How do we use magical thinking to treat Burnout, depression and traumas?

Magical thinking is one ability of children to overstep all natural laws by using the power of their fantasy. Imagining fantastical beings such as elves, trolls and whitches belongs to magical thinking as well as the belief to possess magical powers. The ability to “think magically” is most apparent when you look at children in preschool. Sadly enough the ability of magical thinking is often surpressed when parents listen to their young kids talking of elves and talking to trees. Very often the parents, in fear of their child “being crazy”, talk them out of “stupid fantasizing” or even take them to a psychologist.  But even if rational parents don’t intefere with their children’s ability to summon the power of their fantasy, the children lose it when the reach puberty. Most of them can’t remember this “phenomenon” once they become adults. Traumatherapy now uses magical thinking to support patients in difficult situations. The patient is to imagine a power animal or imaginary helper that (due to his original trauma) keeps him from freezing under difficult circumstances. In her book “Imagination as a source of healing”  trauma expert Luise Reddemann provides more Information on how the magical thinking of children can be useful for trauma patients; thus how the trauma can be finally integrated into the patient’s life.

Written by Renate Weber