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Table 4 Examples of counseling content from the narrative group

From: Testing the effects of narrative and play on physical activity among breast cancer survivors using mobile apps: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Concepts Counseling script suggestions
Games and play In addition to the game you’ll be playing on your mobile device, let’s think of this whole program as a game. It has a goal, rules, and conflict. How can we make your experience in this program like a well-played game? We’ve set your goals, but what are the rules for reaching them? What conflicts do you think might occur that you’ll need to overcome in order to play well and follow your rules?
Safety When you decide to play a game, you create what is called a “magic circle.” The magic circle is what makes the game safe. You carve out a little piece of the world and say “here, I can try even the hardest thing, and if I fail it’s not a big deal. I’m trying things out in a safe place.” Do you have any “stretch” goals that are a little harder than your current weekly goals that you’d like to try out, knowing that it’s okay if you don’t reach them?
Identification When you experience a story, you get to “try on” the characteristics of your character. You play the role of that person. You get to see what it feels like to be that person. What are your impressions of Runner 5? Do you admire her physical strength and endurance? How do you feel when you play as her? What would it feel like if you were more like her?
Exercise imagery Think about a time when you found exercise really enjoyable and energizing. Imagine what it felt like as vividly as possible. What did you see, and what did you hear? How did you feel physically? How did you feel emotionally? On your next walk, try to keep these feelings in mind as you begin.
Narrative transportation Let’s try using imagery while you play the game. The next time you play, try to use all of your senses to really feel like you’re experiencing what Runner 5 is experiencing. Create the scene vividly in your mind. What do you see and hear? How does it feel? How do you-as-Runner 5 feel about what is happening?
Relatedness There are a lot of characters you’ve met in the game. Who do you think is your favorite character? Why? Real life people aren’t the only ones who can give you support and encouragement. How does it feel when Sam and the others praise you? Even though they’re pretend, your feelings when interacting with them are real. Pay attention this week to how the characters make you feel when they talk to and about you.