The Psyche Group Guide

Volume VI, Number III

Artwork by Amy Liu

Dreams, decision-making, emotional changes and creative expression — these are some of the many facets of the mind that KidSpirit writers and artists explore this far-ranging issue.

1. We all have life-changing moments that affect the way we see or experience the world. “When the Mountains Called Me” and “The Summer That Changed Me” both describe transformative experiences. Spend a few minutes free writing about a significant event and the effect it had on you. What were you like before the event? What were you like after? Why do you think it had such a big impact? Is this a universal feeling or something that’s particular to you?

2. Noah Totsline takes on the Editorial Board’s Big Question on whether we can know and control our psyches. He says, “I think our psyches can only be altered and influenced when we are ready for change.” Do you think this is true? Think about some times your psyche has been influenced by others. When you are open to change, do you find it easier to make decisions? How so?

3. Dr. Dan Siegel writes about what he calls ESSENCE in his PerSpectives article. He describes how teens go through a period of growth that encourages an Emotional Spark, Social Engagement, Novelty, and Creative Expression — areas where adults can learn a lot from teens. How would you suggest that adults hold onto passion, keep supportive friendships, increase innovation, and express creativity? How do you keep the powerful parts of your own psyche in use? Jot down a few ideas about how you could practice Dr. Siegel’s ESSENCE theory in your own life as you get older.

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