Trauma Treatment Resources
We are becoming increasingly sophisticated in our approaches to treating trauma. The need for specialized training has become more apparent as we become more knowledgeable about the effects of trauma on all aspects of a child’s development. There are few child and play therapy conferences that do not have at least one or more workshops available on the treatment of trauma. National organizations that provide training include Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy National Therapist Certification Program and Trauma Institute & Child Trauma Institute. The Association for Play Therapy maintains a list of local and national training and continuing education opportunities.
A wide variety of tools have been developed by clinicians to work with children who have experienced trauma and ChildTherapyToys.com has endeavored to make many of these resources available. These tools include therapeutic card games and board games, activities to facilitate discussion, self-help books, and workbooks. Below I have listed several of our most popular resources.
Becoming A Superhero provides young children (ages 5 to 9) specific coping skills that will build their sense of resiliency and reduce PTSD symptoms. This book can be used both as prevention and intervention when working with children who have experienced a traumatic event. The Trauma Reaction Cards are a therapeutic tool to assist children and adolescents in understanding and identifying their reactions to traumatic or stressful life experiences. These cards can be used with all ages. The Let's Talk Coloring Books is a series of four coloring books that make it easier to interview and treat distressed or traumatized children. The workbooks are especially helpful in dealing with difficult subjects such as child sexual abuse. These appealing coloring books encourage expression without leading the child. The Let’s Talk Coloring Books can be used with ages 4 to 9. Healing Games is a collection of six therapeutic board games designed to help children who have experienced serious life events that have left them feeling sad, angry, helpless, and even depressed. Healing games is for children 6-12. Blurt It Out! The Say What You Think Game is for ages 6 to 14. It is an engaging therapeutic card game that allows therapists and counselors to assess psychological processes quickly and effectively in a playful and non-threatening way, while helping the child to increase self-awareness and self-understanding. These five items have been combined into The Trauma Resource Tool Box.
Another great resource that was recently published is the children’s book When a Grown-up You Love Hurts You. This book was written for children ages 4-8 who have experienced physical abuse by a grown-up they love. The book helps them think about and process the conflicting emotions that often follow such an event. The colorful and engaging illustrations help the child identify with the characters in a way that feels safe and facilitates discussion. Another excellent book is The Safe Touch Coloring Book. It provides an easy way for adults to teach children how to avoid being a victim of sexual abuse. The Safe Touch Coloring Book can be used by counselors, parents, and teachers. The coloring book is designed for children up to age eleven. A caring adult can read to the child while they color the pages. Each time the child begins to color is another opportunity to read the entire coloring book to emphasize sexual safety in a non-threatening way. Finding Sunshine After the Storm is another excellent resource for facilitating therapy. This workbook includes many easy to implement activities drawn from a variety of therapeutic modalities.