A Therapeutic Treasure Deck of Sentence Completion and Feelings Cards – Media Review

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From the box of A Therapeutic Treasure Deck of Sentence Completion and Feelings Cards by Dr. Karen Treisman:

” The perfect tool to add to any “therapeutic treasure box,” this set of 68 cards provides a way to help open conversations and structure discussions with children and adolescents aged 6+.
The treasure deck offers a fun, non-threatening way to support building understanding and forging relationships. It also provides a safe and playful way for children and young people to articulate and make sense of their feelings, thoughts, experiences, and beliefs. The deck comes with two different types of card – the “feelings cards” and the “sentence-completion cards” – which an be used separately or tegether, and an accompanying booklet which provides a background to the therapeutic benefits, as well as a range of ideas for using the cards.”



Grade:

5 hoots out of 5

Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 5 Hoots out of 5 based on how useful it will be for a foster/adoptive family. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here]


What Our Family Thought:

These cards seems to be created for use with children who are working through a traumatic issue. However, there is nothing that notably directs these cards directly to foster or adoptive children. The whole activity and card set as the description states seems to be aimed at children age six or older. While these cards contain illustrative cards that are cartoonish in nature, they seem to work very well for teenagers. Foster or adoptive families as well as teachers, counselors or foster care professionals would be interested in the function of this card set as it strives to create an atmosphere where children can learn better how to articulate/advocate for themselves.

Physically the deck as a whole seems to be very durable. The box itself is very thick and sturdy. The cards seem to be made of a heavier and glossy paper weight. We feel this is important to mention as children who have been through trauma stereotypically tend to not treat items with as delicate of a touch as other children.

The deck does include an instruction guide. This manual really seems to give an explanation of the various types of cards in the deck and simply gives suggestions on how one might incorporate these cards into a home or counseling session. The manual does appear to encourage people to draw upon their own creativity for using this tool.

The two types of cards in this deck as mentioned in the description above are, “feelings cards” and the “sentence-completion cards.” They are pretty self-explanatory. The feelings cards help a child to see various feelings or emotions. Along with the name of the emotion on each card is a descriptive picture which all seem to do a fantastic job of illustrating the emotion on the card. Some of the feelings used in this deck include: helpless/hopeless, trapped, energetic, scared/fearful, lonely, proud, frustrated, safe, and so on.
The sentence-completion cards give a variety of different discussion or open ended thoughts ranging from simple thoughts to more reflective/contemplative thoughts. Some examples of the card prompts are: “When I feel unsafe I…,” “If I could be someone else for the day, I would be…,” My favorite colour is…,” “If I could go back in time to a moment, I would go back to…,” and so on.

Overall, this tool appears to be very beneficial for your family. These cards will not only give caregivers ideas of topics to discuss with their kids but they will also provide children with the necessary vocabulary they require to communicate their needs with their caregivers. It would be beneficial for families to have these cards lying around on the dining table or a high traffic area where every member of the family is able to see them throughout the day. Transfiguring Adoption believes that this tool will be highly beneficial to the health of your foster or adoptive family.


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Monsters Made With Love: Helping Kids Express Insecurities

Laurie Kay, creator of Monster Made with Love, joins us to talk about her company where anyone can create their own custom monster. Learn how these wonderful creatures are fantastic therapy for children from traumatic places as they can express their insecurities and other emotions.

On the Discussion:

  • Laurie Kay – CEO, Monsters Made with Love
  • Kyle Ford – Founder, City of Refuge
  • Darren Fink – Co-founder, Transfiguring Adoption

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Creating Compassionate Foster Care – Foster Care Book Review

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From the Cover of Creating Compassionate Foster Care: Lessons of Hope from Children and Families in Crisis by Janet C. Mann, and Dr. Molly Kretchmar-Hendricks:

“Inspired by over 20 years of work with families in the child protection system, Janet Mann, an experienced foster parent, and Molly Kretchmar-Hendricks, a professor of developmental psychology, have written this book to tell the stories of some of the children and families they have served. Janet, with her husband Paul, developed an innovative approach to foster care – The Children’s Ark – which afforded birth parents the opportunity to reside, under supervision, with their children during evaluation and treatment. Drawing on this experience, along with current attachment research and theory, the authors share a relationship-based approach from which to reimagine foster care in ways that are child-centered and both more compassionate and more effective. Through their stories, they draw valuable lessons to help foster carers and professionals better respond to the complex needs of children and families in crisis.”


Grade:

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Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 4 Hoots out of 5 based on how useful it will be for a foster/adoptive family. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here]


Our Thoughts:

Janet C. Mann and Dr. Molly Kretchmar-Hendricks have done a wonderful job giving different stories (basically case overviews) and linking or better yet tying them together with current attachment research and theory. With Mann’s 20 plus years of experience in the fostering community and all of her incredible stories added together with Dr. Kretchmar-Hendricks vast knowledge of developmental psychology, the reader gets a wonderful array of thought processes and knowledge on each story written. The reader can build on prior knowledge of foster care and adoption, attachment and bonding info or be a first time reader of such topics and still feel like they truly know what the authors are talking about. The stories in this book are a good picture of different complex situations you may experience or come into contact with while fostering or working with the foster care community. The uniqueness of the their approach to foster care, The Children’s Ark, is not only interesting but commendable. This approach helps set the stage for whole family healing. One of my favorite take aways from the book is from Mann, “If you really want to help a child, you must help the family.”


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It’s Your Turn:

  1. What insights did you gain from this book?
  2. What are some tangible ways you can show compassion towards the birth parents?
  3. Will you make any changes as a result of this book?

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