About Tabella

Why Tabella Cards?

Tabella Story Inspiration Cards were created to inspire imaginative and insightful stories. This inspiration can cross over different modes of expression, with potential for stories to be told, written, acted out or even drawn.

Tabella is a holistic resource with a broad base of underlying psychological themes to generate stories that can reflect a variety of concepts and emotional states; including any unconscious thoughts that may filter to the surface during a story telling session.

Through story telling, we can assist our children to gently release some of their daily difficulties and concerns by communicating them in a gentle, nonconfronting way. When adults work with children through Tabella cards, there are opportunities for us to nurture and support our children's self discovery and, where applicable, their healing. In so doing, we benefit as well through engagement and the sharing of feelings and ideas.

When we interact with a story we allow ourselves to explore and connect with the characters, settings, themes and scenarios. Whether we are encoding or decoding the story, it is always a creative process, with much of the creative transformation occurring "within the gaps". Our unique intellect, attitudes and personalities glide over the top of the stories that touch us. In the alchemical blend of elements held within them and the ways in which we can manipulate these at will, there is limitless potential for magic to occur. Just as we are much more than the sum of our parts, so too is a story.

One of the key features in conventional story structure that facilitates transformation is point of view. Stories can be presented from the point of view of any one or more characters, which greatly affects the delivery of the messages and interpretation of events. Different details, opinions and emotions can be emphasized when we manipulate the point of view of a story.

Whether we are formulating or interpreting a story, we can shift and alter our own point of view at any time as part of the creative, exploratory process. As we continue to explore the scenes, characters and situations arising through the journey, we are evolving our understanding of ourselves, others, the world and our place within it.

When engaging with a story, whether we choose to project our identities into it or not, there is always a reflection offered as to who we are.

HOW Tabella Works

One parent who offered to take a prototype Tabella card deck home to explore with his eight year old daughter offered me helpful insights into the potential for the deck to stimulate simple, yet bonding and healing exchanges between adults and children. I would like to credit Brian with the concept behind the suggested application for the cards that follows. The player takes a brief look at a card and gives a first reaction response about whether he or she likes it or not. Two piles can be generated - a "like" and a "dislike" pile. There is no right or wrong in this classification.

Brian's daughter disliked the Tug-Of-War card. He asked her why and she responded that she was afraid of the dogs in the picture. Surely, there is some suggestion of threat in their poses. I later asked my daughter what she thought of the card and she stated that she was also afraid of some dogs. Although I already knew this, I saw the opportunity to learn more from her about what lay behind this fear. By gently questioning her I came to learn about the particular situations with dogs that were frightening and the behaviours that she was showing around dogs then, and now, that could feed this negative chain. The conversation came around to relevant questions, like "under what conditions it is appropriate to approach a strange dog?"

It occurred to me that aside from the applications for the cards in a narrative setting, they can be helpful conversation starters - points from which to launch simple chats about things that matter on all levels. It could be worthwhile and fun to randomly whip out the Tabella cards, perhaps at the end of a school day. Both parent and child could select two or three cards that somehow express how their day went and initiate talk about their days. It may be an entertaining way to stay in touch with what it is going on in our children's worlds and vice versa.

WHAT are our Visions and Values?

Engagement and empowerment are the key concepts underlying the visions and values held for Tabella.

Business decisions across the board were made in favour of socially and environmentally sustainable choices. The cards are not laminated for this reason. All papers used are Forest Stewardship Council certified plantation paper, printed with vegetable based dyes.

This website was designed to encourage all 'Tabella Stakeholders' to post or submit information relevant to your experiences with the cards. It is hoped that his hub will continually involve people from all cultures and walks of society so that we may all learn and grow together. It is my ultimate personal aim that Tabella Story Inspiration Cards will reach and assist as many people - children and adults - as possible.

WHAT do you say about Tabella?

You are welcome to email me your feedback on any aspect of Tabella. We are also keen for you to submit your own ideas for games and applications that you have found for the cards. Please denote whether or not you would like it to be visible on the public pages. Stories from children and adults are welcomed for potential publication. Thanks from Melina – developer and publisher of Tabella.