Episode 87 Simple Techniques For Using Tarot Cards In Sessions: Interview with Dreya Blume

Nov 2, 2022

Can a tarot reading help you reconnect to yourself? How can you integrate tarot cards and imagery into your practice?

MEET Dreya Blume

Dreya Blume is a social worker, therapist, and tarot card reader. She is also a huge fan of incorporating holistic strategies into her healing practice, from Reiki to singing bowls, and EFT to tarot cards.

Dreya is the author of several books, including “The Tarot Activity Book: A collection of creative and therapeutic ideas for the cards,” and “Tarot for Transformation: Using the major arcana to discover your best self and have a life worth living” (both under her former name, Andy Matzner).

Dreya is a transwoman who worked as a gender therapist for many years, serving the transgender community of southwest Virginia. She recently moved to Durham, NC, and is excited to begin a new chapter in her life!

Find out more about Dreya at Dreya Blume, Tarot With Dreya, and connect with her on Instagram

IN THIS PODCAST:

  • What are tarot cards? 4:42
  • Finding the ideal clients to use tarot cards in session 9:22
  • Overcoming negative reactions to different holistic approaches 16:00
  • Where to start on your tarot card reading journey 25:22

What Are Tarot Cards?

  • Integrating tarot cards with expressive arts therapy
  • How to use tarot cards in client sessions
  • How to use tarot card reading in a more deliberate manner 
  • Learning to ask the right questions when using tarot cards

Finding The Ideal Clients To Use Tarot Cards In Session

  • Making tarot card readings approachable and comfortable for clients
  • Ways to be upfront about your session offerings
  • Being comfortable as a therapist when it comes to offering tarot card readings
  • Being open to feedback when beginning tarot card readings

Overcoming Negative Reactions To Different Holistic Approaches

  • Understanding where other’s judgment is coming from
  • Overcoming evidence-based objections to holistic approaches
  • Creating a space for people to participate in holistic therapy
  • Being approachable as a therapist in all aspects of therapy

Where To Start On Your Tarot Card Journey

  • Doing your research and finding the imagery that resonates with you 
  • Thinking about your clientele when it comes to choosing a tarot deck
  • 100 ways to use tarot cards in session in “The Tarot Activity Book,” by Dreya Blume
  • Using the imagery on the cards to initiate a conversation

Connect With Me

Instagram @holisticcounselingpodcast

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Sign up for my free email course: www.holisticcounselingpodcast.com

Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

Resources Mentioned And Useful Links:

Find out more about Dreya at Dreya Blume, Tarot With Dreya, and connect with her on Instagram

The Tarot Activity Book

Transcript

Chris McDonald: Welcome to the Holistic Counseling Podcast, where you discover diverse wellness modalities, advice on growing your integrative practice. Grow confidence in being your unique self. I'm your host, Chris McDonald. I'm so glad you're here for the journey.

Welcome to today's episode of the Holistic Counseling Podcast. I'm your host, Chris McDonald. I have an amazing guest for you. Her name is Dre Bloom and she's a social worker, therapist and taro card reader. She is also a huge fan of incorporating holistic strategies into her healing practice. From Reiki singing bowls, EFT two taro cards.

Dre is a trans woman and for many years worked as a gender therapist serving the transgender community of Southwest Virginia. She recently moved to Durham, North Carolina is excited to begin a new chapter of her life. A fun fact about her is she spent two years living in Northern Thailand and one year in Japan.

Welcome to the podcast, Andrea.

Dreya Blume: Oh, Chris, thank you so much. It is a pleasure to be here with you.

Chris McDonald: So that's exciting. So you lived in Thailand? In Japan.

Dreya Blume: Oh, thank you. That was my prior life, yes. How cool. Thanks. Yes, I was an ESL teacher, so I was in Hawaii as well in Australia. Got to see the world before I settle down.

Chris McDonald: Love it. So can you tell my listeners more about yourself and your

Dreya Blume: work? Yeah, sure. I, um, gosh, it's been almost 20 years now that I've been a social worker. So I'm a licensed clinical social worker, and I've worked in all sorts of capacities as a social worker, but the entire time, again, almost 20 years now, I've always had.

A part-time private therapy practice and focusing mostly as a gender therapist, so serving the transgender community. Very few resources in southwest Virginia, so I was very happy to be able to do that. About the same time, started with Tara, so almost 20 years now. Kind of kept me sane during my first year as a case manager actually in community mental.

Yeah. Having those, the process of learning the cards, it was like an anchor for me during that year. So eventually became a terra card reader and just done a bunch of things, but, uh, didn't come out as a trans woman really well. Didn't start socially transitioning until about a year ago, so this is new for me.

