Monday, September 1, 2008

Sam Feels Better Now! An Interactive Story for Children


Jill Osborne
Loving Healing Press (2008)
ISBN 9781932690606
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (7/08)

"Sam Feels Better Now!" is the perfect tool for counselors who work with children recovering from traumatic incidents. The author, Jill Osborne, has a great deal of education and experience in dealing with children who are survivors of domestic violence.  By creating this book, she has found a way to help children be able to safely express themselves while in therapy.  It is presented as a picture book that has exercises that invite the child to interact with what is going on in the story. 
The character Sam is described as having gone through a bad experience.  The story begins with him meeting his counselor and feeling comfortable with her.  The interactive exercises involve having the participant 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.
I found "Sam Feels Better Now!" by Jill Osborne to be an excellent resource for therapists who work with children.  As a counselor for persons with developmental disabilities, I believe that this would also be a good tool to use with this population.  This book allows the child to hear the story of another child who has had a bad experience.  As the child participates in the activities, the therapist will be able to glean more information about the incident that the child has endured because it provides a more comfortable environment for him to express himself.  The exercises also help empower the child because he is actively identifying his own personal resources.  The book also includes a guide for therapists to assist them while utilizing this book.  It also includes a helpful list of references and resources.  What a wonderful resource this is!

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