Psychologist discovers the link between anxiety and imagination

TORONTO, Feb. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Is your child anxious but imaginative? Did you know that there's a clear link between creativity and anxiety? A new book, Anxiety and the Gift of Imagination, gives parents the tools to help kids to chase the monsters and other worries from their mind.

Psychologists have documented a significant rise in anxiety among children.  In North America between 7- 13% of children meet the criteria for anxiety disorders in a given year.  Dr. Robin Alter, a child psychologist for over 30 years, specializing in anxiety, says a lot of these children have overactive imaginations. She explains that children are often unable to distinguish what's imaginary from what is real—"For a child with a vivid imagination, the monster under the bed is as real as the bed itself."  

In her book, Dr. Alter explains her approach and clearly offers strategies parents can easily use to help children take control of their imagination, calm their anxiety while leaving their self-esteem intact.  The book is filled with illustrations that make the concepts come to life as well as two chapters that work as a storybook, that children can read themselves or be read to by a care giver that explains how it comes about that children have imaginations in the first place, and how imaginations can be used and/or misused. Children can then recognize that their rich imagination is truly a "gift," and almost certainly, will see anxiety, and themselves, in a whole different way.

Dr. Alter has had enormous success with her approach.  Psychiatrists and mental health professionals with many years of experience have commented on its clinical usefulness, "One of the best and most useful books I have ever read!" - Dr. Edward Sowa, child and adolescent psychiatrist with over 40 years of experience; "an important breakthrough in assisting children with anxiety" - Sylvia Pivko, Executive Director, Blue Hills Child and Family Centre; "Important information delivered in a warm and concrete fashion"- Paul Harris, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University.

Image with caption: "Anxiety and the Gift of Imagination - A new model for helping parents and children manage anxiety (CNW Group/Alter Psychology Professional Corp)". Image available at:

SOURCE Alter Psychology Professional Corp

For further information:

For a copy of the book, interview or media appearance, contact Dr. Alter at:

416-633-0515, ext 151

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Alter Psychology Professional Corp

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