As far as actually being out and about Andrea and Fantastic. Thank you. Oh my gosh, I thank you. It's, uh, definitely moving through this crossroads in my life, new chapter and very, very happy to to have moved to, to the triangle living in Durham and gonna be focusing a lot actually on offering groups. I'm kind of dialing down my, uh, my clinical.

Individual practice, but I love to teach and to scratch that itch, I'm gonna be offering groups when a new year comes. So just, yeah, lots of new things beginning for me and it, it feels good.

Chris McDonald: So what kind of groups

Dreya Blume: do you wanna offer? Well, I'll tell you something close to my heart is people pleasing. Uh, that is Oh, yes.

My history. And so I, I like to consider myself a people pleaser in recovery, . And so I, yeah, I, right. I mean so many people and it's so common. Common and I think among healers as well, you know, we have big hearts and unfortunately, greatest strength can be greatest weakness and, and often boundaries can be an issue.

We were often saying yes, when actually we should be saying no. So I'm, I'm hoping to have a group, uh, support group, accountability group for clinicians. I'll be virtual, but kind of to keep, you know, just to keep people kind of accountable to themselves. I think as people pleasers, we end up regretting things that we have.

We have done, again, I, why did I say hate that? This to that right there. And it's the resentment. And so I think building a community around that could be helpful. So I'm, I'm hoping to have one for clinicians and then another one for civilians. And yeah, I've got a bunch of other ideas, but just, I, I, I love the, the ability to create, you know, this small, ongoing community.

So that, that's my plan. That's

Chris McDonald: so fun. So it sounds like you wanna help therapists as well, which I love. Oh,

Dreya Blume: thank you. Absolutely. And we need it too, for sure, because people are burning out. People burn out left and right and it breaks my heart. It breaks my heart when therapists burn

Chris McDonald: out. And I think it can be hard to, for therapists to set those boundaries.

Oh, I agree. Personally

Dreya Blume: and professionally, right? Oh, absolutely. Again, we, you know, I think as, as healers, we're very sensitive and attuned to what people are needing and heavy issue becomes putting other people's needs ahead of our own. Yeah. Which gets us into trouble, unfortunately. Yeah,

Chris McDonald: exactly. How did you develop your interest in taro cards?

Dreya Blume: You know, it's such a, it's so interesting to me cause I'll tell you why. Originally, probably five or six years before I started in earnest, I was at a bookstore. Cause I can remember this like yesterday, and this is probably 25, 26 years ago. I remember thinking TA cards. I know nothing about them. Never had a reading.

Could be interesting. I picked up a book and holy moly, it looked so complicated and I wish I could remember which book it was because it scared me. I thought, there's no way I can do this. And I, I just, I don't have the mind for it to remember all these meanings. So I put it back and I just didn't think about it in, you know, fast forward, I guess six years later.

I'm at my job as a case manager, fresh graduate with my MSW and very toxic agency environment. And I just remember during a break surfing the internet and I have no idea how I came across this website, but I, I synchronicity, I believe. But I happened to come across Joan Bunnings ta free ta course on the internet.

And there was something about the way she was presenting the cards that I instantly. Became enraptured. I thought, this is so cool, I can do this. And I was in love with expressive arts therapy and I thought, Oh my gosh, TA cards. This is like expressive arts therapy except with, you know, taro cards. So that, that was what hooked.

I just, I don't, cause I, I can't. I don't think I was looking for taro, but it, it came across my radar and ever since then, I fell in love and started reading everything I could get my hands on. And it's been my companion ever since. Like I said, I guess now it's almost 20 years. Yeah.

Chris McDonald: And I never even thought expressive arts in taro cards.

That's an amazing combination.

Dreya Blume: Yes, and that's, and I'll tell you what I realized was I want to use these with clients, so I was. I was working with clients as a case manager, but starting my practice and I wanted a book. I'm like, Okay, there's gotta be a guide book that somehow was talking about cards, but also psychology.

How might I use these? And there were a couple of books from a Youngian perspective that talked about the cards and the heroes journey perspective. But as far as actually what can I do with these cards in session with a client, I didn't find anything. Was there anything

Chris McDonald: I was gonna say it was at crickets.

Yeah.

Dreya Blume: There really it, yeah. Absolutely. So what I discovered as I, as I was continuing to learn more, and I'm not trained as an expressive art therapist, but I read a ton and I love making art Me Too Great. The creative spark that we all have. Yeah. So, you know, it's just so fun and it's, Oh, that's great. Well, I'll tell you what I was discovering was that all of these activities in these expressive arts books were, were very applicable to just substituting TA cards.

And so I was, I got inspired and I thought, you know, let me start keeping a journal of activities that make sense, you know, using TAT cards in an expressive arts way. And after, I don't know, five or six years, I had. Activities where I decided to write a book, and that's the Terror activity book, but I found the clients living in southwest Virginia, still very conservative, very, very Christian, but the people that I was using the cards with were just thrilled.

