My amazing counsellor taught me about a wonder team a while ago and at first, I felt a little odd thinking about the concept, but I went with it, and I am now a huge fan!
I was asked to think of three characters or people to represent each of the following:
- The protector
- The wise one
- The nurturer
The key things being that these 3 characters or people must be unique to you or whoever is being asked to think of their wonder team. They must also be characters or people that you can strongly associate with as the protector, wise one and nurturer.
I was told to think on the spot rather than go away and think about it, the reason behind this was so that you are using your gut reaction rather than going away and possibly selecting characters that you maybe feel you should associate with these 3 roles. If you do not pick characters, you can really resonate with and that do not fit with these 3 roles, then your Wonder Team won’t be as effective.
I asked for examples of the 3 roles so that I knew what the roles entailed.
The protector should be a character that you feel would completely protect you. A lot of people use superheroes for this role or the Aslan, the lion from the The lion, The witch, and The wardrobe. However, it can be any character or real person. I chose Suranne Jones as Anne Lister, as nobody would mess with her, and her character makes me giggle when I imagine her reactions or what she would say in real life scenarios.
The wise one should be a character that you feel would provide knowledge or who you would go to for support and advice. A lot of people use wizards or clever characters such as Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory. Although I am a fan of The Big Bang Theory, I chose Joan Hickson as Miss Marple as she always knows what is going on and has an answer for everything, yet she is also very calming.
The nurturer should be a character that you feel would be caring as well as provide comfort. A lot of people use real people such as a mother or grandmother figure. However, I chose Sally Hawkins as Mrs Brown from Paddington as she is very calm, empathic, caring, and non-judgemental.
It can be beneficial if you can really picture the characters for your chosen Wonder Team, so it can be useful to find some pictures of them which could be printed and put in a notebook or on a board to look at.
It can also be useful if you are able to imagine the characters with you, be it imagining them at home or at work and what each character would say or do. If you have a safe place that you can visualise such as the beach, then you can also try and imagine your Wonder Team being there with you.
Sometimes I just visualise myself walking along the beach with Anne Lister marching along and Mrs Brown wanting to have a paddle whilst Miss Marple is sat in a deckchair with her knitting. Picturing it now makes me smile at the thought and makes me feel safe, calm, happy and invincible.
Someone may not need all three characters for every situation, but it is useful to have all of the Wonder Team around. It may be that just one of the team is needed to help with a job interview, or you may picture yourself having a conversation with one or all of your Wonder Team about something. It could be as simple as just knowing that you feel your Wonder Team is there should you need them.
Sometimes when my brain is running away with itself my counsellor will say to me – What would Anne say? (my protector) and it is useful to think of what their response would be.
I would say that my Wonder Team has given me strength when I have been through challenging and difficult times. Having my team has also turned highly stressful or upsetting situations into something that is easier to handle and even funny at times, by imagining what they would say or do in these situations.