Real Life Heroes
A Life Storybook for Children, 3rd Edition
Routledge – 2015 – 176 pages
Routledge – 2015 – 176 pages
The Real Life Heroes Life Storybook for Children has proven to be a highly regarded tool for engaging troubled children and caregivers to begin (and continue) work on reducing traumatic stress. The resiliency-centered format and structure of the Life Storybook coupled with the Real Life Heroes treatment and session structure outlined in the Practitioner’s Manual help practitioners to broaden each child and caregivers’ "therapeutic window" for skill development and desensitization. Use of the Life Storybook promotes safety and trust and provides a flexible structure for practitioners to address core components of evidence-supported treatment for children with complex trauma. This thoroughly updated edition 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 can be utilized as a comprehensive framework for trauma and attachment-centered therapy or as an easily adaptable resource within other comprehensive treatment programs for traumatic stress to facilitate engagement, affect modulation, attachment, desensitization, or life story work. Chapters of the Life Storybook can be selected to match specific components of complex trauma therapy targeted by treatment teams. The book 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.
Real Life Heroes: A Life Storybook for Children 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.
Preface. Introduction for Parents, Caregivers, and Practitioners. The Pledge. A Little About Me. Finding and Strengthening Heroes. Traumatic Stress and the Hero’s Challenge. Power Plans. People in My Life. Good Times. Making Things Better on the Inside. Making Things Better on the Outside. The ABC’s of Trauma and the Hero’s Challenge. Looking Back: Timelines and Places I’ve Lived. Through the Tough Times. Into the Future. My Story: My Words, My Photos.
Richard Kagan, PhD, is Principal Investigator and Co-Director for the HEROES Project, and Director of Psychological Services at Parsons Child and Family Center in Albany, New York, a community services site for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). He has served as editor of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma and the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, and his publications include seven books for practitioners in child and family services.