|Magic as a Therapeutic Intervention
To Promote Coping in Hospitalized
Magic as a therapeutic intervention is used in an innovative, hospital-based program
to address the psychosocial issues children and adolescents often experience
as a result of illness and hospitalization. A child life specialist and a magician
with an MBA collaborated, blending clinical expertise with business acumen
and professional-level magic skills to create the program. The program has two
distinct components: (1) magicians using interactive, close-up magic and humor
as a technique to promote socialization, enhance self-esteem, and increase
opportunities for choice and control, and (2) magicians providing the personal
instruction and materials that enable chronically ill and long-term patients to learn
and perform magic to promote a sense of empowerment and feelings of mastery.
Positive responses from patients, families, and staff to the program at one hospital
led to the creation of Open Heart Magic, a non-profit children's foundation that
maintains and staffs bedside, interactive therapeutic magic programs in five hospitals
in the Chicago metropolitan area.