Why a Boggart?
“‘So, the first question we must ask ourselves is, what is a Boggart?’ Hermione put up her hand.
‘It’s a shape-shifter,’ she said. ‘It can take the shape of whatever it thinks will frighten us most.’
‘Couldn’t have put it better myself,’ said Professor Lupin, and Hermione glowed. ‘So the Boggart sitting in the darkness within has not yet assumed a form. He does not yet know what will frighten the person on the other side of the door. Nobody knows what a Boggart looks like when he is alone, but when I let him out, he will immediately become whatever each of us most fears.
‘This means,’ said Professor Lupin, choosing to ignore Neville’s small splutter of terror, ‘that we have a huge advantage over the Boggart before we begin. Have you spotted it, Harry?’”
J K Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Creative arts therapy allows us to use characters and stories to help engage with difficult topics &
situations when we aren’t comfortable to speak about them directly.
On one occasion, while working with a teenager who was suffering from a great deal of anxiety, I proposed we meet her “Boggart”: A creature in the Harry Potter series that manifests itself as your greatest fear, but has no power or ability to actually harm anyone – including you.
In therapy, the main aim is to discover things about ourselves that we might have ignored or tried to hide.
No matter what the issue, it involves becoming honest and vulnerable with ourselves – and this can be scary.
These fears and vulnerabilities cannot harm us in therapy, because we meet them in a safely contained, 100% confidential, non-judgemental space.
When we unpack ‘the Boggart’ full of fears and concerns you might have been holding onto, we discover what makes it truly scary. We can then begin to change that fear or resistance into something manageable and freeing.
So as we begin this journey together, I ask again: What’s your Boggart?