Oh, they

Chris McDonald: were so

Dreya Blume: good feedback, very good feedback. They, terror cards were meaningful to them and to have a counseling experience where they could be open about that aspect of their identity was, that was healing in and of itself. And I just, I found that using the cards in that, you know, and it's, it's almost like ifs in terms of parts.

Uh, I mean, they're just so applicable. You know, let's choose a card. Cause I think that's the thing people think, Well, we're gonna be pulling a card quote at random, which one can do. But a lot of the work I've done is, here's a deck. Go through the deck and deliberately choose a card to represent the problem that you're facing.

You know? Now let's look for a card that might represent a solution or something you might need. In order to overcome this obstacle, how might your life look and feel when the problem is solved? Find a card to represent that. And so the cards would, that people would choose, would be very rich because the injury, right, would be expressing a lot and so, Just a wonderful way or just, how are you feeling?

Right? How are you feeling today? Go through the deck and what card or cards represent that? And let's talk about it. So it allowed people to access different parts of their kind of communication style.

Chris McDonald: So I know you mentioned that where you lived was. More conservative may not be open. So is this a practice you would only use with certain client?

Dreya Blume: Yes. Oh, okay. Absolutely. Yeah. No, that's a great question. I, especially before, you know, we all went viral. We all went viral, we all went, We did, we did, right? I mean, yeah, we did, We went viral in, in several different ways. But as far as doing things online, you know, I was really stuck and, and, and that was fine.

I didn't even think about doing teletherapy. Right? I mean, who a lot of people. You know, it's like here I am. Yeah. It's new for a lot of people. Yeah. I mean, this is my office. My office is in Roanoke and I'm working with people, you know, in Roanoke. But yes, it definitely a sense of, ugh, if I put on my Psychology Today profile, or even on my, my website originally, what might happen?

but ba basically when I think it's a self selection process too. I mean, I would have the decks in my office. My office was full of rocks and crystals and all sorts of things. Uh, very witchy kind of office. And so yes, , right? I mean, and like I saw before we went on, you know, your office, the energy is amazing.

Like I would love to. Sit in your office and you, you know, have a session because it's That's so awesome. I'm so glad you said that. It's, Oh my, Yeah. No, the ener, It's funny because even across video you can, you can,

Chris McDonald: Yeah. Energy knows and files, I feel

Dreya Blume: it. Yeah. And the color, you know, the, the, the colors that you're using.

And so I think our clients, you know, for you, for me, people understand. Okay. This is someone who perhaps, you know, I share an interest with because I would have decks in a basket, you know, next to me at the ready. I mean, people would be like, Oh yeah, you're into taro. Me too.

Chris McDonald: Okay. So that's almost like an invitation, right?

When you have, I'm thinking it's easier in person than virtual, but having that stuff available and I think. That kind of opens people up a little. Cuz I had the same thing that in my, when I had in person to have the crystals out and I had my central oils and so that kind of, Oh wow. So look at that and look at her books.

And so this is a place that's safer to talk about

Dreya Blume: this? Oh yes, without a doubt. And it's funny, you know, I've got the Facebook group that I organized, the therapists who? Tara Facebook group and people have talked in there. Putting in their informed consent, a menu, the, these are the modalities that I use.

You know, C B T D B T, emdr. Terror. And so going over the informed consent with a client gives the client the opportunity to see, yeah, you know, this is available. And to ask about it or just to know, hey, this is a safe space. So I think part of it, because since I don't have my office. People aren't seeing a basket of TA cards.

And so I think, and I certainly, I felt a lot braver in the last number of years, you know, being very explicit on my website. I use Tara, I'm a TA card reader, so it definitely has changed. Yeah. But, but I do think there are ways to like telegraph the fact that yes. This, this is something that we can explore together.

Chris McDonald: Cause I wondered when you first started this and was using it in sessions, did you have a fear of coming outta that holistic closet, is what I call it, ?

Dreya Blume: Yeah. You know, it's, it's funny. I think I was lucky. Well, I was lucky because a couple of things, because my practice was really one day a week, like one to one and a half days a.

The whole way through, because I was doing a lot of adjunct teaching as well as other social work, like kind of parttime. I was doing independent evaluations at psych wards. I was doing, uh, you know, all sorts of, I was leading groups and working in addiction IOP programs, but everything was part-time and I had the luxury then of not having to take insurance.

Um, I, you know, I use a sliding scale, but a lot of my client base came, uh, word of mouth, you know, so, so people already were kind of knowing the kind of person I was. Sure. I think if I, Right. And so if I had to take insurance, cuz then certainly the language I would have to use in writing my notes be different.

Um, Yeah, it would be different. And I think having to fill up a practice, at least in Roanoke, I, I would've had to be, I don't know if I could have sustained a practice, you know, full-time practice. Just with people who are interested in holistic or witchy sorts of stuff. Actually, let's say 15 years ago, that has changed.

