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A Terrible Thing Happened
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123 of 123 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2001
This book is absolutely perfect for helping children who have experienced trauma understand their feelings, consciously and subconsciously. The story is straight forward about how sometimes we try to hide from the scary feelings created by trauma and how we may act out because of our trying to suppress those feelings. It also gives children an entre' into how to handle these feelings while not telling them that everything will go back to the way it was. Spectacular! Probably the best child's self-help book I've read in a long time.
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89 of 91 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2000
This is a wonderful book for teachers or parents to use with younger children. It uses a fun character to show different emotions that children have after witnessing or being a part of something that is tramatic to them. This could be their parents fighting, divorce, abuse, etc. That is what is so wonderful about this book; it does not tell what the character witnessed. As a result of this, it can apply to a number of situations. This book also helps children to realize that it helps to talk about what is bothering them. This is a must read!
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69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2004
I just can't get over how wonderful this book is. It's perfectly stated so that the child reading it or being read to can understand that there are others out there that feel the same way. The information in the back of the book to parents and caregivers is superb. I'm going to purchase a copy for a few of my friends, and for my sons school. Our family and community has had two serious tragedies in three months, and this book helped my son immensely, having lost his older brother a few months ago. This book is wonderful and simply stated.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Although Holme's work is in the form of a children's book, it can be used in a variety of settings for counselors. I have shared this book with my students at the university level and they have used Holmes's work in a variety of school counseling settings. It is very helpful in that it does not adhere to a specific type of trauma or violence. Excellent!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2007
I recently purchased this book to use in play therapy sessions and have found it to be a great resource! It has helped kids start to open up about a variety of traumatic events they've witnessed or experienced. This book has resulted in kids talking about things who have NEVER talked about their traumas. If you are a child counselor, this is a must have!
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2009
If you are a mental health professional or parent or concerned adult of a child who has experienced any sort of trauma at all, this is an indispensable book. It is written for a child of the ages approximately 3-8. It tells of a little racoon, Sherman Smith, who sees a "terrible thing" and how he represses his feelings about it. But soon he starts feeling sick, and he acts out at school and gets into trouble. So he goes for child therapy, and over time works out his feelings about seeing the "terrible thing" with the aid of a kind and understanding therapist. He does this through play therapy, and drawing pictures of his feelings, and finally of the "terrible thing." Then he and the therapist talk about his feelings. What exactly the "terrible thing" is does not get expressly detailed in the book, hence it is applicable to various traumas a child may be exposed too. The illustrations are great, the text moves at just the right pace. This would also be a good book to explain to children in general what child therapy is like. At the end Sherman feels better; he is not experiencing the results of repression, very much anymore.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Young children who have witnessed various types of violence or suffered a trauma of any kind can be helped by this book. The book is written in language children understand, using loving animal characters that they can relate to. It shows them that there is hope if they don't lock their feelings inside, and it teaches them to find some caring person to talk to.

Another reason I like this book is because it teaches adults the signs to look for in disturbed children, and what to do to help the children who need counseling.

It's not only a great resource for parents, it's wonderful for professional counselors as well.

Highly recommended. - Betty Dravis, August 2007
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2007
This book is a great resource in working with at-risk children who have experienced violence, trauma, loss... Young children need help with learning how to grieve. Parents can also learn what is normal in mourning and bereavement processes. A Terrible Thing Happened is a great story aid for helping young children and their caregivers manages the gamut of feelings and emotions they experience in the midst of emotionally challenging situations. Young children need help and guidance with learning how to express their feelings and regulate their emotions. I would recommend this book to any parent and child/family you know that has been the victim of or experienced violence or trauma.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2008
I've been using this book in my practice for the past four months, incorporating it into my play therapy with child abuse cases. I've found that my clients can truly relate to some, if not all parts of the story. It is also a great way segway into art therapy for some small children. Additionally, because the story discusses how counselors help children, I've found that the children are more likely to trust in you more quickly as the helping professional.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2008
This book is amazingly well done, especially for one of the scariest and hardest to cope with kinds of trauma- when the adults still don't (and/or may never) know exactly what happened. It addresses dealing with the feelings that children have about things they don't understand except in a very basic "that was really bad" sense without ever getting specific on what's bad enough to cause a truly problematic response.

If you have a child with anxiety over simple, normal things like test taking or going to school or making new friends, this is a great book for you. If you have a child with anxiety about really traumatic, life-changing events such as deaths, abuse, divorce or other really big problems- this is still the book for you.
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