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Using Trauma-Focused Therapy Stories


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Preface Part I. Therapist Guide to Trauma and Use of Therapy Stories 1. Overview of the Impact of Trauma 2. Using Narrative, Metaphor and Trauma Focused Stories in Trauma Intervention Part II. Therapy Stories to Use with Children 1. Trauma Triggers: The False Alarm 2. Impact of Trauma: Lucky the Junkyard Dog 3. Repeated Exposure to Abusive Behavior: Trick or Treat 4. Avoidance: The Hidey Hole 5. Trauma Narrative: Bear of a Different Color 6. Self-Blame: Bear's Self-Blame Game 7. Coping with Stress: The Burden Bag 8. Letting Out Negative Feelings: A Little at a Time 9. Self-Control: Keep the Lion on a Leash 10. Anger-Control (Bullying): The Dragon's Fire 11. Protective Behaviors: Safety in Numbers 12. Coping with Depression: The Black Cloud 13. Coping with Obsessive Compulsive Behaviors: The Magic Stone 14. Containing Fear and Anxiety: Wrap It Up 15. Self-Acceptance: The Furry Boa 16. Unconditional Love: The Bulldog's Dilemma 17. Pre-Verbal Trauma Narrative: Little Butterfly and the Bad Thing 18. Sibling Trauma Narrative: Stick Together 18. Family Trauma Narative: The Hidey Hole 19. Coping with Phobic Anxiety: The Grounded Eagle 20. Attachment Work for Pre-Verbal Truma: The New Cocoon 21. Living in Out of Home Care: The Good Enough Elf 22. High-Risk Behaviors: The Moth and the Flame 23. Safety Around Perpetrators: The Hungry Alligator and the Mean Snake 24. Grooming Behavior: Party Games 25. Cross-Generational Trauma: Grandma's Alligator Part III. Therapy Stories to Use with Adolescents 1. Fight and Flight: The Monster Within 2. Showing Your True Feelings: The Mixed Up Clown 3. Blaming Others: Poop in the Barnyard 4. Mood Regulation and Self-Control: The Feral Cat 5. Cognitive Processing: Let it Simmer 6. Vigilance: Looking for Landmines in Disneyland 7. Coping with an Eating Disorder: The Twin in the Mirror 8. Choices in Dating Relationships: No More Rotten Eggs 9. Feeling Broken or Damaged: The Cracked Glass Bowl 10. Defensive Protection: Polly's Plight 11. Dissociation and Part-Self Work: A Safe Place to Call Home 12. Self Integration: The Unraveled Tapestry 13. Coping with Heartbreak: The Girl with the Plastic Heart 14. Moving in a New Direction: Gold in the Desert 15. Escaping Family Patterns: Swimming in the Swamp Part IV. Therapy Stories to Use with Caregivers 1. Co-Dependency: Don't Let the Leeches Suck You Dry 2. Relational Control: The Dance 3. The Cycle of Violence: Chip Away 4. Protectiveness with Children: Does He Bite? 5. Parental Risk Taking: The Balncing Act 6. Attachment Needs: Velma Crowe's Sticky Situation 7. Empathy vs. Blame: First Things First Part V. Child's Guide to Trauma and Healing from Trauma 1. Introduction to the Child 2. The Impact of Abuse 3. Freak- Out (Vigilance and Alert) 4. Freeze or High Emotion (Alarm) 5. Flight (Fear) 6. Fight (Terror) 7. Abuse and Trauma 8. PTSD and Complex Trauma 9. How Stress Affects Kids 10. Memory of Abuse 11. How Adults Can Help (or Hurt) Abused Kids 12. The Trauma Stress Chain Reaction: Freakout 13. The Trauma Stress Chain Reaction: Freeze 14. The Trauma Stress Chain Reaction: Flight 15. The Trauma Stress Chain Reaction: Fight 16. Your Own Chain Reaction 17. What Does Your Brain Have to Do With It? 18. How Stress Changes Your Brain 19. Coping Skills to Get Over Abuse: Calm Down 20. Coping Skills: Connect 21. Coping Skills: Conquer Part VI. Caregiver's Guide to Trauma 1. Impact of Trauma on Development 2. Neurobiology and Trauma 3. Caregiver Stress and Self-Care Appendix A Resources for Abused Children and Their Caregivers Appendix B Example of Trauma Stress Chain Reaction and State Dependent Functioning Appendix C Signs of Trauma at Different Ages and Stages Appendix D Overlap of Trauma Symptoms with Other Disorders Appendix E Tuning in to Your Child References Index

About the Author

Pat Pernicano, PsyD, is currently a psychologist with Personal Counseling Services and served as the director of clinical services at Providence House for Children between 2007 and 2013. She is associate professor on the clinical faculty at Spalding University, where she has taught in the PsyD program since 1996.


"Pat Pernicano is a skilled storyteller, a skilled trauma practitioner, a skilled child therapist, and a skilled communicator of how to work helpfully and effectively with those who need it most. If you are engaged in these areas-and also want to be a skilled practitioner-you need this book in your hands and the applications in your work, now."

-George W. Burns, author of 101 Healing Stories and Happiness, Healing, Enhancement

"The psychoeducational material and therapy stories in this workbook are helpful adjunctive treatment resources for those working with trauma-exposed children, adolescents, and their caregivers. The information about trauma, PTSD, and coping strategies, presented in a simple, easy-to-understand format, normalizes what children experience and validates their thoughts and feelings. The stories present useful metaphors that kids and their caregivers will relate to, and they help therapists individualize trauma narrative work, safety planning, and other parts of trauma treatment. Many therapists will find this a valuable addition to their therapeutic tool bag."

-Anthony P. Mannarino, PhD, professor and vice chair of the department of psychiatry at Allegheny General Hospital and Drexel University College of Medicine

"Using Trauma-Focused Therapy Stories is a unique and comprehensive treatment resource to be used together with available treatment approaches for working with abused and neglected children. The author takes us on a wonderful journey through detailed case examples and stories that illustrate how to develop and use stories as part of the process of treating not only children and adolescents, but also adults. The child and caregiver's guides offer useful workbook-type activities and helpful psychoeducational material that move treatment along. This is definitely a one-of-a-kind book and a must have for trauma treatment."

-Athena A. Drewes, PsyD, director of clinical training and doctoral internship at Astor Services for Children and Families

"This is an awesome book! I love the way Dr. Pernicano uses story and narrative to help abused children and their families reintegrate and reconnect with themselves and other families. Lots of clinical insight and important nuggets of information. A must read for people working with this population."

-J. Douglas Bremner, MD, author of Does Stress Damage the Brain? and You Can't Just Snap Out of It

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