New Picture and Activity Book Helps Children Feel Better After a Traumatic Experience

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Sam is a little boy who saw something scary. It didn't make him feel very good, but he's afraid to talk about it. Children who read Sam's story can help him to feel better and in the process overcome their own traumatic experiences.

Children who experience trauma and abuse often find it difficult to express their feelings. Therapists and parents will find help through the role-playing, drawing and other imaginative activities in Jill Osborne's acclaimed new book "Sam Feels Better Now! An Interactive Story for Children" (ISBN 9781932690606, Loving Healing Press 2008).

Sam saw something awful and scary! Ms. Carol, a special therapist, will show Sam how to feel better. Children who read the book can also help Sam feel better by using the drawings, role-playing and storytelling activities. Sam's traumatic experience is left open so children attending therapy may fill in their own experiences and discuss them as if they were Sam's. Children will learn to identify and manage their own feelings and the difficulties in their lives following any traumatic event, crisis or grief experience.

While "Sam Feels Better Now" is intended to help children who have experienced trauma learn how to cope and reduce their traumatic stress, it is also a resource for therapists to provide a step-by-step approach to helping a child. The book's metaphors assist children in healing the pain of trauma in a way familiar and normal to their young imaginative minds. Many activities are written from Sam's perspective to provide distance so children can use metaphors rather than talk about their own direct experiences.

The book's interactive components allow children to express themselves in personal ways. Creative drawing exercises help children to project their own experiences into the story. The progressive activities follow the initial stages of trauma therapy such as identifying the source of the problem (the traumatic event), safe and supportive people, making a safety plan, identifying feelings and how to feel them, and techniques to relax. Storytelling activities allow children to tell a story by various means such as puppets or sand tray activities. The exercises are open-ended to promote a creative, personal, and individual recovery experience for each child.

"Sam Feels Better Now!" has already received rave reviews from therapists. Bob Rich, Ph.D. states, "This beautiful little picture book is the ideal guide for a series of therapy sessions that will focus the child's attention on positives and help to deal with the traumatic memories." JoAnna White, Ed.D., Professor of Counseling and Psychological Services at Georgia State University says the book "provides the child and therapist a safe metaphor for exploring trauma issues. The story teaches children that coming to therapy can be a good thing." More than just another workbook, "Sam Feels Better Now" teaches children to express themselves in imaginative and even fun ways as they move toward healing.

About the Author
Jill Osborne holds an MS in professional counseling and a Specialist in Education (Ed.S) in professional counseling from Georgia State University. She specialized in play therapy, traumatology, and child and adolescent therapy. After counseling women and children who had survived domestic violence, she found her niche by using play therapy with children. She has led a support group for child survivors of domestic violence, and she is currently working to provide home counseling to families and children.

"Sam Feels Better Now! An Interactive Story for Children" (ISBN 9781932690606, Loving Healing Press 2008) can be purchased through local and online bookstores. For more information, visit Publicity contact: Review copies available upon request.


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