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Although the Communicube was invented during dramatherapy research it has much wider applications. It is being used by therapists of many different orientations including psychodramatists, gestaltists, psychosynthesists, transactional analysts, counsellors (including those working with couples), psychologists, psychiatrists and other creative psychotherapists.
The structure is neutral: the levels can mean anything the client wishes. For example they may represent different times in a person’s life with the top level being the future, the bottom being the past, the centre being the present and the intermediate levels being the immediate past and the immediate future.

Contemplating the Communicube the different levels, from the top, down, might represent:

Head Spirit Thought/Intellect Air Joy Maturity Heaven
Chest/Lungs Heart Feeling Fire Love Adulthood Sky
Belly/Sex Soul Imagination/Intuition Water Grief Adolescence Earth
Legs Body Senses Earth Hope Childhood Sea
Feet Unconscious Memory Metal Despair Birth/Death Hell

It is the client who chooses what the levels mean and these meanings usually emerge during the process of using the structure rather than at the start of the session.

Amongst the effective elements in the process of using the Communicube in therapy are the following:

the value of a containing structure;
the integrative holding of diverse elements and polarities so that the whole is visible;
the focusing effect of the structure: its ability to encourage concentration;
the distance afforded by the use of miniature objects to symbolise aspects of people’s experience that might otherwise be overwhelming;
the different perspectives available and the development of the observer ego;
the generative power of the structure which evokes archetypal imagery and energy;
its open flexibility and neutrality: meaning emerges but the meaning is decided by the client;
the value of the structure as an intermediary object between client and therapist (evoking Winnicott’s ‘playground’, 1991, 47 and Bannister’s ‘the space between’, 2003, 27);
the creative fun of pattern making;

Pattern recognition is a right brain activity. When we are born the right brain is more developed than the left brain. This ensures that within hours and days of being born babies can recognise their mother’s face: facial recognition being an instantaneous appreciation of a complex pattern. This helps to promote attachment and therefore forms a bedrock of human psychological development. Faces communicate feelings and so there is a close relationship in the right brain between patterns, faces, feelings and communication. The way the mother/carer looks at the baby promotes brain development and affect regulation (Schore, 1994). Through the subtle modulation of facial patterns therefore the parent communicates non-verbally potentially integrative and developmental signals (or their reverse: destructive, negative messages). The infant absorbs these messages and patterns into the very fabric of their nascent self structure. Often when we struggle in life the patterns we have difficulty with are those that are fundamental to our struggle: the patterns of our emotional life, our relationships, the different parts of ourselves. The Communicube facilitates communication about these complex patterns. Psychotherapy has not only to do with examining old, dysfunctional patterns but also with creating and exploring new patterns. As we build a more complex picture of ourselves the view of the whole enables us to achieve greater insight and integration.

We all need structure in our lives. When people are struggling with the chaos of trauma, complex feelings, conflicted interpersonal relations, the Communicube and the Communiwell can provide a containing structure to achieve some order and discover meaning. The Five Story Self Structure, as a therapeutic method, promotes communication, can be powerful and fun.

The Communicube also has potential value in group therapy, family therapy, team building and organisational work. Further uses are being developed.


Bannister, A. (2003) Creative Therapies with Traumatised Children, London, Jessica Kingsley Publishers Ltd

Schore, A. N. (1994) Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self, The Neurobiology of Emotional Development, New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.

Winnicott, D. W. (1991) Playing and Reality, London, Tavistock/Routledge



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