Real Life Heroes
Practitioner's Manual, 2nd Edition
Routledge – 2015 – 272 pages
Real Life Heroes: Practitioner's Manual is an organized and easy-to-use reference for busy practitioners who provide therapy to children with traumatic stress. This handy step-by-step guide is an accompanying text to the workbook for children called Real Life Heroes: A Life Story Book for Children, and provides professionals with structured tools for helping children to reintegrate painful memories and to foster healing from traumatic experiences. The book is a go-to resource for practitioners in child and family service agencies and treatment centers to implement trauma-informed, resiliency-centered and evidence-supported services for children with traumatic stress.
Real Life Heroes utilizes an activity-based workbook to help children with traumatic stress and caring adults build the skills and interpersonal resources needed to re-integrate painful memories and to foster healing after experiences of abuse, neglect, family violence, severe illness, losses, deaths, or abandonment. The model includes a developmental, attachment centered curriculum that uses the metaphor of heroes to rekindle hope, en-courage and em-power caring adults to help children overcome traumas, and enhance family and cultural strengths. The curriculum integrates nonverbal and verbal modalities and helps children and caring adults move step-by-step from trauma narratives to life stories highlighting mastery and moving through traumatic events to safety, helping others, and strengthening nurturing relationships.
The book, along with the Story Book for Children, is a rich resource for practitioners in child and family services. Utilizing the heroes metaphor of a quest as an overall framework for practitioners and caregivers to begin a therapeutic journey, grounded in research on traumatic stress and promoting resilience, the Manual is practice-focused with detailed guidelines and ready-to-use materials presented in an easily accessed format.
Acknowledgments. Introduction. Part I: Lifelines: Development and Resiliency After Traumatic Stress. Pathways to Resiliency and Post-traumatic Growth. Engaging and Empowering Caregivers, Practitioners and Systems of Care. The HEROES Quest. Part II: First Steps; Preparing for the Therapeutic Journey. Materials and Supplies. A Map and a Compass; Trauma and Attachment-Centered Service Planning. Guardians and Mentors: Finding and Engaging Caregivers. Practitioners. HEROES Teams. Safety Steps. Structuring Sessions: Expanding the "Therapeutic Window". The Pledge: Beginning the Adventure. Part III: Chapter by Chapter: Component-Based Therapy for Complex Traumatic Stress. Chapter One: Affect Power: Recognizing and Expressing Feelings. Chapter Two: Finding and Strengthening Heroes. Chapter Three: Traumatic Stress and the Hero’s Challenge. Chapter Four: Youth Power Plans. Chapter Five: Caring Adults from the Past; Guardians for the Future. Chapter Six: Good Times: Bonding with Allies and Mentors. Chapter Seven: Developing the Hero Inside. Chapter Eight: Developing the Hero Outside. Chapter Nine: The ABC’s of Trauma and the Hero’s Challenge. Chapter Ten: Timelines and Moves. Chapter Eleven: Through the Tough Times. Chapter Twelve: Into the Future. My Story: My Words, My Pictures. Part IV: Adaptations. Adaptation for Adolescents. Adaptation for Pre-school Children and Children with Disabilities. Adaptation for Resource Families with Kinship, Foster or Adopted Children. Adaptation for Short-Term Services. Adaptation for School Programs. Part V: Responding to Challenges with Strategies: Troubleshooting. Children’s Challenges. Caregiver's Challenges. Implementation Challenges for Practitioners. Impasse and Beyond. Part VI: Tools for the Journey: Handouts, Activities, Templates. Real Life Heroes Summary for Collaborating Practitioners. Traumatic Stress and Real Life Heroes: Introduction to Real Life Heroes for Caregivers. Developmental, Attachment-Centered Service Planning. Priority, Intervention & Activity Guide. Important People Questionnaire. Relationship Circles. My Thermometers. NCTSN Resource Parent Curriculum Parent Handouts. Stronger and Stronger Progress Chart. Sessions Summary/Progress Note. Bookmark. Caregiver Power Plan. Practitioner Power Plan. Proqol Assessment of Compassion Satisfaction, Compassion Fatigue, and Secondary Trauma for Practitioners. Program Resiliency Plan. Trauma Event Response Plan. Family Shield. Resource Checklist. Part VII: Consultation and Professional Development Programs. Real Life Heroes Training Curriculum Summary. Integration with the NCTSN Core Curriculum on Childhood Trauma, Resource Parent Curriculum, Child Welfare Toolkit, and other Treatment Models for Children with Complex Traumatic Stress. Workshop Participant Evaluation. Consultation Participant Evaluation. Part VIII: Fidelity Measures. Session Summary/Progress Note. Program Supervisors Checklist. Program Directors Checklist. Coach’s Checklist (Peer Consultation). Part IX: HEROES Library and Resources. Heroes Library for Children. Resources for Caring Adults. Evaluation and Research Measures. References. Index
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 several books for practitioners in child and family services.