Sunday, September 21, 2008

Review ~ Sam feels better now

I was given the opportunity to review the book Sam Feels Better Now! An Interactive Story for Children through Parent Reviewers. This book was written by author Jill Osborne for children 4 - 7.

Product Description
Sam saw something awful and scary! Ms. Carol, a special therapist, will show Sam how to feel better. Children can help Sam feel better too by using drawings, play, and storytelling activities. They will be able to identify and manage their own feelings and difficulties in their lives following a traumatic event, crisis, or grief.

In Jill Osborne's own words :
Sam's trauma is left open so that when a child is working with this book he or she can use his or her own experiences in defining what experience Sam has had. Sam's trauma could be a variety of things, sexual abuse, physical or verbal abuse, natural disaster, war, dog bites. I left it open for the child to decide, and for therapists and caregivers to decide if the child they are working with could benefit. I did gear it toward the more severe experiences children might have, such as abuse, but trauma is unique to each person. One child might experience a dog bite as a minor incident, cry, get medical attention, and have few other troubles, whereas another child might experience it in a more traumatic way and develop nightmares of dogs, a fear of dogs, or other disturbances.

The purpose of the book is to help children who have experienced traumatic events to be able to learn how to cope, and reduce the effects of traumatic stress.

This book is really great. It is a softcover book with activities throughout the book. Like Jill stated, the trauma is left open for Sam. That way kids can use Sam to help them deal with whatever trauma they may be facing. Sam Feels Better Now is a great resource for counselors working with children. Jill Osbourne has a great deal of education and experience in dealing with children who are survivors of domestic violence.

The book starts out by describing Sam as having gone through a bad experience. The story begins with him meeting his counselor and feeling comfortable with her. The interactive exercises involve have the child draw pictures that relate to the story. Sam also gets to talk about his emotions. The story continues with the child helping Sam by listing their own personal resources that he can utilize. These involve identifying people and places that he can go to help get him through the scary times. There are also exercises to help the child identify their emotions and to help them get started with telling their own story. Through the pictures and exercises, kids can start to learn to cope with their own trauma. Really an excellent book.

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