VIDEO: Helping Kids Discover Their Inner Wisdom

How to Tap Into Young Clients’ Imaginations

Charlotte Reznick

Bobby throws temper tantrums at home and at school. His parents bring him to you for therapy, but Bobby refuses to answer questions and sits in your office during sessions with his arms folded until the hour is up. So what’s to be done?




Charlotte Reznick on the importance of having kids set their own goals.

To get kids to be active participants in therapy, the first step is establishing the therapist’s office as a safe, fun environment, says Charlotte Reznick, author of The Power of Your Child’s Imagination. She might use the “balloon breath” exercise to relax her young clients, having them take deep, calming breaths while imagining a balloon inflating with each inhale and exhale. Or she’ll share glittery markers and watercolors with her clients and invite them to draw, removing any worries they might have of a big, scary therapeutic agenda.

Once kids are at ease, the next step is finding out not only what their life is like now, but how they would like it to be. In this brief video clip, Charlotte explains her process. “I have them start imagining what their life could be like if they weren’t so angry or if they weren’t getting in trouble all the time,” she says. “Then when they eventually tell me how they’d like things to be better, I might ask, ‘Would you be willing to learn or try some new things to get you to your goal?”


In the Networker Webcast series A New Road Map for Working with Kids and Teens, Charlotte talks about how to get young clients to outline their goals by using mindfulness techniques to make them feel safe and also bring their imaginations to life in the therapy room.

Topic: Mindfulness | Children/Adolescents

Tags: charlotte reznick | imagination | kids | mindful | mindfulness techniques | parents | teens | therapist | therapists | therapy

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1 Comment

Monday, August 18, 2014 6:26:35 PM | posted by Andy Hudak III
Of course, I like this, but being an older guy that has prracticed for decdes, I often wonder about what goes wrong in our traing that old ideas are presented as if new. Maybe it's review of literatures in school that don't go back far enough, maybe the taking over of mental health tx by short term CBT folks and Big Pharma starting in the mid 80's, maybe the privatization of schools and increased habit of running Universities on business principles, and liability concerns, or The Phd process, which encourages w those short review of Literatures, in combination w fears of being sued if we tell students that they do not have the habits related to keeping up w research to be able to be in private practice, I don't know all the forces, including our individual egos and a culture that has a compromised memory problem...perhaps unintentionally reinforced by our worship of youth, and lack of respect for the wisdom of "our elders", but this video IS very helpful, and exactly the same as reality therapy approaches advocated by bill Glasser in the old days, as well as in MOTIVATIONAL Interviewing classes, and even going back to before these examples.