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A Therapeutic Treasure Box for Working with Children and Adolescents with Developmental Trauma


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction to Using the Book, Guiding Principles, and Underpinning Rationale. 2. Tools for Supporting the Assessment, Engagement, and Building Rapport with Young People. 3. Working Towards Establishing Multi-Levelled Safety (Inner Safety, Emotional Safety, Physical Safety, Felt Safety). 4. Strategies for Supporting Children who have Experienced Relational and Developmental Trauma to Identify, Label, Express, and Regulate their Feelings. 5. Strength, Resilience, and Hope-Based Practices: Finding Ways to Identify, Notice, Celebrate and Build on Children's Strengths, Skills, Resilience and Positive Qualities. 6. Strengthening and Supporting "Parent-Child" Relationships, Relational Trust, and Interpersonal Connections. 7. Team Around the Family- Caring for the Caring- Holding Carers in Safe Hands, Thinking Minds, and Regulating Bodies. 8. Strategies for Understanding, Reducing and Managing Outbursts, Tantrums, Rage, and Expressions of Dysregulation. 9. Supporting Children who are Experiencing Nightmares and Sleep Difficulties. 10. Preparing, Planning, Reflecting on, and Expressing Endings, Changes, Goodbyes, and Transitions.

Promotional Information

X marks the spot! The go-to compendium for working with children and teens with relational or developmental trauma, combining the latest theory and practice with creative and expressive activities

About the Author

Karen Treisman is a specialist clinical psychologist, trainer, and author. Karen is also the Director of Safe Hands and Thinking Minds Training and Consultancy services.


When we lift the lid on a child's trauma it can feel overwhelming and impossible to address. Dr Karen Treisman's accessible, insightful and resource laden book will change this for ever for every practitioner, therapist, parent and carer and the precious children they support. -- Jane Evans, Childhood Trauma & Parenting Expert, author of Cyril Squirrel Finds Out About Love and How Are You Feeling Today Baby Bear?
Children are doers more than they are talkers, and when we join them in doing, we find we are able to discover the story at the child's pace. Dr Treisman has given us a wonderful book to help us to do this. Full of ideas, exercises and compassionate ways of joining with children to fully discover who they are, and to help them to manage difficulties that they are experiencing. This is grounded in the best of what we know about relational trauma. This book will enhance the most creative of us, and be a rich resource for those of us who doubt our own creativity. It will give all of us ways to go slower, to help children to feel safe enough to reveal their own story, and to find the confidence to allow us to share this story with their safe parents. Now healing can begin. My treasure box is certainly richer for having this book on my shelf. -- Dr. Kim S. Golding, Clinical Psychologist and author
As a Treasure Box, Treisman has created exactly what it says on the tin. Embedded in the relational world of development, this book takes us on a journey of thoughtful, sensitive, creative and deeply moving interventions. The lives and minds of children and young people can only be enriched if we embed this magic in our work. -- John Simmonds, OBE, Director of Policy, Research and Development at CoramBAAF, London
This book is an extraordinary achievement. It is packed with myriad, tools, methods and suggestions that will be indispensable to therapists, parents and anyone working with traumatised kids. Most importantly, the book's simplicity is deceptive as every page is built on the firm foundations of the latest science and a deep understanding of the effects of developmental trauma. I predict this will be a book that trauma therapists will be scared to leave home without. -- Dr. Graham Music, Consultant Psychotherapist, Tavistock Clinic and author of Nurturing Natures

Relational trauma requires relational repair' says Dr Treisman throughout her book and it's a mantra worth repeating. Her book explains what relational repair really involves, from creating safety and regulation, to exploring complex and layered emotions to tackling rage and sleep disturbances. It is packed with ideas and materials to guide and support therapeutic conversations, much of which could be used by therapeutic parents. What I especially love is the combination of compassion both for child and parent and its insistence on a sound, scientific approach. The pictures, the pebbles, the glue and the glitter are all set within a robust trauma-informed framework that reflect the emotional complexity of building a meaningful relationship with a traumatised child.

For those who labour at the coalface of relational repair, it is a nourishing read that will top up your therapeutic tank and make you feel just that little bit more encouraged and cherished and perhaps even vindicated. It deserves to be widely read by all those involved in supporting the healing of relationally traumatised children from commissioners, policy makers and academics right up to foster carers and adoptive parents.

-- Sally Donovan OBE, editor for Adoption UK and author of 'No Matter What' and 'The Unofficial Guide to Adoptive Parenting'
Are you working with traumatized children? Karen Treisman's book is a MUST read! -- Liana Lowenstein MSW, RSW, CPT-S, Registered Clinical Social Worker, Certified Play Therapist-Supervisor and Certified TF-CBT Therapist
This book is truly a treasure trove of ideas, resources, illustrations, and practical photocopiable worksheets. It is written in an accessible, engaging, and practitioner friendly way, with a real focus on the "how to". It combines the latest trauma, neuroscience, sensory, and attachment theories and then describes how to intervene with children in an engaging, creative, and multi-sensory way. The mantra of the book is "relational trauma requires relational repair"; and this ethos echoes throughout the entire book. The book covers the whole spectrum needing to be addressed in a developmental trauma context, from assessment, to strengths and resilience, to self-care, to specific presentations such as outbursts and nightmares; through to endings and goodbyes. This book is a MUST HAVE for mental health practitioners working with traumatized children. In fact, this is the best mental health book I have read in 2017! -- Liana Lowenstein

Overflowing with creative ideas and activities, the thing that makes this resource especially valuable is its sensitivity to the ever-present need for safe containment when using intervention. The author gently prompts our awareness of how creative ways of working can provide safe access to the treasures within, for the children so often hardest to reach.
Logically organised and indexed, each section is held together by well-written, informative insights.

-- Lisa Nel * BACP - Children, Young people & families *

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