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Creative Therapy: Traveling Quarter
Using Magic Tricks in Therapy


For this trick you will need: A quarter

Summary:  A quarter, shown in one hand, magically travels to the other!

This trick requires practice, you need to be able to perform the most basic "sleight" of hand.  This is a very, very common technique used by magicians everywhere.

To practice "palming" a quarter, try holding one in your right palm with your hand straight open.  Close your hand slightly.  This will create a small crease in your hand, and is enough to hold the quarter.  Now practice holding your hand face down, while still holding the quarter from the pressure of your slightly closed hand.  Practice being able to do this naturally (it takes quite a few tries). 

Once you have perfected this technique you are ready to perform the trick.

You begin by showing your client a quarter that you have.  Let them check it out, to ensure that it is not a trick quarter, but is a regular one.  You can tell them that this quarter is indeed not a regular one, but a magic quarter, which can perform magical tricks.  Hold the quarter in your right palm and close your fist around it.  Holding out your left hand, act like you are putting the quarter in your left hand.  Here's the trick, you need to look as if you really are putting the quarter in your left hand.  This needs to be practiced several times, in front of a mirror to perfect.  What you actually do is "palm" the quarter, keeping it in your right hand.

Practice pretending to give yourself the quarter.  It most look realistic, this cannot be stressed enough!  Your left hand must close and act as if it is holding a quarter!  With both hands closed, say that you will now magically return the quarter to your other hand.  Open your left hand to show that the quarter is gone.  Finally, open up your right hand to show the quarter.  Taa-dum!!!

Application:  I use this trick to illustrate how controlling one's own feelings is not impossible, it just requires knowing what to do.  After performing the trick, I talk about how the trick I just performed seems like "magic".  I explain that it was not actually magic, but a trick.  All you need to know is how the trick is done, to be able to do it yourself.  I then tell them a story about a child I know who is able to keep a very good control over his feelings.  I tell them a story about how this child was made very angry by his peers, but was able to control his feelings and not explode.  "Now you may think, how in the world did he do that!  If it was me in that situation, I would have totally flipped out!  Well, I'm here to tell you that what he did was not magical in any way, he just had to know how to do it.  Getting back to the trick, here, let me show you how I did it."  I then show my client how they can perform the trick themselves.  "So you see, at first this trick may have seemed impossible, but now that I have shown you how to do it, you can repeat it to someone else.  You will need to practice it a few times first.  This is just like controlling your feelings.  I, as your therapist am going to show you how to control your feelings, how to handle all of the emotions you are feeling in a positive way.  At first this may seem impossible, but with a bit of learning and practice, you will be able to do this too."

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