A Guide to Providing Understanding and Help
Atle Dyregrov, 2010
Published by Jessica Kingsley,
ISBN 9781849050340, £19.99
This book explores the impact of trauma on children and young people and how they can be helped to recover. In accessible language, the author discusses the wide range of reactions that children might exhibit, depending on the type of traumatic event; age; gender and personalities; although references to ethnicity and culture are surprisingly low.
What makes the book so useful is the author’s wide definition of a ‘traumatic event’. He recognises (quite correctly in my view) that children who have suffered from experiences of sexual, physical or domestic abuse are survivors of trauma. Besides demystifying some of the therapeutic techniques used, several case studies illustrate what helps children most. Also there are some very useful child-focused scripts provided for self-help exercises, which workers can share with children and carers to relieve stress and strengthen children’s sense of self-control over disturbing flashbacks and recurring sensory images of the trauma.
Lynn Baxter is a senior social work lecturer at the University of Greenwich