Oftentimes therapy can be more effective when clients are intentional with reading supplemental material outside of the therapy session. In my clinical work, I often suggest books, movies, video clips, and music to my clients that support their personal work, challenges them to think differently, and help them feel known and not alone. The resources discussed here are used regularly in my work and are helpful for a variety of struggles. I do not receive any benefits for sharing this supplemental material on my blog.
Title of Material: Trauma is Really Strange by Steve Haines, illustrated by Sophie Standing
Type of Material: Graphic book for children through adults.
How to Access it: Trauma is Really Strange is available for purchase on Amazon and numerous book stores. I also suggest checking your local library for any of my resources.
Publisher’s Book Synopsis: “What is trauma? How does it change the way our brains work? And how can we overcome it? When something traumatic happens to us, we dissociate and our bodies shut down their normal processes. This unique comic explains the strange nature of trauma and how it confuses the brain and affects the body. With wonderful artwork, cat and mouse metaphors, essential scientific facts, and a healthy dose of wit, the narrator reveals how trauma resolution involves changing the body’s physiology and describes techniques that can achieve this, including Trauma Releasing Exercises that allow the body to shake away tension, safely releasing deep muscular patterns of stress and trauma.”
How I learned about this material: This resource came to my attention during a session on trauma during the American Counseling Association of Missouri’s annual conference. The author and illustrator have completed two other books together: Pain is Really Strange and Anxiety is Really Strange. There is another similar resource illustrated by Sophie Standing: Forgiveness is Really Strange, written by Masi Noor and Mariana Cantacuzino.
Why I suggest this material: In my personal life and with clients, I’ve found that understanding the chemical and physical impact that trauma has on our emotions and thinking is vital to creating change in our own lives. I suggest this material to anyone who continues to hit a wall in their therapy. Having the information often times allows clients to take back control over their therapeutic journey.
Who may benefit: Anyone who has experienced trauma or knows someone who has experienced trauma can benefit from this resource. This book is also written in comic style, so the material is interesting to children as there are visual representations of the written material.