New Book by Nundah Psychologist Takes a Look At Empathy, Compassion, and Conquering Anxiety From Canine Point of View

Photo credit:Johnston, Simons & Pike 2019 / vizbytales.com

A new illustrated book by Nundah psychologist Dr Karla Johnston encourages kids to see things from a dog’s perspective and learn to “share and care for each other under all circumstances.” 

Illustrated by Dr Julia Pike, “Vizby: The Naughty Dog” is a three-part book series about an energetic Hungarian Vizsla dog’s real life adventures in New Farm with her Ma and friends. 

The book tackles many of the challenges that children face, such as dealing with cultural and language differences and anxiety. Through Vizby’s fun adventures, the book helps its readers view things from different perspectives and to understand the whole person — looking beyond the superficial.


 


book by Nundah psychologist Dr Karla Johnston
Photo credit:Johnston, Simons & Pike 2019 / vizbytales.com

The book also fosters academic and emotional intelligence which are critical to problem solving, as well as promote ways to stay mentally flexible to be able to work your way around challenging situations, overcome anxiety, and find the courage to embrace the things around you.

Co-authors Dr Karla Johnston and Dr Roland Simons said the book “reinforces concepts like: safely helping neighbours resulting in positive friendships; being brave enough to try new activities to expand your world experiences; the benefits of sharing; self-soothing routines as helpful coping mechanisms; compassionate caring of others as well as the self; and learning to think about others’ thoughts and feelings (theory of mind).”

book by Nundah psychologist Dr Karla Johnston
Photo credit:Johnston, Simons & Pike 2019 / vizbytales.com

“We hope that children (particularly those in big cities) would come to understand that while dogs can be unpredictable, sometimes resulting in feelings of anxiety, it is important to step back and see things from the dogs’ point of view too (empathy) and learn ways to communicate with dogs that are less threatening for both sides. This is a parallel process for encouraging understanding between humans as well!”

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About Dr Karla Johnston

Dr Karla Johnston is a clinical psychologist from Nundah Village Family Practice. She has been counselling adult and older adults for the past 19 years. Dr Johnston is also dog mum to three Hungarian Vizslas.