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Real Life Heroes


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Table of Contents

Introduction Preface: Foundations for Complex Trauma Treatment Part I: RLH Life Storybook 1. The Pledge: Engaging Children and Caregivers with Resiliency-focused Assessments, Service Planning, and Trauma-Informed Systems of Care 2. The Heroes Challenge: Trauma and Resilience and Psycho-Education and Initial Safety Plans 3. A Little About Me: Recognizing and Expressing Feelings 4. Heroes: Restoring Hope, Inspiring Change 5. Power Plans: Resilence-Centered Safety Plans for Children and Caregivers 6. My Family: Remembering People Who Cared 7. Important People: Promoting Emotionally Supportive Relationships 8. Mind Power: Making Things Better with Mindfulness and Self-Regulation 9. Changing the Story: Changing Beliefs and Action Cycles to Achieve Goals 10. Timelines and Movies: Making Sense of the Past 11. Through the Tough Times: Trauma Experiences Integration 12. Into the Future: Identifying Goals and Important Relationships 13. 'My Story': Creating an Integrated Life Story with a Past, Present, and Future Part II: Adaptations 14. Adaptation for Adolescents 15. Adaptation for Pre-School Children and Children with Disabilities 16. Adaptations for Youths and Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 17. Adaptations for Families with Foster Care, Kinship, or Adopted Children 18. Integrated Trauma-Informed Services Part III: Resources 19. Creative Arts Supplies and Books: Start-up Kit 20. Resources for Caregivers and Therapists Part IV: Strategies for Overcoming Challenges 21. Strategies for Overcoming Challenges Part V: Toolkit Section A: Model Summaries 22. Resiliency-Focused Treatment for Children and Families with Traumatic Stress Caregivers Introduction to Traumatic Stress and Real Life Heroes Section B: Assessment, Intervention, and Service Plans 23. Trauma and Resiliency-Focused Assessment and Service Planning Referral Information & Ecogram Intervention & Service Plans Assessments & Information Needed Service Planning: Pathways to Resilience Treatment Priorities Next Steps: Strategy and Activity Guide (for Sessions and 'Homework') Service Plan Review Attachment-Focused Screening Survey Important People Questionnaire Circles of Caring My Thermometers Stronger and Stronger Progress Chart Section C: Treatment Tools Practitioner 'Cheat Sheet' and Fidelity Tool Progress Note (Fidelity Session Checklist) Bookmarks Trauma Symptoms and Brain DevelopmentSection D: Centering Activities 24. Breathing, Yoga, Movement, 'Improv,' and Storytelling to Promote Self and Co-regulation 25. Heroes Cape Activity Caregiver Power Plan (Self-Understanding and Empowerment) Resource Checklist 26. Through the Tough Times: Additional Story Pages Acknowledgements Glossary References

About the Author

Richard Kagan, Ph.D., is the author and co-author of 10 books on treatment and services for children and families with traumatic stress and has published over 30 articles, chapters, and papers on practice and research issues in trauma therapy, child welfare, foster care, adoption, professional development, program evaluation, and quality improvement in family service and behavioral health-care programs.


"This amazing compendium of a complex trauma treatment guide, its adaptations for special trauma populations, tools, and handouts, facilitates RLH as both a stand-alone treatment and as a supplement for other EBTs, with any of Kagan's toolkit components able to be used to assist in meeting the trauma-specific needs of youth. With an empiricism and solid conventional frameworks used in the NCTSN for meeting the needs of childhood trauma, this 2nd edition is a wonderful resource for clinicians at all levels of experience."-Lisa Amaya-Jackson, MD, MPH, professor and associate director, UCLA-Duke National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, Duke University School of Medicine

"This revised edition of Dr. Kagan's highly acclaimed book provides an exciting expansion of his innovative approach, Real Life Heroes. A comprehensive and practical guide, it offers an important toolkit for clinicians working with traumatized children and their caregivers. It provides invaluable material from the resiliency-focused assessment to practical guidelines and structured session activities that make it a unique addition to the field of complex trauma interventions with children. I strongly recommend this book."-Cheryl Lanktree, University of Southern California

"Richard Kagan knows how to have a relationship that supports trauma recovery. With the Real Life Heroes Toolkit, he gives therapists, not just an intervention model, but the scaffolding to build therapeutic relationships with the children they treat and those who love them. Grounded in the science and art of psychotherapy, the RLH Toolkit helps therapists and clients navigate through tough times, find their strength, and create the future."-Brad Stolbach, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics, University of Chicago; clinical director, Healing Hurt People, Chicago

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