chapter  11
4 Pages

The Superhero in All of Us

ByDeanna Linville Michelle R. Ward

Objective Anxiety has become a common presenting problem for young children in family therapy, par-

ticularly those who are experiencing loss, illness, and disability. The purpose of this activity is to provide children with some security about their own strengths, empowering their self-perceptions and eventually reducing their symptoms of anxiety and worry. The therapist and client create a personal “superhero” for the child in the therapy session. This superhero is unique in that it identifies strengths that the child considers important to overcome difficult obstacles. The power of this intervention is that the therapist relates these “superpowers” to the already existing strengths intrinsic to the child’s personality. Once completed, the superhero reflects the child’s “superpowers.” By identifying the child’s strengths as “superpowers,” this activity boosts the child’s self-concept and fosters an ability to cope during difficult times. After the child and family review the child’s superpowers, the family takes the superhero home to be mounted in a visible place. The presence of this superhero in the child’s everyday world serves as a reminder of the strengths that will help him or her cope with life’s struggles.