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Real Life Heroes: A Life Storybook for Children
     

Real Life Heroes: A Life Storybook for Children

by Richard Kagan
 

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Help children overcome the pain of trauma and develop a healthy sense of self

Real Life Heroes: A Life Story Book for Children, Second Edition is the updated classic that helps children with traumatic stress move from painful or fractured memories to a more positive perspective, not by denying hardships, but by drawing strength from the supportive people in

Overview

Help children overcome the pain of trauma and develop a healthy sense of self

Real Life Heroes: A Life Story Book for Children, Second Edition is the updated classic that helps children with traumatic stress move from painful or fractured memories to a more positive perspective, not by denying hardships, but by drawing strength from the supportive people in their lives. This innovative workbook uses a creative arts approach that encourages children to work with caring adults to develop autobiographies through a wide range of activities, including drawings, music, movies, and narrative. The results foster positive values and a sense of pride in children as they form a stronger bond with caring and committed adults and protection from adversity and stressors that exist in everyday life.

Real Life Heroes: A Life Story Book for Children, Second Edition is a therapeutic resource that helps children overcome the difficulties they may face, including divorce, separation, placement, learning problems, serious illness, and hospitalization. The workbook highlights and preserves for children the moments in their lives when “important” people—family, friends, and community—showed kindness, caring, understanding, and courage, giving the child a sense of value that can promote transformation of troubled children from victims into tomorrow's heroes. The life storybook is especially useful for work with children in foster and adoptive families and group care programs.

Topics addressed in Real Life Heroes: A Life Story Book for Children, Second Edition include:

  • helping children recognize and express feelings (affect regulation)
  • inviting the child to draw, act out, and write a brief story of someone in his or her life who has acted like a hero
  • helping a child recall memories of adults who provided care
  • helping a child remember strengths, skills, and supportive relationships that helped him or her
  • encouraging a child to chronicle his or her moves between different locations and homes
  • helping a child build self-soothing skills with imagery and body awareness skills
  • helping a child process difficult memories utilizing skills, support from caring adults, and cognitive processing techniques
  • helping a child to develop a successful self-image for the future

Real Life Heroes: A Life Story Book for Children, Second Edition is a rich resource for counselors, psychotherapists, teachers, parents, adoptive parents, foster parents, grandparents, and mentors who are working to help troubled children to overcome traumas and to rebuild hope and a positive identity.

Editorial Reviews

5 Stars! from Doody
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Nicholas Greco IV, MS, BCETS, CATSM (Columbia College of Missouri)
Description: This supplementary workbook to the author's book, Rebuilding Attachments with Traumatized Children: Healing from Losses, Violence, Abuse, and Neglect, is an excellent way for parents and clinicians to help rebuild the connections with traumatized children and promote a sense of needed permanency.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a variety of ways in which children aged 6-12 can express themselves through drawings, writings, crafts, posters, etc. It is through this expression, with the support of both therapist and parent or caring adult, that the child's wounds can begin to heal. These worthy and commendable objectives are met.
Audience: Intended mainly for use under the supervision of licensed mental health practitioners (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers), the book is intended for children aged 6-12 and their parents or caregivers to implement in their treatment. The author's credibility and experience is without question.
Features: The book explores the child's own image of self and of those around him and her. Notably, the workbook looks at what the child considers to be a hero and what a hero means to the child. Children are given opportunities to look back, look to the present, and look to the future. There a number of fill-in-the-blank items and opportunities to draw feelings, images, and thoughts, all of which allow children to safely explore their pain and ultimately be able to process it.
Assessment: This one of the best, most caring workbooks I have seen. The need and benefit that such a workbook will provide to traumatized children is beyond words, yet the author has been able to capture those words and produce an invaluable therapeutic tool. Highly commendable and highly recommended!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780789029515
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
07/24/2007
Edition description:
Older Edition
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.31(d)

What People are Saying About This

Margaret E. Blaustein
This newest edition of the Real-Life Heroes workbook expands Dr. Kagan's contributions to the complex work of building resiliency in children who have been terribly hurt. . . . The workbook is CAREFULLY PACED, WITH A GREAT DEAL OF ATTENTION PAID TO CHILD SAFETY. It is likely that no two clients will use this workbook in exactly the same way—as is fitting, since no two children will have the same story or the same path to healing. Real-Life Heroes offers a frame within which to work, and allows the child and the therapist's creativity the space in which to take over. (Margaret E. Blaustein, PhD, Director of Training and Education, The Trauma Center at JRI)
Arlene Fisher
A REAL LIFESAVER for therapists searching to find helpful techniques to work with children who have experienced multiple traumas. Expressive, multi-sensory, creative methods are utilized to help children express feelings about their past traumatic experiences. The hero concept helps youth to visualize their strengths and to think in terms of future success. The Making Things Better chapter provides helpful strategies to help children regulate their feelings. The ABC's of Trauma and the Hero's Challenge helps children to look at the beliefs and actions that are keeping them stuck and actions they can take to feel successful. THIS BOOK IS A MUST HAVE FOR EVERY THERAPIST OR PSYCHOLOGIST WHO WORKS WITH TRAUMATIZED CHILDREN. (Arlene Fisher, MA, LPC, LMFT, Director, Child Welfare Services, DePelchin Children's Center)
Robert Brooks
AN EXCELLENT THERAPEUTIC RESOURCE. I am certain that it will be read and re-read by those professionals engaged in improving the lives of at-risk youngsters.
PhD, Faculty, Harvard Medical School; Author of The Self-Esteem Teacher; Co-author of Raising Resilient Children
Sarah B. Greenblatt
Provides insightful examples of how parents (birth, foster, and adoptive) can help children become 'their own heroes' by providing a safe space to tell their stories and make the burden of past trauma more bearable.
MSEd, MS, ACSW, Director, The Casey Center for Effective Child Welfare Practice, Casey Family Services, New Haven, Connecticut

Meet the Author

Richard Kagan, PhD, is Director of Psychological Services for Parsons Child and Family Center in Albany, New York, and formerly Clinical Director/Principal Investigator for Parsons Child Trauma Study Center, a community services site for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. He is the author and co-author of six books about child and family services, Families in Perpetual Crisis with Shirley Schlosberg; Turmoil to Turning Points: Building Hope for Children in Crisis Placements; Wounded Angels: Lessons from Children in Crisis; Rebuilding Attachments with Traumatized Children: Healing from Losses, Violence, Abuse, and Neglect; Real Life Heroes: A Life Story Book for Children; and Real Life Heroes: Practitioner Manual. He has also published over twenty articles, chapters, and papers on practice and research issues in trauma therapy, child welfare, foster care, adoption, professional development, program evaluation, and quality improvement in family service agencies. Dr. Kagan has worked as a consulting psychologist for county departments of social services, and several child and family service agencies. Professional honors include two awards for distinguished achievement in child and family services. Dr. Kagan has been a workshop leader and keynote speaker at national and international conferences sponsored by family service agencies in the United States and Canada, and at state and regional conferences of trauma therapy, family violence, and home-based family service associations. His presentations, articles, and books highlight practical and innovative approaches that practitioners can utilize to help traumatized children and families.

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