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The Power of Imagery

So many of us as parents and helpers of children are concerned about the levels of anxiety our children experience. This effects their health and wellbeing and undermines confidence, school performance, and relationships with family and friends. Anxiety, unaddressed, can accumulate into a toxic mix of thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and behaviors that follows your child around like Pig Pen's dust cloud in Charlie Brown. The good news, though, is that the normal anxieties we feel day to day can be effectively countered with interventions that bring balance to the nervous system. This includes physical activity, engagement in stimulating challenges or projects, physical touch, and satisfying relationships. One of the simplest tools that can be used is guided visualizations. These help bring a sense of safety and control to a child and can be a shared, creative project between you and your "little". Try it at bedtime or another quiet time when you are snuggled up comfortably and uninterrupted for a period of time. Joan Furman, at offers a nice piece called "Imagery for Creating a Safe Place"( that can be read aloud or pre-recorded. Another alternatives includes this YouTube video about treehouses ( as well as many others that you can find with a simple internet search. Once you have experienced a few that others have created, try your hand at your own. Your child will have great ideas about what is soothing (and interesting) and the two of you can build a custom made visualization together. Happy Journeying!

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