Advertisement

Mental Imagery pp 113-120 | Cite as

Adults Who Had Imaginary Playmates as Children

  • John F. Connolly

Abstract

Imagine that you have a personal relationship with a being that you know is not real in the same way that you are. This being, which you are able to describe and interact with easily, could be like a friend, a protector, a teacher, a confidant, or a trouble maker. You are able to hear its words or thoughts with your mind. Your experience is vivid and real and often meaningful, but no one else can see or hear or interact with it the way that you do. If you were to seek out a deeper understanding of such a relationship it would be quickly evident that the orientation of your advisor would define the nature of your experience. In religious circles you would talk about angels, spirits, and the experience of prayer. In metaphysical or parapsychological circles you would talk about spirits, ghosts, fairies, channeling, reincarnation, aliens, mediums, and your higher self. In artistic circles you would talk about the autonomy of the character in your novel or the finding of your voice. In psychotherapeutic circles, you would talk about hallucinations, introjects, archetypes, and the techniques of active imagination, gestalt therapy, psychoimagination, and hypnosis. In healing and personal growth circles you would talk about your inner child, creative visualization, dialogue methods, focusing, psycho-synthesis and intensive journal writing. In social circles you probably wouldn’t talk about it at all.

Keywords

Imaginative Play Favorite Place Imaginal Dialogue Dialogue Method Healing Prayer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Achterberg, J. (1985). Imagery in Healing: Shamanism and Modern Medicine. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  2. Ames, L. and Learned, J. (1946). Imaginary companions and related phenomena. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 69, 147–167.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Barber, T. X., and Glass, L. B. (1962). Significant Factors in Hypnotic BehaviorJournal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 64, 222. 228.Google Scholar
  4. Bettelheim, B. (1977). The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  5. Burnham, S. (1990). A Book of Angels. New York: Ballantine Books.Google Scholar
  6. Caldeira, J. (1978). Imaginary Playmates: Some Relationships to Preschoolers’ Spontaneous Play and Television Viewing. Paper presented at meeting of Eastern Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  7. Curtis, J. T. (1979). Personality characteristics of children with imaginary companions. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, University of Texas.Google Scholar
  8. Delaney, M. M. (1973). Of Irish Ways. Minneapolis: Dillion Press, Inc.Google Scholar
  9. Dengrove, E. (ed.) (1976). Hypnosis and Behavior Therapy. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.Google Scholar
  10. Friaberg, S. (1959). The Magic Years. New York: Scribner.Google Scholar
  11. Fromm, E., and Shor, R. E. (eds.)(1979). Hypnosis: Developments in Research and New Perspectives. New York: Aldine Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  12. Gawain, S. (1978). Creative Visualization. New York: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
  13. Graves, A. P. (1983). The Irish Fairy Book. New York: Arlington House.Google Scholar
  14. Grof, S. (1988). The Adventure of Self-Discovery. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  15. Hurlock, E. G. and Buranstein, W. (1932). The imaginary playmate: A questionnaire study. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 41, 380–392.Google Scholar
  16. Jaynes, J. (1976). The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Boston: Houghton Miffling Co.Google Scholar
  17. Jung, C. G. (1979). Word and Image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Kaplan, H. (ed). (1985). Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry IV. Baltimore, MD: Williams and Wilkins.Google Scholar
  19. Levenson, N. (1981). An Examination of Pre-conditions for the Emergency of the Imaginary Companion. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, Adelphi University.Google Scholar
  20. Manosevitz, M., Prentice, N. M., and Wilson, F. (1973). Individual and Family correlates of imaginary companions in preschool children. Developmental Psychology, 8, 72–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Manosevitz, M., Fling, S., and Prentice, N. (1977). Imaginary companions in young children: relationships with intelligence, creativity, and waiting ability. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 18, 73–78.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Merton, T. (1972). New Seeds of Contemplation. New York: New Directions Publishing Corp.Google Scholar
  23. Missildine, W. H. (1982). Your Inner Child of the Past. New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc.Google Scholar
  24. Myers, M. (1976). Imaginary companions, fantasy twins, mirror dreams, and depersonalization. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 45, 503–523.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Negera, N. (1981). Capacities for integration, oedipal, ambivalence, and imaginaryGoogle Scholar
  26. compansions. The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 41,No. 2, 129–137.Google Scholar
  27. Ornstein, R. E. (1974). The Nature of Human Consciousness: A Book of Readings. New York: Viking Press.Google Scholar
  28. Piaget, J., and Inhelder, B. (1971). Mental Imagery in the Child. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  29. Rucker, N. (1981). Capacities for integration, oedipal, ambivalence, and imaginary companions. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 41, No. 2, 129–137.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Schaefer, C. E. (1969). Imaginary companions and creative adolescents.Developmental Psychology, 1, 747–749.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sheehan, P.W. (1976). A shortened Form of Betts’ Questionnaire Upon Mental Imagery. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 23, 386–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Shleman, B. L. (1976). Healing Prayer. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press.Google Scholar
  33. Shorr, J. E. (1973). Psychotherapy Through Imagery. New York: Thieme-Stratton Inc.Google Scholar
  34. Singer, J. L. (1974). Imagery and Daydream Methods in Psychotherapy and Behavior Modification. New York: Harcourt Brace Javonovich.Google Scholar
  35. Singer, J. L. (1979). Proceedings, International Year of the Child. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Singer, J. L. (1973). The child’s world of make-believe: experimental studies of imaginative play. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  37. Singer, J. L. (1976). Imaginative play in early childhood: some experimental approaches. In A. Davids (Ed.), Childs personality and psychopathology. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  38. Singer, J. L., and Singer, D. (1981). Television, imaginatio, and aggression: a study of preschoolers. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  39. Svendsen, M. (1934). Children’s imaginary companions. Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry, 32, 985–999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tart, Charles (ed.) (1969). Altered States of Consciousness. New York: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  41. Taylor, T. L. (1989). Messengers of Light: The Angels’ Guide to Spiritual Growth. Tiburon, CA: J. J. Kramer Inc.Google Scholar
  42. Turner, J. D. (1972). An investigation of the role the imaginary companion plays in the social development of the child. Unpublished Doctoral Disseration, Miami University.Google Scholar
  43. Veltri, J. A. (1981). Orientations, Volume II. Guelph, Ontario: Loyola House.Google Scholar
  44. Watkins, M. (1986). Invisible Guests. Hillsdale, NJ: ErlbaumGoogle Scholar
  45. Watkins, M. (1984). Waking Dreams. Dallas, TX: Spring Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • John F. Connolly
    • 1
  1. 1.The Imaginary Companion ProjectRochesterUSA

Personalised recommendations