Survival Guide for Childhood Trauma Helpers

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Abstract

Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1998, Vol 43(10), 703–704. The reviewer notes that this second edition of Johnson's seminal work, first published in 1989, provides the most crucial and up-to-date information available to aid people who work with traumatized children. Children in crisis have always presented unique concerns to those who have frequent contact with them. What can the family do to help, especially if other family members are also affected by the traumatic event? What responsibility do the schools have in alleviating a child's distress? What does a counselor or psychologist need to know to make the most of the few hours she or he spends with the child? With a masterful blending of pragmatic detail and theory comprehensive enough to give a novice helper adequate information to start the healing process, yet sophisticated enough that even specialists will take something important away from their reading, Johnson addresses these questions and more. The book begins with extensive background information, moves through the tasks of different professionals who can have an impact on the processing of trauma by children, identifying the task of prevention and breaking it into meaningful and manageable components, and ends with a thoughtful discussion of the impact on professionals and how to reduce burnout. The reviewer notes that Johnson has clearly outlined and elucidated all of the necessary components to facilitating trauma recovery in children with sensitivity and enthusiasm. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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