Featured guest interview on Bibliotherapy with Amy Murrell, PhD.
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING DAY from Psyched Writer! Since Psyched Writer Blog is all about bibliotherapy, and bibliotherapy is a major avenue toward social-emotional learning, I thought this would be a perfect day to celebrate! How are we going to celebrate, you ask? By launching Psyched Writer's first-ever video interview! As promised, I am featuring an interview of Amy Murrell, PhD, the author of this month's book selection, Becca Epps Learns to Be.
Amy Murrell will be speaking on the subject of bibliotherapy as she has reviewed the research extensively in this area. She will also be presenting a sneak peek of the recently released and upcoming books in her Becca Epps series.
This is the first I've heard of international SEL day, but I totally support the idea. Social-emotional learning is crucial in life. The benefits to kids are numerous, including improved social-emotional skills, enhanced well-being, increased empathy and decreased behavioral issues. SEL has a definite positive impact on academic and social outcomes over time. So, grab your favorite child and your favorite bibliotherapy book and get reading!
I hope you take the time to enjoy the video below!
A Book Review of Becca Epps Learns to Be
Becca Epps Learns to Be focuses on behavioral issues typically associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), however, the issues and behaviors within the story can relate to all children at one time or another. Children struggling with ADHD types of issues will surely relate to Becca. Through Becca, the author clearly captures the workings of the ADHD mind, with the tendency to act on impulse, daydream and become overwhelmed easily. Despite these issues, Becca is presented as a likeable character with her spirited personality shining through.
This book is packed chock full of coping strategies, which are part of the ACT therapeutic process. The coping strategies presented relate to mindfulness and can benefit all children, and adults alike. The first strategy demonstrated is one that I've used often in my practice and find very helpful. It is the stoplight strategy, which is a great visual self-control tool to assist kids in slowing down to think before they act. Many strategies for focusing on the moment and paying attention to your body are modeled by Becca and presented in a child-friendly way. The book realistically addresses the difficulty in focusing your mind on these strategies and carrying them through.
The illustrator, Melissa Londoño Connally, captures Becca's spirit and energy throughout the book. Becca is depicted as a character in the older age ranges of a picture book. Therefore, this book can be used therapeutically for a broader age group ranging from 4 to 11 years old.
Ms. Murrell provides a wealth of helpful information at the end of the book, including a note to adults, discussion questions and further activity ideas. This book will be a very helpful addition to your therapeutic, home or classroom library.
Check it out and purchase here, along with other helpful books in the Becca Epps series.
***I have an exciting announcement this month! I am going to feature, Amy Murrell, the author of this book, in an interview at the end of the month! She has reviewed research extensively on the benefits of bibliotherapy and will share with us her findings, as well as share more about her book series. Check back at the end of the month for this exciting and informative interview!***
I have provided an activity idea below based on the stoplight self-control strategy presented in the book.
Activity Idea for Becca Epps Learns to Be
The most important activity to go along with this book is to practice the mindfulness exercises presented. If you practice these skills with the child often when they are calm and attentive, they are more likely to use them at times when they are most needed. Make these strategies a part of your routine!
-cardboard or heavy paper
-glass to trace circles
- X-acto knife
-Cellophane in red, yellow and green(or tissue paper can work)
-flameless tealight candles -3
***I got a little over-excited and extravagant with this project! You could also simply use a piece of cardboard, glue on 3 circles cut from construction paper for the lights and move on from there! This might work much better for the younger kids.
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