I, I think so too, right? Yeah. And a lot of people, just like here in the triangle, right, so many people are moving here who are very, you know, progressive and open minded and Roanoke kind of the same way you, you know, in the last five years a lot of people who've moved into town who I think are very open-minded.

But, uh, but yeah, I think because for me it was more word of mouth. It, it just, I didn't really face like, Oh, how, how should I market myself in terms of where taro might fit? So I kind of escaped that. You escaped that?

Chris McDonald: Yeah. Yeah. Sounds like you kind of just went with it and were able to, to roll with it and not get too caught up in fear and letting that stop you.

Yeah.

Dreya Blume: Exactly. I mean, the feedback was beautiful, I have to say. And then it continues to be, I mean, again, now I'm just much more open about it, but I think it's such a rich, rich, and it, it's a projective device. I mean, that's how I certainly, Yeah, that's it, right? Yeah. It's people are going to, I mean, Whatever is needing to come up will come up because the imagery does that, you know, just sitting with the imagery, it's amazing.

So that's how I, I mean, as a Terra card reader, I feel like, you know, that's this, and I don't certainly, I don't feel like I have any divinatory gifts the way that some people can look at a card and say, you know, this will happen to you, or Right. You know? Mm-hmm. . But it, it is amazing that when I work with the cards as a reader, the information that comes up in terms of the future, Often seems very clear, but I, I don't have to worry about that.

And I think it's funny, a lot of therapists I talk to are scared. They feel like, Oh my gosh. Mm-hmm. , right? I, I have to remember all of the meanings of these cards and what if I'm with a client and, and I forget? And I'm like, No, that's not how we use it. In therapy. You know, in therapy as a, So there's a difference.

Oh, a total difference. I mean, it, it can be as simple as, you know, if a client has a deck, that's one thing. If they don't, I'm using, you know, my deck and I ask them, Hey, just let me know when you want me to stop. Okay. And here I'm pulling a card. I've got a document camera. So the card is on the screen, they can see it.

Oh, okay. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. So it can be as simple as, Okay, based on what we've been talking about in session, What message does this card have for you? So I really, there's no pressure on me to have to come up with meetings. It's all coming from the client and they, 99 times out of a hundred, they're, they're gonna, you know, something will come up for them that's meaningful based on the imagery.

So, so I tell people, you don't have to be afraid to use the cards in session.

Chris McDonald: So it's not, Cause I, I just gotta tell you what happened. Last time I had somebody on my podcast,

Dreya Blume: talked about Sierra. Go, I'll go ahead .

Chris McDonald: This is why I think the. Get a little nervous with holistic things or coming outta that holistic.

And with TA cars, I, I had, uh, posted in that local listerv about the episode and people went crazy. , Oh no, this is therapist. Okay. So people judgey and saying, We're fortune telling, we're promoting unethical things and how dare you? And then people defending me. And this went on for like two days.

Dreya Blume: Okay. . Oh no, When, how long ago was this?

You said it was

Chris McDonald: earlier? This. Uh, let's see. Probably last year, not it, was it October? Maybe? Something like that. Oh,

Dreya Blume: wow. You mean not in nine, you

Chris McDonald: know? Oh no, this podcast hasn't been out that

Dreya Blume: long. Yeah, that's, Oh, and that's, I'm really sorry you had to experience

Chris McDonald: that. That's so, Yeah, so that just was like, oh, that's like a punch in the gut for me.

It was good. I mean, some good came out of that cuz I did have a lot of people supporting and we need to be open minded. Let's have more conversations about d. You know? Yeah. Holistic strategy, so it was good. But it is interesting that there are therapists that are not open to these guys, which is fine.

You know? Do

Dreya Blume: you, you do you tell you there, I've been on Facebook groups that I'm no longer a part of, where other therapists were saying, you should be reported to the board. Oh, because you Oh yeah. Hateful, hateful, hateful. So, you know, Can I curse on the podcast or no? I dunno. Yes. Maybe you can . I mean, it's a big fuck you to those people.

Yes. Um, how dare are they? And I'll tell you the ira, So here's how I, and you might consider this if anyone gives you a hard time, but my, my response is, what is a couple of things? Number one, You have a stare. You know, if I'm talking to the person, and typically people, they have this, I set idea in their head, but my take is, listen, you're judging me without knowing how exactly right.

These, the cards were invented in the Renaissance by Christians for a as as a card game. Right. Okay. You know, you, you can read tea leaves. It doesn't mean we're saying, Oh my gosh, tea is, is somehow this the tool of the devil, right? Because it's this idea in the Bible that you shouldn't foretell the future.

