‘What is going on in this image? What do you think the artist might be trying to tell us? Can you find a more personal meaning in it? What could it tell us about our own life?’, and so on. This usually stimulates curiosity and can help to develop creative thinking skills while also opening up subjects to explore. Such questions encourage what psychotherapists call ‘free association’, that is, not censoring what we say but giving expression to our intuitive thoughts and ideas, making links and connections as we go along.
We all read images through a personal lens and create meanings that reflect our own experiences. There is, therefore, no right or wrong interpretation to arrive at – each of us will come up with our ‘take’. Sharing individual responses can lead to a discussion which can be pitched at either an introductory or more advanced level depending on the themes which come to the surface. These reflections can then be compared to those on the back of the card(s) being looked at.
An option which can support developing the conversation further is to use Reflecting on Feelings card set. For instance, you may wish to choose a few emotional learning cards and a selection of Reflecting on Feelings cards which you think pick up on the images and themes in the cards you’ve chosen.  Make these available for your client or group to match with emotional learning cards. You may have other ideas too – feel free to experiment with different approaches!