Wouldn’t it be great if we had a magic therapy wand to wave in front of our young clients and give them all the answers they need? What if this magic wand could conjure rainbow lizards and talking dogs to sit on our clients’ shoulders, bypass their defense systems, and whisper good, therapeutic advice in their ears? Well, that’s exactly the kind of approach Charlotte Reznick, author of The Power of Your Child’s Imagination, uses with her young clients.
“We need to encourage children to unlock their hidden wisdom,” Charlotte says. “I truly believe that kids have the answers inside.” That’s why she uses “animal friends”—imaginary creatures she helps kids invent to support them in and outside of therapy. “The idea is to make this fun,” she says. “The animal friend is a loving protector who has your best interests at heart.”
As Reznick shows, mindfulness isn’t just for adults anymore. It can make kids more open to therapy, more expressive, and more mindful of the therapeutic power of their own imagination.
Charlotte Reznick, PhD, an educational psychologist, is associate clinical professor emeritus of psychology at UCLA. She’s the author of The Power of Your Child’s Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success.
Richard Simon, PhD, founded Psychotherapy Networker and served as the editor for more than 40 years. He received every major magazine industry honor, including the National Magazine Award. Rich passed away November 2020, and we honor his memory and contributions to the field every day.