And it's like, no, this, these cards, the way that we are using them has nothing to do with foretelling. The future comes from this long tradition in terms of youngian depth psychology, as well as the roar shock test. You know, it's a projected device, right? Again, the cards. Know the devil and death, it's Christian imagery.

They're not satanic. So, you know, so people are very ignorant in terms of where they're coming from, judging us, but, and then people will talk about the evidence base.

Chris McDonald: Um, kinda, Oh yeah, that was the other thing that came up. Oh my

Dreya Blume: God, here's my reply. Okay. Reply to that. Cause that, that's a bunch of bullshit.

I mean, number one, we, we know that evidence based. Yeah. You know, that whole idea is biased and um, it is basically right. It really doesn't mean anything. Cause you know, C B T might work with me, but it might not work with. Right. Mm-hmm. and, and as therapists, I mean, what I learned from my mentor was that it's not about content.

It's all about process. And so it doesn't matter. We can use anything therapeutically, Yes. Mm-hmm. , right? As only that's meaningful to the client. And so my answer is, okay, so I lived right down the street from Lynchburg, Virginia, home to. Liberty University, right. Jerry Falwell, Old stomping grounds. And you know, Liberty University pumps out hundreds of Christian counselors.

Yes. Mm-hmm. every year. And that, and I have nothing against Christian counselors, but if someone is a Christian counselor who is basing, and again, this is what they're being taught in any sort of Christian counseling program, right, is that you are basing the way you do therapy on the Bible. And I would argue that there is no evidence.

In terms of the Bible being right, So, so biblical therapy is evidence based right then, then what does that

Chris McDonald: Right, No, I, I, Bam.

Dreya Blume: Yes. Right. Bam. Because to me the joke is there's no evidence that therapy. Works per se, but, But it does, but there's plenty of evidence that it works for people who believe in the Bible, Right?

In other words, Ah, yeah, right. You, you've got people who use Christian counselors because they believe that that type of therapeutic modality is true even though it's not, quote, evidence based, you know, scientifically true. And we don. And so here's my thing, We don't criticize Christian counselor. You know, we don't say, Oh my gosh, if you're a Christian counselor, that's not evidence.

How dare you. How dare you, Right? How dare you use the Bible as the basis for your practice? You know, you're how you do therapy. No, we don't. And so my take is if we are giving Christian counselors a pass, Then, um, it shouldn't matter that we're using taro cards in our practice because again, we're Right.

It, it's, it, it's just the whole, this whole criticism doesn't make any sense. It's just people who have this idea in their head of what taro cards are misconceptions is on misconception. Exactly. And, and I will say this because I know when I posted on Facebook about, um, doing a Terra card workshop, I think there was a therapist who said, Nobody should use TA cards because those belong to the gypsies.

It's, it's a closed tradition, and you'll hear this every so often, you know that, that gypsies have been persecuted, you know, using TA cards for fortune telling is something that they have done. They've been persecuted for it, but only they are allowed to use that because that's part of their culture, which is completely false.

That is, that is not. True. And I hate that people use this idea or use any idea surrounding terror cards to make people feel less than, uh, when it's, it's, it's just false, you know? Um, and I could talk and I won't, and I, I can tell how passionate you are. I am. I just, it makes me angry because I, I know me too.

Really, this is what we are, uh, spending our time arguing about. And, and I, I just, I pity the people who work with therapists who are so close minded because obviously their, their judging us is going to ensure that, that they're never able to really connect with clients in a meaningful way. So, I mean, that's why I created the therapists who tear, uh, the Facebook group because I, it was heartbreaking to me that people would be very enthusiastic about Tara as a therapist and.

Again, people completely ignorant about what they're talking about and being therapists being very hateful. Yeah. It's like, no, we need a safe space. Yeah, exactly.

Chris McDonald: Which is me

Dreya Blume: shot now. being shot down. So I mean, I appreciate what you're doing with your podcast too, because you're creating this space. For people to talk about these things.

Chris McDonald: Yeah, but I think the moral story is that yes, it is more, it's becoming more open, right? More people are like, once mindfulness became popular, and I think people talk more about meditation and, and gradually, you know, yoga became a little bit more mainstream and, and hopefully I hope things still go in that direction.

But just to caveat up for. Still in the holistic closet, that might be hesitant that there you will get some backlash sometimes, period. But it, you know, you can handle that. Just figuring out the best way to manage it. And there will be people, but, and especially if it's clients, then maybe that's not the client for you.

Dreya Blume: Well, and then that's the thing I think. Nobody is, is forcing a client Yeah, exactly. To use ta. Yeah. And in fact, I mean, the New York Times a couple years ago had had a big article about therapists with clients who are interested in astrology and ta things. Right? And, and how as therapists, it's important for us to become, in some sense, literate in, in these sorts of things because younger people are just so interested in these Oh, for sure.

