A Guide to Teaching Kids Relaxation, Regulation, and Coping Techniques
Nonfiction; Education; Psychology; Child Development
Release Day: December 7, 2020
Publisher: Whole Child Counseling
Help children develop healthy coping skills with this brilliant 12-week plan.
Are you an educator or mental health professional searching for guidance? Do you want to discover a powerful all-in-one program for helping kids manage their anxiety, regulate their emotions, and cope with their feelings? Then Skills for Big Feelings is the book for you!
Inside this heartfelt, comprehensive guide, you’ll join School Adjustment Counselor and Licensed Mental Health Counselor Casey O'Brien Martin as she reveals a powerful, practical framework to help children cope with anxiety, overcome stress, and learn to thrive. Built on a selection of proven cognitive behavioral techniques, breathing exercises, and mindfulness, as well as engaging activities including stretching, gratitude, visualization and positive self-talk, Skills for Big Feelings seeks to empower kids to embrace their emotional growth over the course of a comprehensive 12-week plan.
With over a dozen activities including accepting mistakes, identifying support systems, acknowledging triggers and much more, this complete guide provides educators and professionals alike with a detailed, objective-based framework for promoting optimal social-emotional health.
What was your main drive to write this book?
I’ve been working as a counselor in the schools since 2007. When I started my career it was initially a very responsive/crisis-driven role, and I saw the need to move to a more preventative approach where I was helping more children and teaching them important social-emotional skills they need to thrive.
I initially wrote this as a program for the kids I was working with – my first intentions were not for it to be published but when I started collecting data I changed my mind. I was hearing from parents and community members, how helpful the skills were to learn so I decided I should publish this book and try to help more kids, beyond just the ones in my school building.
What do you hope readers will learn by reading this book?
I am hoping that readers will learn that their relationships and positive presence are crucial when working with kids. That one positive relationship with an adult is all a child needs to build resiliency. I hope they will take away from this book the concept that Dr. Greene writes about which is “kids do well if they can” – and that a lot of kids are just lacking the social-emotional skills they need to succeed and many kids just need direct instruction on these lagging skills. I intend for the reader to come away feeling empowered because they will have many coping skills and strategies that they can easily teach children.
Did you do much research when planning this book?
Yes! I love to research! I used a lot of different books and research articles to inform the writing process. There are 5 pages of APA references.
Did you have any main people who helped you in the process of this book or influenced you to write it?
The kids I work with and their families are really the main reasons why I wrote this book.
How long did this book take you to write from initial thought to hitting publish?
I started creating and implementing this curriculum in 2013. And I finished writing the first-draft of the manuscript in 2019. It took me years because I kept tweaking the curriculum, based on the needs of my students. I initially started outlining my ideas as a guide for my own students, and then kept adding to it and refining it over the years. It initially started as small group work with kids who were struggling with anxiety and emotional-regulation, but then I realized all kids needed to learn these skills – so I started pushing the lessons into classrooms as a tier-one intervention, and having other teachers and counselors do the same.
Do you have plans to write more about this topic
or new topics?
Yes! I am passionate about sharing share ideas about social-emotional learning! I blog over at www.wholehildcounseling.com/blog. I have another book which is about halfway finished about expressive arts therapy interventions in the schools. I’m also working on a coping skills craft resource!
Casey draws on her unique skillsets and interest to create mind-body programs designed to promote holistic wellbeing and emotional regulation in children of all ages, helping them to achieve their highest potential. She believes that teaching kids how to cope with anxiety and understand their feelings is an essential part of their personal growth, and she’s honored to be a part of this invaluable process.
Casey graduated from Lesley University, where she currently serves as an Adjunct Faculty Member in the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences. For more information, visit www.wholechildcounseling.com.
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