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Walking on the Magic Mountain
`It is a delight to find a book which addresses such important issues as the creative, emotional and psychological well-being of children, while showing that the process can be both non-threatening and fun. Deborah Plummer demonstrates how we can draw upon the naturally abundant, unique and personal world of the imagination to enable children to cope with problems, gain confidence in themselves, or help them find ways to face the challenges in life. Deborah Plummer has written with parents, educationalists and therapists in mind; the book is equally accessible to all three groups. The author provides a series of guided imagework exercises that have the feeling and quality of fairy stories, creating an atmosphere of playful enquiry rather than therapeutic questioning. This gives children a framework within which to freely explore difficult issues, drawing on their own unconscious to arrive at resolutions which are congruent with their needs and wholly suited to them. Nothing is forced or imposed and, appropriately, throughout the process she suggests the child is encouraged to maintain control. This appears to keep the work uncomplicated and well within the bounds of safety. The instructions for the seven sessions, each and enchanting journey travelling in stages to the top of the Magic Mountain, are very clear, lovingly written and easy to follow. What makes this process unique and so interesting is the interactivity that takes place - the children finding they are able to enter into dialogue with the animals, plants, objects and people they meet on their journey, and receive help and insight from these different `image-beings'. … these exercises have arisen out of Deborah Plummer's own experience with children as a speech therapist and self-development trainer. She has arrived at a language that is perfect, managing to avoid patronising overtones. She intersperses the exercises with useful tips on how to proceed in individual and group sessions, and provides suggestions for expanding the process. The illustrations give us delightful glimpses into how children respond to imaginative imagework…an extremely important book. It is highly recommended.'Education Review`Imagework as employed by the author can be defined as structured activities using the imagination, enabling children to deal with difficult situations and ultimately develop a stronger sense of self-worth. The book was written for parents of junior school age children and for professionals working with this age group, and assumes that most children can learn to use their imagination as a therapeutic tool… The book is readable and a soundly based introduction to imagework. For those who wish to explore the subject further the text is littered with references and provides a reading list and contact addresses.'- Bulletin of the Royal College of Speech and Language TherapistsThrough imagework, children can be helped to develop their natural image-making capacity, and to use this to meet and overcome the challenges they face in life. Using Interactive Imagework with Children is an introduction and practical guide to working interactively with children's natural imaginative abilities in order to encourage creative thinking, higher self-esteem and effective stress management. While suitable for use with children who are experiencing some form of stress in their lives, it is emphasized that all children can learn to use their imaginations in a constructive way that will contribute to happier and more creative lives as they grow to adulthood.Deborah Plummer outlines a theoretical framework for using imagework with children, and presents seven practical sessions for use with individuals or groups. The sessions, which cover areas such as friendships, confidence and anxiety, each comprise an introductory phase, imagework and expansion activities. Through group participation children will also have the opportunity to develop social skills, including active listening, discussion, turn-taking, respecting the ideas of others and working co-operatively.