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.
Dr. Charlotte Reznick is a child and educational psychologist and former UCLA Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology with over 20 years of clinical experience. She's also the author of The Power of Your Child's Imagination.
“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. In this brief video clip, Charlotte discusses how animal friends can help children express their feelings, cope with their problems, and even guide them through behavioral changes. “The idea is to make this fun,” she says. “The animal friend is a loving protector who has your best interests at heart.”
Charlotte describes this type of exercise as a type of “whole mindfulness,” in which kids can become deeply aware of their thoughts and emotions while also having fun investigating them. Mindfulness isn't just for adults anymore. Check out more of our content on working with kids and adolescents for more creative tips guaranteed to make your young clients more open to therapy, more expressive, and more mindful of the therapeutic power of their own imagination.
Did you enjoy this video? You might also enjoy Lynn Lyons's, "Taming the Wild Things," in which she explains how parents often inadvertently create an anxiety-reinforcing system around their children, and what therapists can do about it, and Ron Taffel's "The Decline of Parental Authority," in which he explains how a creating a "community of learners" could be the key to raising children in an increasingly detached, family-unfriendly world.
Tags: charlotte reznick | imagination | kids | mindful | psychotherapy | talking | teens | therapy | anxious children | Children | Children & Adolescents | clinical creativity | creative | creative counseling techniques | creative therapy | creativity | oppositional children | Parenting | rapport | therapeutic alliance