A Summer Reading List – Part One: Clinical Titles on Trauma and Treatment


compiled by Pat Shelly

Part One: Clinical Titles on Trauma and Treatment

Do you want to advance your knowledge of trauma this summer? Have you been meaning to actually read a classic in the field, such as Herman’s Trauma and Recovery? Do you find learning about a clinical condition is enriched through fictional accounts?

Then I have two lists for you! This week, I offer a dozen titles on clinical aspects of trauma.

Culled from reading lists, online discussion groups, and recommendations from University at Buffalo faculty, I gave priority to those titles from major academic social work publishers. The list reflects a range of disciplines among its authors. Of note: the most recent titles include special attention to issues with those who served in the military and military families.

BLOG reading bookshelf

Part Two: Trauma in Fiction will be posted on August 13th. Novels often include critical social and political issues, and…

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FREE March Webinars: Complicated Grief Parts I & II

2 excellent free webinars coming up in March!

Creative Arts Therapies

Hello All You Complex Creators and Open-Hearted Heroes,

I am pleased to announce the FREE registration links are now available for both Parts I and II of our online presentation on Complicated Grief, this month.

The work of grief includes the meaning making of memories; the weaving of symbol into story. Like a thumbprint, no two persons are the same, and so it is with how we make meaning of our stories.

Complicated grief is a form of prolonged, unabating grief. Supported by empirical study, this diagnosis was added to the DSM V in 2013, and is distinctly different from “normal” grief and depression. Essential to treating complicated grief is an understanding of the underlying neural mechanisms and attachment issues.

Parts I and II of our online presentation offers an Introduction to theory and treatment of complicated grief with creative arts therapies, through the frame of mindfulness and attachment.


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Mindfulness and feelings Printables! 

Art of Social Work

Here are some more free interventions to accompany the book Ursula Unwinds Her Anger! I wrote this book to teach children mindfulness skills such as noticing feelings as they come and go, slowing down to notice what is around them, accepting themselves just as they are, and forgiveness. Ursula is a dragon who doesn’t feel like she quite fits in with the dolphins she lives with but so discovers she has a skill to teach others. She changes colors when her feelings change and this is something she learns she can use to teach others about feelings too! The book is available through Amazon Click here!

Feelings colors activity page 

After reading the book, see if the child remembers the colors Ursula would turn with her different feelings in the story. Then have the child draw herself in the spaces above Ursula and identify which color she would turn…

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Flowers of feelings to notice

Art of Social Work


Taking children on a walk outside is wonderful way to practice mindfulness (noticing all of their senses in the experience) and can be made an emotional learning experience too! Outside at this time of year, (depending on where you live of course) it is pretty easy to see and notice flowers. In my sessions with children, I will sometimes take them for walks in our butterfly garden and have them notice the flowers. I then invite them to imagine what it would be like to have a garden of feelings (this can be done in a guided meditation too). Noticing each of their feelings as a special flower in their garden. Noticing the color of each flower and how it is growing (drooping flower may represent sad, etc.).

Then discuss how all feelings come and go and we have many feelings in one day, like many flowers in a garden…

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DIY Feelings Monster

Art of Social Work


Okay so this is a lot easier to make than it looks… I promise.
1) find an old, unloved stuffed animal, preferably one with a flat face (works better for sticking the feeling mouths on). The one I used was previously a stuffed animal of a video game character and was on its way to Goodwill when I came up with the idea, and decided to keep it. I liked it because it had the perfect flat face/mouth area and room for eyebrows too.

2) buy three sheets of felt at your local craft store (one the color of your stuffed animal- in my case light pink, one red, one black, and one blue). Should cost a dollar or less for all of them.

3) hot glue the felt piece that is the same color as your stuffed animal to the mouth area and cut and hot glue two smaller…

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Ride the wave.

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Felt the itch to create something today. When I make my own art, I experiment with techniques or directives I would use with a client. In this way, I can experience the art activity from the perspective of the client. and then evaluate whether the activity would be appropriate for a client, or consider altering it to make it suit a client.
Follow me on instagram; I post art therapy directives and activities daily: https://www.instagram.com/expressivesocialworker/