Going to therapy is a good thing! The benefits of therapy are for all ages. A child who has experienced a traumatic event, crisis situation, or is experiencing grief often needs therapy to resolve issues brought on by what occurred. Professional counselor and child therapist Jill Osborne has written a resource to help therapists reach a child and get him to open up about his feelings. Sam Feels Better Now! An Interactive Story for Children is a consumable, soft cover, children’s picture book created especially for children ages 4-10 who need counselling. Jill Osborne writes that the goal of Sam Feels Better Now! An Interactive Story for Children is to create a fun, creative and interactive experience for a child in stage one of trauma therapy.
In Sam Feels Better Now! Ms. Osborne has integrated principles of trauma therapy, play therapy, and expressive techniques. It is recommended that the book be used by a trained child therapist during the first sessions with a child. Sam, the main character in the book, visits a special therapist because he was scared by something awful. The reader learns that Sam has trouble sleeping. He is not eating well, and he is fighting with some of his friends. The therapist asks Sam to draw a picture of someone who is scared. The following page looks like a blank sheet of drawing paper with the caption, “Can you draw a picture of someone who is scared?” This is the effective format the author has used throughout the book.
Children can relate Sam’s experience to their own. Illustrator Kevin Collier’s colorful drawings bring Sam to life and the easy-to-read, easy-to–understand text brings the message home. What message? It is normal to feel like you do after a troubling event. One of the benefits of therapy is learning self-help strategies. There are many things you can do to help you feel better. Throughout the book your child will learn the following effective strategies to help him feel more secure.
- Make a routine that will help you sleep and eat better.
- List people you trust who can help when you feel afraid and need help.
- Think of safe places you can go when you are afraid.
- Learn to recognize your feelings and learn ways that can help you to feel better.
The reader never gets to know what awful thing Sam experienced. I think this is a good thing because your child will not have to decide if what is bothering him compares to Sam’s problems. It should be easier for your child to discuss his own feelings by just following the steps Sam took to find the courage to share his fears. The reader is even asked, “Ms. Carol asked Sam to tell a story about the awful thing that scared him. Choose a way to help Sam tell his story. You can decide to use the sand box, puppets, art, or another way you choose.” The next page asks your child to tell a story about an awful, scary thing that happened and to draw a picture or choose another way to tell the story.
Yes, therapy is a good thing and the benefits of therapy affect the entire family. Sam Feels Better Now! An Interactive Story for Children by Jill Osborne is a great book to get a traumatized child to open up to his therapist. I hope your child can feel like Sam after his sessions with a child therapist. Here are Sam’s parting words, “I feel better now, safer and more relaxed. Better about myself too. I even slept better last night.”
Jill Osborne, EDS, LPC graduated from Toccoa Falls College in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Counseling Skills and Psychology. After that she went to work for the state of Georgia in a psychosocial rehabilitation and peer support program. During that time she went on to complete a Master of Science (M.S.) in professional counseling in 2006 and an Education Specialist (Ed.S) in professional counseling in 2007,from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA. There she specialized in play therapy, traumatology, and child and adolescent therapy.
During her graduate studies she interned and did contract work with a domestic violence agency for two years. Her experience there included counseling with women and children whom were survivors of domestic violence situations. She found her niche when she began using play therapy with children, and leading a support group for child survivors of domestic violence. She worked at Pathways Transition Programs providing counseling to families and children. Now Jill is a Counselor at Eagles Landing Christian Counseling Center.
Jill Osborne, EDS, LPC Facebook page
Kevin Collier lives in Grand Haven, a quaint port city along the Lake Michigan shoreline with his wife and son. He works for a daily newspaper in his city and has been Art Director for 30 years. His lifetime interest with writing and drawing lead him to become a published author of youth fiction chapter books, children’s books and illustrator of over 130 picture books for kids. Kevin and his wife own and operate Tangerine Sky Productions, which produces many inspirational videos for the Truli online Christian network. Kevin has won many awards for his books.