Unfortunately our world is stressed. Adults are stressed and so are kids. Depression and anxiety are higher than ever before–no matter what age. Research has shown that traumatic events affect 50% of children before the age of 17. Adults and children need tools to mitigate stress and help navigate through challenging life events.

Writing Helps Mitigate Stress and Trauma

Research shows that writing about life’s struggles helps to process, heal, and move forward during and after experiencing life challenges. Kids are perfect candidates to use writing as a tool to mitigate stress starting as young as Kindergarten through high school. The Imagine Project is a great tool to prompt kids and teens to write about a difficult life story because the 7-step process uses the word Imagine to begin each sentence. Using “Imagine” is a safety net for the writer. It gives them the opportunity to write about their experience without being pulled into a deep/difficult emotion they might have felt using other writing formats. Step 4 in the writing process prompts the writer to Imagine a new story in place of the old story, helping to Imagine new possibilities in their life. A perfect way to move forward to realize they don’t have to be defined by their story.

Using The Imagine Project in Groups or Classrooms

World renowned trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry explains in his book, What Happened to You that the resilience in this country is diminished because our connectedness is diminished. Social media, the pandemic, and a host of other causes have created a relational poverty with children and adults. We need the emotional support of being connected to others to with stand life’s challenges. When the Imagine Project is used in a group (family is a group) or classroom and kids are given the opportunity to read their stories out loud, a connectedness is created. A sense of understanding ourselves and each other–creating camaraderie and security in knowing that you aren’t alone navigating this sometimes difficult world, and that others also have challenges they face. It’s truly beautiful to watch this process unfold in a group/classroom. We at The Imagine Project encourage everyone to experience it, young and old.

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