Topics. Right. And so I, I think. We do our clientele favor by letting them know, Hey, we're open, and there's absolutely space. Yeah, Session session. If you walked for this. Yeah. Yeah.

Chris McDonald: That open. Cause I'm trying to think like if some of my clients, like you said, they bring, I have one that brings up astrology to me.

We talk about that. And another one who's into Wicca, and I was like, Tell me more about that. I'm trying to learn, You know, But what would that be like if they went to someone who was just like, Oh no, we can't talk about that. I just can't even imagine just that being shut down.

Dreya Blume: Oh my gosh. Well, that's what I think is, you know, again, silver lining of covid is that people now have access.

You know, they can, Again, being in Roanoke and poor Roanoke, I mean Roanoke is very beautiful, with the mountains, you know, you're not gonna find as many TA friendly or witchy friendly therapists there compared to other places, let's say Charlottesville or you know, kind of more progressive, Northern Virginia.

So I love the fact now that P, that it is normal. Yeah, it's been normalized, right, That you can find a therapist. Anywhere in the state. I know. And so people will find their person I think.

Chris McDonald: Exactly. Oh, I know we got off a little bit . That's ok too. It's important, It's important information. It's for sure.

Cause that stigma still can be out there for clients and for therapists. I think so,

Dreya Blume: yes. And I hope, I hope it as you promote, and I'll be promoting this as well, but hopefully people, Oh yes, thank you. Maybe, you know, I'll cut. You just sick me on them. I, I will, I will set them. I mean, in a gentle way, my guard.

Yes. . Yeah. I'll be like, Hey St. This is not okay. Exactly.

Chris McDonald: Yeah, for sure. So I guess let's go back to the beginning. Cause I've not used Tara with clients yet. I just haven't had the bandwidth to do training yet. But I do want to, So for me, I'm just kind of. Okay, Where do I start? . Cause to me it's a little overwhelming cause I'm not, I I don't even have a TA card deck.

Like where Oh, do we, do we start with getting a, a deck first? And how do you pick one?

Dreya Blume: Oh, I'm so excited for you. What a wonderful journey. Yeah. Um, yeah, because I think. Going to a bookstore. I, I know that there are several metaphysical shops Yes. You know, in Raleigh and in, in Chapel Hill and Carrie, I know about Durham, I'm sure though, but, and, and there are plenty of places online where you can just, or even if you put in Taro card deck to Amazon, just kinda getting a sense, what, what kind of imagery resonates with me.

Okay. You know, the issue does become, just because the imagery resonates with you, will it resonate with a client. And so kind of thinking in terms of, well, what are decks that I love? You know, I might get one or two decks that are just special for me that I can use with clients that they like these decks.

But also there are decks that are very diverse. And so thinking about the clients that we're serving. How might the deck that we're using with them resonate with them? Right. And and again, that's a good point. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. I mean, there are decks that, uh, again, people in terms of ethnicity and gender and age, those decks are out there.

Because the other issue when we were in person, right, just collectively, Having four or five decks in a basket, right? Hey, which deck do you want to use Now, virtually, you know, if we are working virtually, it's like, well, do you have a deck? Client, right? Yeah. Mm-hmm. , do you have a deck? Let's use your deck.

Um, if not, here's the deck. You know, that I like, it becomes a little more awkward doing it virtually, but it certainly doesn't have to be. But again, I, I would recommend thinking in terms of a deck for me that I can have available, but also maybe a deck that doesn't resonate as much with me, but I think would be applicable in terms of imagery to the majority of my clients.

But the, the other piece, so I do wanna mention. That's why I wrote the book, I mean the TA activity book, and I guess it's almost 10 years now that I, that I had written it. That book is filled with almost 100 ways to use taro cards in session. Wow. And so, yes. So no one has to reinve. Yeah. I'm really proud of it.

I mean, thank you. Yes. I, I mean, so my advice would be spend some time just, you know, spending time with imagery to see which deck you might wanna explore. And then if you get your hands on that book, because I don't, Trying to think, I mean, there are. Books out there. But as far as just activities that you can use immediately with a client, I mean, that's why I'm so proud of the book.

I mean, it's just filled with them. And so I think that's all you really need to do because you don't have to necessarily spend years learning the traditional meanings of the cards. I mean, obviously like that's something. I've done and it's very meaningful. But I, I've met You don't have to. Okay. You don't have to.

They're very intimidated. They, they think I've gotta spend these

Chris McDonald: years, It's what I thought. I'm like, Cause I'm studying yoga still. It's like, okay, how do I have time for ? Yes. One more area

Dreya Blume: to learn. No. Don't worry. And, and again, I, I really like Joan Bunning, B U N N I N G, Joan Bunning's work is awesome.

You know, she's got a book, or if you just google, you know, Joan Bunning ta course, it'll pop up. Yeah, I would say don't let that prevent you from just exploring with your client the imagery, because again, you don't have to know anything about the traditional meaning to have that card. Initiate a conversation, right?

