The A-Z of Therapeutic Parenting: Book Review

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From the Cover of The A-Z of Therapeutic Parenting: Strategies and Solutions by Sarah Naish:

“Therapeutic parenting is a deeply nurturing parenting style, and is especially effective for children with attachment difficulties, or those who have experienced trauma. This book provides everything you need to know in order to effectively therapeutically parent.

The A-Z of Therapeutic Parenting gives parents and caregivers an easy to follow step-by-step process to use when responding to common behaviors and challenges presented by traumatized children. Topics range from acting aggressively to difficulties with sleep, and include advice on what might trigger these issues, and how to respond to them therapeutically, in order to start to resolve these challenges.

Easy to navigate and written in a quick reference, straightforward style, this book is a ‘must-have’ for all therapeutic parents.”


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:

The target audience for this book are parents who are facing parenting challenges, especially those whose children have endured trauma. Sarah Naish is a foster/adoptive mom and writes as both a professional and an experienced therapeutic parent. This is one of those books that I so wish I had in my hands as we were beginning the foster care and adoption journey a decade ago. It would have been a game changer for our home in terms of understanding and responding to children in our home.

Sarah neatly divides the book into two parts for readers.

“Part 1: The Basics” covers the foundations and models of therapeutic parenting and explains why children who have experiences trauma behave the way they do. It covers responses and strategies to avoid, as well as compassion fatigue and the importance of caregivers caring for themselves along with ways to build in that self-care. Brimming with useful, pictorial analogies to help caregivers in their understanding, encouragement for the journey, and practical solutions, this section lays the groundwork for the second part of the book.

“Part 2: A-Z of Behaviours and Challenges with Solutions” contains an alphabetical listing of behaviors and challenges that parents face when parenting foster and adoptive children. When writing the book, Ms. Naish thought she would address about twenty-five topics, but after thinking about what questions she is frequently asked and consulting therapeutic parents about what topics they would like to see addressed, the count reached over sixty. Each topic entry begins with a definition of the behavior or challenge followed by what it looks like in a child, why it might happen, and strategies, often including preventative strategies and strategies for during and after the behavior. Some of the topics also include a “reality check,” which offers “some quick and helpful facts as an overview.” This section of the book provides a quick reference that can be used when needed most.

Overall, this book is an extremely useful resource for foster and adoptive parents. Sarah Naish’s series of therapeutic books for children would make a great companion to help children understand their own behavior and challenges and find empowerment to overcome obstacles.


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It’s Your Turn:

  1. What analogy did you find most helpful in understanding your child(ren)? (trauma lake, child driver)
  2. Which of the topics listed do you find most challenging?
  3. What new strategies will you implement in your parenting as a result of reading this book?

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