Sam’s Big Secret: Therapeutic Resource to Help Your Child Cope with Fear

23 Feb

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I am super excited to announce the release of a new therapeutic resource for children to help cope with fear and phobias. As you probably noticed, it has been several months since I wrote a new post. Well friends, not too long after my first authored children’s therapeutic book called When Monkey Lost His Smile was published, I teamed up again with the very talented Elaheh Bos and was hard at work at writing this new therapeutic resource which is a not only a children’s story about fear but also explains what fear is and teaches seven different coping tools on how to conquer fear. This collaborative effort is a book I am very proud of and thrilled to share as I hope it will help many children (and adults, too) feel empowered and able to overcome their fear!

Story Synopsis:

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Let me tell you a little about Sam’s Big Secret. It is a story about Sam, a brave turtle who has a BIG SECRET. He is afraid and even terrified of water. Whenever Sam approaches a pond or river, his heart pounds quickly, he has trouble breathing, he feels dizzy, and his whole body shakes. Sam thinks that he will faint and that something terrible is going to happen.

sams-big-secret-running-scared-sl He tries to calm himself down by hiding in his shell so that he does not have to face the outside world. And as soon as he feels better, he comes out of his shell and tries to get away as fast as he can.

He avoids the water altogether and makes excuses to his friends about why he can’t join them and swim. The problem is that the more he avoids the water, the bigger his fear grows and the worse he feels. Sam has let FEAR take control of his life. He realizes he needs to change his behaviour and overcome his fear.

Sams-big-secret-exposure-slThrough his journey, Sam uses different strategies that allow him to gradually face and conquer his fear.

Who This Book Is For:

This book is recommended as a resource for children ages 4 and up. I think that adults will also enjoy reading this book and will relate as much as children to Sam.

How This Book Can Help:

This resource is much more than simply a children’s story. It is a therapeutic tool that incorporates cognitive-behavioural techniques proven to be effective in coping with fears and phobias. And, the book offers parents and caregivers guidance in coaching children through this difficult emotion. Moreover, if your child is in treatment for anxiety, this book can compliment the therapy being done by your mental health professional.

My suggestion is to read the story with your child and talk together about how Sam’s fear affected him in many different ways including his body reactions, his thoughts, his feelings, and his behaviour.

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These ideas are incorporated in the story and are explained in a separate section after the story (called “What is Fear?”) with place for your child to write about how fear affects them. For example, your child is shown how fear and anxiety can affect the body. Once your child has a better understanding of fear, you can review and discuss the different strategies Sam used to face and conquer his fear.

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The seven strategies are illustrated in the story and are explained in detail in the tools section at the end.

In order to help your child benefit the most from these tools, it is recommended that you PRACTICE each strategy together with your child.

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You can also “measure” the level of the fear on the feeling thermometer included in the book both before and after trying a strategy so that you will be able to see the progress. Fighting one’s fear is no easy task.

My hope is that you will celebrate all successes with your child, no matter how small or big.

As book bonuses, you can download free resources called “Tips for Helping Your Child Cope with Fears” and the “Facing Fears Form” from my website as well as free printable pages to help you conquer your fears from www.plantlovegrow.com/sam.

If you are a parent, grandparent, teacher, therapist, school counsellor, or librarian and you are interested in learning more about this new therapeutic resource for children aged 4 and up, please click here.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to Elaheh Bos for her creativity, helpful suggestions, and for bringing Sam to life!

I also want to give a very special thanks to my AMAZING husband, Gaby, for his continuous encouragement, love, and support!

I am really excited to know what you think of this resource for children. I welcome your feedback, questions, and comments.

Best wishes,
Dr. Stephanie