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American Psychological Association

Book on ‘bad things’

From severe bullying and sexual abuse to abandonment and natural disasters, instances of trauma do not discriminate by age. Children especially, though, may have trouble understanding what has happened and why, and it can be difficult for them to make sense of their feelings after a traumatic event.

With “Healing Days,” the American Psychological Association has published an illustrated storybook that aims to help guide young victims through their emotional or physical trauma.

The book tells the tale of a child who has had an unspecified “bad thing” happen. Through the story, author and psychologist Susan Farber Straus emphasizes that the victim is not to blame and introduces concepts that can help children understand that there is hope for a happy future.

“Healing Days” is for children 5 to 9 years old and is designed to be read with a parent, therapist or other trusted adult.

The book provides notes for adults on methods – such as a creating a calming bedtime routine and working together to write a safety plan – to help children feel safe and confident, key components of recovery after trauma.

– Maggie Fazeli Fard, Washington Post

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