The story “Mrs Flow” personifies therapeutic goals and resources in a fictional character, and at the same time distracts the patient from any stressful real-life experiences which might block the work.
Mrs Flow builds staircases. She builds wooden staircases, marble staircases, and even glass and rubber staircases and spiral staircases. She builds staircases which go up and staircases which go down, and she has invented a new type of staircase which goes up and down and up and down and up and down. She has invented a staircase which can be folded up, a staircase which can be pushed together and a staircase which is completely flat. I don’t quite understand how it works, but experts have assured me that it really does exist – a completely flat staircase. Mrs Flow also works together with a colleague to build escalators. The interesting thing about these escalators is that they start off as a not-staircase, gradually turn into a staircase, become less and less of a staircase and then end up as a not-staircase. When I was a child, I always wondered where escalators come from and go to. Once I saw an escalator at an airport without any steps at all. You could build a hill into a step-free escalator of this kind so that it changed from a flat treadmill into an escalator going up, then an escalator going down, and then a flat treadmill again, maybe with a higher level in between – up the staircase, flat for a while and then down the staircase, or the same thing but going down instead of up. The luggage carousels at the airport are just like flat staircases which go around lots of corners. Some of them bring the luggage up a steep slope, a luggage staircase or a luggage lift first before it starts going around the carousel. There’s a great deal of flexibility when it comes to designing these staircases and luggage carousels, and Mrs Flow is an expert on the matter.