Sure. Between you and your client. So, So yeah, really there's not a lot of, there really isn't any obstacle I think that would prevent the person from incorporate. Yeah, it's absolutely a very low bar. As long as you are, um, just thinking creatively. Can you,

Chris McDonald: you said initially, you, you mentioned have them, um, pick a card that shows the problem.

You said, was it solution to Sure. Yeah. Say that again.

Dreya Blume: What did you say? Sure. Oh, absolutely. And this would be the person looking through the deck? Yes. Yeah. You know, like, Okay, choose a card that represents the issue, the problem you're dealing with right now. Uh, what card. Represents the way out, you know, the, the way solution, the way mm-hmm.

you know, the solution to the problem. And then I always like to have them choose a card that represents them without the problem. Mm. Interesting. Might that look like Yeah, and, and just, you know, there are 78 cards in a deck, so there's plenty of imagery for them to go through, and at least one will resonate.

But I really like the idea too, of choosing one or more cards to represe. Your protector. Oh, right. So again, kind of getting into IFS stuff, but you could, you could have a card represent your inner critic, your protector. You could have them create a mandala or a shield where what they're doing. I love collage.

And they can certainly take a picture, you know, they can take a picture of what they create, or I used to buy decks in bulk. Um, that was where my money went. And, and I would actually, you know, yes. I mean, but I, I love for people to actually glue, you know, take cards and use them in arts and crafts projects.

You know, let's, let's actually create a shield and have seven or eight cards to represent who or what is gonna protect you. And, and let's make, it's not like a vision board almost, you know, Let's make a piece of artwork and, and cut up. Arts and do all sorts of things. Nice. Right? So that's, that's where the expressive arts influence comes in.

There's just so much that you can do. And so, again, I've got a lot of that in the book, but again, that, that's where you don't have to know any of the traditional meanings. Well, I,

Chris McDonald: I think I've been overthinking this.

Dreya Blume: No, and it makes sense. No, I mean, it's because I, I think. When we consider Oh yeah. Using terror cards in therapy, Like it kind of makes sense.

Like, Oh, I guess I'm gonna be pulling cards or talking about the meanings. I mean, that, that makes sense to me. But again, if, if we just think of them as 78 different milus, Right. Different scenes, uh, connecting to archetypes and daily life and energies. You know, we have 78 really options that our clients can go to when it comes to how they might wanna express themselves.

Yeah. Yeah.

Chris McDonald: Okay. But I really gotta say I love the simplicity of that and, and I love just open questions that you can just jump right in and say, Hey, what represents the problem? There you go. Yes, .

Dreya Blume: Yeah. As simple as that. And you could probably, you know, then it's just you being a therapist and you can have, you know, a 30 minute conversation.

Yeah. Based on how, you know, how was the problem connecting to the imagery? Yeah. Like why that, like why did you pick that card then? Yeah.

Chris McDonald: Mm-hmm. and just go from there. It's almost like a stepping stone to the session. Yes.

Dreya Blume: Yes, exactly.

Chris McDonald: So for you, is there any ethical or legal considerations with it? No. I

Dreya Blume: mean, again, if you think about the ROSHAK test, you know, the language I'm using is this projective device.

So, or using imagery. So not, not having to. The word taro, um, at all. Okay. Mm-hmm. . So, yeah, so there's nothing, again, it's, it's using something I think as therapists, you know, the training that we receive in process, right? How are we processing whatever it might be that's coming up. I mean, I very much respect art therapists and expressive arts therapists.

You know, I certainly don't say I'm doing art therapy or expressive arts therapy. But you know, as far as using this kind of third object, right? There's the client. There's me as the clinician, and then there's this third presence, you know, the, the card deck or the imagery. And so I don't feel like I'm operating out of a, out of my competency because basically again, it's, it's all being client driven.

Right. What are you noticing as the client in this card that relates to what we're talking about in session? So, yeah, I think as long as we see it as a projective device, uh, then we're. And then you mentioned

Chris McDonald: informed consent too, and, and that's Oh, yeah, yeah. Covering yourself too. Just making sure that's in there and if that's something you, you're gonna be using.

And, and of course for me it's informed consent too. I always tell therapists that each time you use something, like for me, when I use yoga, do you feel. Like using this today, . I'm not gonna force anybody to do some breath work or yoga if they don't want to.

Dreya Blume: Right, right. And I, I think that most of us, even just thinking that way, um, are already super ethical.

It's, I'm sure you, you know, you and I both have heard plenty of stories of therapists who done pretty horrific things and, and I feel like, oh my gosh, you know, we're worried about this. These people are just creating such harm for clients. So, yeah, I, I try not to overthink it. I, I do feel like we know if a client wants to do it, it'll be very obvious.

