I often get asked how I chose my practice’s name, “The White Brick Road”.
I have a fond love for the story of the Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. I have watched the 1939 movie version countless times. The narrative of their journey and my counselling practice share many parallels. My last name is White so I’ve incorporated that into the name as well.
The scarecrow, tin man, and lion can represent our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Dorothy could be seen as the core self or spirit that connects the three.
The lion is dominated by the autonomic nervous system, traumatized and fearful. Wanting to find “courage”. He discovers that he always had courage within himself and the wizard recognizes his strength with an award.
The scarecrow desperately wants “brains”, and throughout the story demonstrates reason, planning, and caution. He discovers he has always had intelligence and the wizard recognizes this by giving him a degree.
The tin man wants to have a heart. He demonstrates his love and compassion throughout the story and the wizard recognized this by giving him a clock heart that ticks. They all develop their mindfulness around these parts of themselves that they already have but never recognized.
Dorothy comforts, guides, and adds the oil, puts out the fires, creates safety. She’s the glue that keeps it together. Her search is about going home. She finds home within herself and in those loved ones around her. The importance of attachment and social engagement are emphasized in her.
Glinda the good witch, watches and guides but does not jump in to fix immediately. She watches the journey that these characters undergo and allows them to learn and grow. Could this represent the attachment figures in our lives or even the therapist’s role?
The journey is an important factor for Dorothy to be able to have the power to return home. She had the ruby slippers all along and if the good witch had told her how to use them at the very beginning, she would never discovered the power within. As Glinda says, Dorothy had to learn this power on her own.
It also could symbolize the idea that we are not always in the place to hear the most simple of fixes. Just as when someone comes to therapy, the therapist may be able to tell their client exactly how to fix their issues but they are not always in the place to hear or understand this. The journey of connecting our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours has to be made and understood before we can become aware of our true power. The good witch can watch over and send some protection or tools (Glinda would dust snow over the poppy fields) just enough for our hero to continue on.
Follow your own white brick road to discover your power within to reach your goals and dreams.