Who is Bing Bong? Truth Exposed! His real life after Inside out!
***WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS!!!
Most people (who've not been living under a rock) will be familiar with this adorable goofy character from the Oscar winning film Inside Out. Click here to read my rave review and plea to the Oscar panel. They listened;)
So who really is Bing Bong? What does he represent? And what really happened to him (sob!)?
The official line is that he's an imaginary friend, but he can most certainly mean different things to different people. But I want to let you in on a BIG secret. He didn't die. (Or maybe he did but he was reborn!) He's gone underground working as a play therapist! At the end of this post I'll share something that was left behind from him in my play room. The evidence!
Keep the tissues handy as you revisit the emotional memory of Bing Bong's story. But first, why on Earth does he work as a play therapist?
Why is Bing Bong a play therapist?
1. He knows all about the self regulating qualities of play.
Bing Bong is one seriously experienced player, he loves it. He's seen children in play seamlessly move through emotions a lot. Some emotions are so intense that play alone is not enough, he is called upon to play it out with children having difficulties. He doesnt talk that much because he knows that kids want and need to play. It helps them calm down.
2. He's naturally very accepting
He is so gung ho, he goes with the flow and the adventure. He's pretty easy going and he accepts the child as they are. His positive viewpoint of a child is unconditional. When you feel that it's pretty powerful.
3. He knows how to connect through empathy
Having spent some quality time hanging out with sadness and her endearing qualities, he knows how to be empathetic. Bing Bong is willing to be there and feel the strong emotions with the child from a secure place. For the child, not feeling alone in their sadness and pain is so comforting.
4. He doesn't mind being projected on
Bing Bong has a lot of experience in this! He knows that play therapists are there to be projected on. Sometimes we appear nice (like Bing Bong usually looks). Other times we may be painted over to be a villain. Either way we serve a purpose and we let the child decide. We don't take things personally. That is very very hard for a parent to do especially with really challenging behaviour. It took Bing Bong some time to not take things personally (as you saw in the movie) before he became a play therapist.
5. When the child no longer needs him, he will go.
When a child is really re-connecting with their emotions and finding their inner resources he will sacrifice! It's ok. Even if he wants to continue playing with the child, he won't stay too long. He ultimately wants the child to be empowered.
6. He's not scary or bossy with rules but he still make the child feel safe.
Do you remember in Inside out there were some pretty scary parts of the mind? It's always better to face scary or challenging areas with someone else. As play therapists we don't take over but we support and witness.
And now onto what he left behind!
Here's a magical letter from Bing Bong play therapist to one of his child clients that I found at the bottom of the lego box. I have no idea how it got there 😉 It doesn't have any names so I think its ok to share...
Now it's your turn!
1. Are you surprised that Bing Bong became a play therapist? What does Bing Bong mean to you?
2. Have you ever had somebody (real or imagined) that acted like Bing Bong for you?
3. Does your child have an imaginary friend (or did they once have one)?
Share with your friends by email or social media especially if they've been wanting to get more insight on the role of a play therapist. Other people worth sharing with is your friend who really balled their eyes out at THAT PART of the film. They may find this secret letter comforting. :)