I’m guessing you clicked on this article because you’re curious. Tarot in therapy?? What?? Some have experiences with Tarot. Whether we know how to read cards, have had our cards read or seen them in pop culture content. Tarot is an increasingly popular way for some to get more deeply connected with themselves, others and the world around them. Of course, like any light side there can be a darker side where people use Tarot as a means of making decisions for them, rather than using them as a supportive friend to think through their troubles or provide insight and spiritual guidance.
I do engage the Tarot in my therapy work, and it’s a little more complicated than what you might expect. I do not use Tarot to tell people what will happen in their lives or as a means of bypassing the deeper, more meaningful work.
I have found the Tarot therapeutic and beneficial in therapy because of the following reasons:
Use of Metaphor
Some of us have a real connection to the use of metaphor. We can think and feel in images. Tarot can be a great way to engage that because each card has metaphor through the images. What I find even more beautiful is how each person sees their own meaning in each card and sometimes that changes each time you see the card. Cool, right?
Bringing Language to Difficult Experiences
EEmotional pain happens in our amygdala, our mid brain, where words and logic don’t operate. This is the space of feeling. When we have difficult experiences or trauma it can be difficult to put words to what we experience. Tarot can provide language, insight and a witness to those experiences through their symbolism and how each person might engage with it.
Tarot reading is a form of divination. Whether that is connecting to God, Spirit, your Higher Self, etc. for greater wisdom and guidance. Bringing a theme to support your spiritual and/or emotional Self can be immensely grounding and feel supportive.
What I perceive as the most beneficial aspect of using Tarot in therapy is to empower clients to find and connect with their own inner guidance and wisdom. The Tarot can be the door that leads one to a greater relationship with yourself, trusting how you feel and creating a strong relationship to your intuition.
While the title of this article is a strong statement, I hope that these ideas have brought a different perspective to you. I do not use Tarot with all of my clients, not everyone heals the same way. What is most important is that the treatment bring healing, build resiliency and support empowerment.
On my Instagram account @kathleendaymft I use both Oracle and Tarot cards weekly as part of a mindfulness exercise. Feel free to follow this account for this content and more.