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What Colour is your Dragon? | Mindfulness Centre of Excellence

What Colour is your Dragon?

Welcome to the “What Colour is your Dragon?” Webpage

(Click here for Portuguese version of this page)

Clique aqui para a versão desta página em Português


(Click here for Portuguese What Colour is Your Dragon? book worksheets to download)

Para você que adquiriu:  “Aprendendo a amar os seus dragões: Uma linguagem 
sobre emoções” Mindfulness entre gerações de Tamara Russell e Raquel Lhullier
clique aqui para baixar os arquivos do livro

About this page:

Here you can find out all things related to Dragons and how we work with the three Dragons (Red, Green and Blue) to help young people and families develop emotional language.  This work is based in part on Professor Paul Gilbert’s “three circles” model and Dr. Tamara Russell’s Body in Mind Training program. Using this “brainwise” approach, we have worked out fun and playful ways to help families explore their bodies, minds and communication when they are feeling playful, when it is time to work and get things done, and when times are more challenging. Our Green, Blue and Red dragons all need care and attention to make sure they are working well together.  Our workshops help young people aged 5-11 and those who care for them (parents, educators) develop a common language of emotions.


(c) Psychology Tools adapted from Gilbert (2005)

Introducing the Mini Dragons Team

The Mindfulness Centre of Excellence has formed a core team that aims to support young people and families develop a new language of emotions based on the 3 Dragons. It is clear from the statistics reported each year that adults and young people are struggling to articulate their emotional state in healthy ways.  There is a dire need to help people of all ages to be more at ease with their emotional life and particularly less inhibited to share their emotional experiences and express emotional needs.

We take a systems-level approach. Working not only with young people but also with those who care for them. In this way, we can all use the same language to expression our emotional needs. We honour our emotions and thank them for being part of our life. We acknowledge that our true human experience is feeling deeply and that these feelings are the motivations for many of the great advances that have been made by mankind.


Over the last three years, Dr Tamara Russell (UK) and Raquel Lhullier (Brasil) have been developing this multicultural project in a Brazil-UK collaboration. UK-based Tony Langford and Mary Louise Morris have recently joined the “mini dragons” team.

We have created a simple to use, science-based, accessible and practical approach to help adults and young people communicate effectively about emotions. This work has involved discussions, live research in the educational setting, reflections, workshops and individual/family training in Portugal, England and Brasil.

Watch this space – our book is about to be launched in October. Contact psicraquelbl@gmail.com for moe information.

This work will be presented in Brazil in October at a conference looking at arts and mental health in young people.

Read about the our Dragon workshop in 2018 in Portugal here.


Core intentions of the Mini Dragons Project

To share our experience of developing the Dragon language

To help everyone learn how to share more of their emotional life in healthy ways.

To encourage self-care and self-compassion for all ages.

To encourage greater vulnerability and increase connection and creativity.



Team Members

Image of Dr Tamara Russell

Dr. Tamara Russell is the Co-Director of the Mindfulness Centre and supports the Mini-Dragons team with a Mindful 360 design and development processes. This includes mindful team processes to support the work as well as mindful and brainwise principles to guide the development of the teaching tools.


Raquel Lhullier is a Cognitive Behavioral Psychologist working with young people and families. She is the Mindfulness Centre of Excellence Lead for Child and Family Systems Mindfulness. Together with Centre Co-Director Tony Langford she co-ordinates the What Colour is your Dragon? initiative to improve emotionally intelligent communication in families.

Raquel is a graduate of the Catholic University of Pelotas (UCPel) in the South of Brazil. In Brazil she runs a private clinical practice and supports a multidisciplinary clinic consulting with physicians, educators, and paediatricians to promote psychological wellness within the whole system. She regularly teaches other professionals and shares her work internationally at conferences and workshops.

Raquel is a Member of Iniciativa Mindfulness.  She is certified by Mindful Schools and trained in the Neurocognitive Foundations of Mindfulness (International Teacher Training) offered by the Mindfulness Centre of Excellence and Iniciativa Mindfulness. She is the author and co-author of several books for children, families and educators.  More information:  www.raquelblhullier.com.br

Tony Langford is a co-director of the Mindfulness Centre of Excellence and is at the forefront of research showing how the creative arts, music and technology can have a demonstrable impact on mental health and wellbeing. Tony has trained in the Body in Mind Neurocognitive Model and has helped to develop the ‘What Colour Is Your Dragon?’ workshops with the help of his two sons at home in south west London. He has completed trainings and courses in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Compassionate Mindfulness, Somatic Experiencing, Focusing and EMDR.  He also co-facilitates his local Twickenham Mindfulness Meditation Group.

Tony runs Mini Dragons workshops for families and young people in the community, and brings embodied and creative practices as well as mindfulness teaching experience to the project.


Mary Louise Morris 

BA hons, MA) is a mindfulness teacher with over 15 years of working closely with schools in the UK. She has worked at a senior management level in three UK children’s charities and has over 20 years’ experience in training adults and children in a wide range of subjects.
Mary Louise is an accredited teacher of the Mindfulness In Schools Programme (MISP) qualified to teach both adults (.b Foundations) and pupils (.b). She has also completed a teacher training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, at The Centre for Mindfulness at the University of Bangor. MaryLouise has been training school staff in wellbeing since 2008. She runs 8 weeks courses for staff to help embed mindfulness practices in schools, and she has an strong interest in positive psychology. She is currently setting up a london based Happy cafe for the charity Action for Happiness. She has also developed a training especially for teenagers called My Digital Mind, focusing on digital well-being for pupils aged 14+.