Real Life Heroes: A Life Storybook for Children

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Haworth Maltreatment and Trauma Press, 2004 - Psychology - 108 pages
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Help children overcome the pain of trauma and develop a healthy sense of self!

Real Life Heroes: A Life Storybook for Children helps traumatized children 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 as protection against the adversity and stressors that exist in everyday life. This unique book is designed to be used in tandem with Rebuilding Attachments with Traumatized Children: Healing from Losses, Violence, Abuse, and Neglect (Haworth), a guide to attachment and trauma therapy from the same author.

Real Life Heroes: A Life Storybook for Children 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 inspire the transformation from victim to hero. The life storybook is especially useful for work with children in foster and adoptive families and group care programs.

Real Life Heroes is divided into eight chapters:
  • “A Little About Me” helps children recognize and express feelings (affect management) and introduces the child to the book's format
  • “Heroes and Heroines” invites the child to draw, act out, and write a brief story of someone in his or her life who has acted like a hero
  • “People in My Life” helps a child recall memories of adults who provided care
  • “Good Times” helps a child remember strengths, skills, and supportive relationships that helped him or her
  • “Looking Back” encourages a child to chronicle his or her moves between different locations and homes
  • “Making Things Better” helps a child build self-soothing skills with imagery and magic
  • “Through the Tough Times” helps a child process difficult memories utilizing skills, support from caring adults, and cognitive processing techniques
  • “Into the Future” helps a child to develop a successful self-image for the future
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.

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