Rikki’s Awakening

A journey of discovery of transgender

Authored by: Dee Ballantyne

The Routledge International Handbook of Sandplay Therapy

Print publication date:  January  2017
Online publication date:  February  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138101692
eBook ISBN: 9781315656748
Adobe ISBN: 9781317325970


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At the time I saw Rikki, I was working as an elementary school counselor in Sonoma County, California. Sonoma County is one of the most prosperous areas in the northern California wine country, however the population at the school consisted primarily of the children of immigrant farm laborers from Mexico. Needless to say, they struggled financially and were adjusting to a new culture, as well. The many Mexican immigrants in this region move here to escape the poverty of their homes in Mexico to work in the vineyards. Although they are a critical part of the agricultural economy in the wine business, they remain socially marginalized. Coming from very simple village life in Mexico to a highly sophisticated culture poses significant cultural and language challenges for these people. Rikki’s family had managed to immigrate as an intact family. His father and mother, both employed, lived a stable life, in contrast with the many immigrants who struggle from day to day for work and life’s necessities. I saw Rikki for 19 sessions over a period of six months.

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