Real Life Heroes
Practitioner's Manual, 2nd Edition
Routledge – 2016 – 424 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.
Introduction. 1: RLH Life Storybook 1. The Heroes Challenge 2. A Little About Me 3. Heroes 4. Power Plans 5. My Family 6. Important People 7. Mind Power 8. Changing the Story 9. Timelines and Moves 10. Through the Tough Times 11. Into the Future 12. My Story II: Adaptations Adolescents. Pre-school Children and Children with Developmental Disabilites. Youths and Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Families with Foster care, Kinship or Adopted Children. Integrated Trauma-informed Services with Groups, Residential Treatment, School-based, and Home-based Programs. III: Resources and Supplies Creative Arts Supplies, Books and Vendors; Start-up Kit. Resources for Caregivers and Therapists. Heroes Library for Children. IV: Strategies for Overcoming Challenges Assessment. Service Planning. Safety. Session Structure. Affect Recognition, Expression and Modulation. Heroes. Caregivers and Other Important Relationships. Mind Power. Changing the Story; Changing Beliefs and Actiong Cycles to Achieve Goals. Timelines and Moves. Trauma Re-integration. Building a Future. Creating an Integrated Life Story V: Toolkit Engagment. Real Life Heroes Summary for Practitioners. Introduction to Traumatic Stress and Real Life Heroes for Caregivers. Assessment, Intervention and Service Plans. Trauma and Resiliency-focused Assessment and Service Planning. Strategy and Activity Guide (for Sessions and 'Homework'). RLH Service Plan Review. Attachment-focused Screening Survey. Important People Questionnaire. Circles of Caring. My Thermometers; Self-Monitoring. Stronger and Stronger Progress Chart. Treatment Tools, Centering and Connection Activities, and Fidelity Measures. Chapter Checkpoints (RHL Cheat Sheet and Fidelity Tool). Progress Note (Fidelity Session Checklist). Bookmark: Reminders (Session Components). HEROES-SOS Bookmark. Trauma Symptoms and the Brain (Psycho education Addendum). Centering Activities (Breathing, Yoga, Movement, 'Improv,' and Storytelling). Heroes Cape Activity. Caregiver Power Plan (Self-understanding and Empowerment). Resource Checklist. Through the Tough Times, Additional Stories. Acknowledments. Glossary (RLH Terms and Tools). References.
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.