Um, For sure. And again, it's a conversation, right? It's, Yeah. We're not, I mean, that's the thing about, about Christian counseling, which I think is important, is that certainly in my experience, if someone is not open, right? Yeah. About, mm-hmm. How they're doing therapy. And that's certainly something I exper.

I don't mean to, you know, shit all over Christian counselors, that's not my, but I think, you know, living in a place where people were not necessarily being, um, open about the fact that they were coming from this perspective, I think especially because I was working with the LGBTQ plus community, um, that can be very damaging when a person doesn't realize, you know, This is the perspective that their therapist has.

So, you know, I, I, that's what I worry about is, you know, does someone have a philosophical base that will inform how they're doing therapy? That actually maybe is, let's say anti L G B T, and certainly Christian counselors can be very pro diversity, but, I, I just think when it comes to ta, um, again, I, I, I just, it's hard for me to imagine where someone would be pissed off because it's always gonna be a conversation, Hey, does, you know, And, and I think it's, it's, in my experience, it's client driven.

It's like, Oh, I wanna do this with you. Like, you're into taro. Or, you know, I saw it on your informed consent. When can we use, you know, when can we use exactly. Mm-hmm. , So, so they're excited. , they're very excited. They're very excited about it. So what

Chris McDonald: would you say to encourage therapists who, who might be hesitant to use this, and what would you say to get for them to start?

How would they start?

Dreya Blume: And I appreciate the question again, I just, I mean, I, I wrote the book that I, that I needed at the time, you know, and, and I still, I, I wish there were more books like it even now, because I think therapists were so creative. Exactly. So I, I do think that if, if they read, you know, my book that the Terror Activity book, they would see that, oh my gosh.

This is, this is something I'm, I, I can do. Right. This is something that, as a therapist makes perfect sense to me and is totally doable and I, I think that would allow a person to feel less intimidated. Okay. Realizing, mm-hmm. . Yeah. Right. All I need to do is. Ask a simple question like I was saying before, you know, how are you feeling today?

Do you wanna choose the cart to represent, you know, you're feeling, Yeah, yeah. Where you are in your life right now. So something as simple as that, that any therapist can do. But with the carts, that's the beautiful thing. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. It's like, Okay, out of the 78 cards you chose this one. Let's talk about it.

And so I, I would hope that people then realize, Yeah, all the training I have just to be a therapist makes me totally qualified Yes. To use this tool. Because again, we we're not, it's not like the Rosh shock test in terms of, you know, we're any sort of personality tests where we're having to, you know, grade it.

Right. Um, it, it, it truly is. Intuitive tool where, okay, you're looking at an image, what's coming up for you? Right? Right. From your intuition. And uh, and again, I think any therapist who, who is, you know, Simply worth their salts. Right. Um, yeah. Would be able to do that

Chris McDonald: with a product. And they could come to your Facebook group too, right?

Dreya Blume: Yes. If anyone wants that kind of support. I mean, we, uh, we have a monthly meetup where people who are just starting out, integrating Tara into their practice can ask questions and they, they can ask questions, you know, post any time, certainly. But we've got our monthly. And we have a book club as well where we're reading books that hopefully can make us feel more comfortable, you know, as therapists just being familiar with Taro and how they might be used.

So yeah, it's, it's the, it's a nice community, I would

Chris McDonald: say. And what's the best way for listeners to find you, to learn more about you?

Dreya Blume: Oh, well, I've got my website, which is just Dre Bloom. Dot com. D R E Y A B L U M E TRA bloom.com. So I've got information about trainings that I have coming up, and yes, every so often I do a live training as far as using TA cards in clinical practice.

And actually there will be a retreat. Uh, Rebecca Bloom and I, a therapist on the West Coast will be offering outside of Seattle in April That will be focused on making your own TA cards and using it clinically and a for therapists. And so I'll start promoting that probably in several weeks. So yeah, there's, I think my website is a good hub.

Okay.

Chris McDonald: And we'll have all that in the show notes too, on the website, so, Wow. You. But thank you so much for coming on the Holistic Counseling Podcast,

Dreya Blume: Andrea. Oh, Chris, again, thank you so much. I appreciate what you do. Thank you.

Chris McDonald: And you've reached the end of another episode of the Holistic Counseling Podcast.

Are you loving this podcast? Please do a favor and share on social media or with a friend or colleague. This is Chris McDonalds, sending each one of you much light. Till next time, take care. Thank you for listening and supporting the Holistic Counseling Podcast. If you're loving this podcast, please share with your colleagues so we can continue to grow our holistic community.

Also, are you ready to take the next step to create an integrative counseling practice? I invite you to sign up for my free nine part email course, Becoming a Holistic Counselor. In this course, you'll explore different holistic strategies, how to develop your skills as a holistic counselor, and how to manifest your.

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