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101 Healing Stories for Kids and Teens: Using Metaphors in Therapy

ISBN: 978-0-471-47167-7
336 pages
October 2004
101 Healing Stories for Kids and Teens: Using Metaphors in Therapy (0471471674) cover image
A comprehensive guide to understanding and using storytelling in therapy with kids and teens

"George Burns is a highly experienced clinician with the remarkable ability to create, discover, and tell engaging stories that can teach us all the most important lessons in life. With 101 Healing Stories for Kids and Teens, he strives especially to help kids and

teens learn these life lessons early on, providing them opportunities for getting help and even learning to think preventively."
-Michael D. Yapko, PhD | Author of Breaking the Patterns of Depression and Hand-Me-Down Blues

"George Burns takes the reader on a wonderful journey, balancing metaphor, good therapeutic technique, and empirical foundations during the trip. Given that Burns utilizes all three aspects of the Confucian story referred to in the book-teaching, showing, and involving-readers should increase their understanding of how stories can be used therapeutically."
-Richard G. Whiteside, MSW | Author of The Art of Using and Losing Control and Working with Difficult Clients: A Practical Guide to Better Therapy

"A treasure trove for parents and for professionals in the child-development fields."
-Jeffrey K. Zeig, PhD | Director, The Milton H. Erickson Foundation

Stories can play an important and potent role in therapy with children and adolescents-helping them develop the skills to cope with and survive a myriad of life situations. In many cases, stories provide the most effective means of communicating what kids and teens might not want to discuss directly.

101 Healing Stories for Kids and Teens provides straightforward advice on using storytelling and metaphors in a variety of therapeutic settings. Ideal for all who work with young people, this unique resource can be combined with other inventive and evidence-based techniques such as play, art, music, and drama therapies as well as solution focused, hypnotic, and cognitive-behavioral approaches. Offering guidance for new clinicians and seasoned professionals, George Burns's latest work delivers a unique combination-information on incorporating storytelling in therapy, dozens of ready-made stories, and tips for creating original therapeutic stories.

Innovative chapters include:
* Guidance for effective storytelling
* Using metaphors effectively
* Where to get ideas for healing stories
* Planning and presenting healing stories
* Teaching parents to use healing stories


In addition, 101 Healing Stories for Kids and Teens includes dozens of story ideas designed to address a variety of issues, such as:
* Enriching learning
* Teaching self-care
* Changing patterns of behavior
* Managing relationships, emotions, and life challenges
* Creating helpful thoughts
* Developing life skills and problem-solving techniques
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Acknowledgments, xv

Introduction, xvii

What This Book Offers, xvii

A Word or Two about Words, xix

Oral versus Written Stories, xix

The Structure of This Book, xx

Story 1 A Story of the Story, xxiii

PART I EFFECTIVE STORYTELLING FOR KIDS AND TEENS, 1

Chapter 1 The Magic of Metaphor, 3

Why Tell Healing and Teaching Stories to Kids and Teens?, 3

A Brief History of Teaching Tales, 4

How Stories Inform, 5

How Stories Educate, 6

How Stories Teach Values, 7

How Stories Discipline, 8

How Stories Build Experience, 9

How Stories Facilitate Problem-Solving, 10

How Stories Change and Heal, 11

When Not to Speak in Stories, 13

Chapter 2 Guidelines for Effective Storytelling, 15

Ten Guidelines for Effective Storytelling, 16

Six Guidelines for the Storyteller’s Voice, 25

Chapter 3 Tools and Techniques, 30

Books as a Source of Healing Stories: Bibliotherapy, 30

Drama as a Source of Healing Stories, 32

Videos or DVDs as a Source of Healing Stories: Videotherapy, 33

Puppets, Dolls, and Toys as Metaphor, 35

Play as Metaphor, 36

Humor as Metaphor, 38

Experiential Metaphors, 39

Child-Generated Metaphors, 41

Collaborative Tales, 42

To Discuss or Not to Discuss?, 43

PART II HEALING STORIES, TEACHING STORIES, 45

Chapter 4 Enriching Learning, 47

Story 2 Kids Can Make a Difference: A Kid Story, 47

Story 3 Kids Can Make a Difference: A Teen Story, 49

Story 4 Feed What You Want to Grow, 50

Story 5 Look after Yourself, 52

Story 6 Come up Laughing, 53

Story 7 It’s in the Way You Do It, 54

Story 8 Making the Most of What You Are Given, 55

Story 9 Doing What You Can, 56

Story 10 Seeking Happiness, 58

Chapter 5 Caring for Yourself, 61

Story 11 Soaring to New Heights: A Kid Story, 62

Story 12 Soaring to New Heights: A Teen Story, 64

Story 13 Recognizing Your Abilities, 66

Story 14 Let Joe Do It, 68

Story 15 Discovering Your Specialness, 70

Story 16 The Importance of Accepting Compliments, 72

Story 17 What You Give Is What You Get, 74

Story 18 Good, Not Perfect, 75

Story 19 Be Yourself, 76

Story 20 Increasing Self-Awareness, 78

Chapter 6 Changing Patterns of Behavior, 81

Story 21 Facing Fears: A Kid Story, 82

Story 22 Facing Fears: A Teen Story, 84

Story 23 See for Yourself, 86

Story 24 Learning to Think for Yourself, 88

Story 25 Build on What You Are Good At, 90

Story 26 Learning New Tricks, 92

Story 27 A Gesture That Changed a Whole Suburb, 95

Story 28 Making a Difference, 96

Story 29 Changing Patterns of Behavior, 97

Story 30 I’m Not Afraid Anymore, 99

Chapter 7 Managing Relationships, 102

Story 31 Caught in the Middle: A Kid Story, 103

Story 32 Caught in the Middle: A Teen Story, 104

Story 33 Making and Maintaining Friendships, 106

Story 34 The Four Faithful Friends, 107

Story 35 Negotiating a Solution, 108

Story 36 New Friends, 110

Story 37 Finding Tenderness, 112

Story 38 Going Inside, 114

Story 39 Putting Yourself in Someone Else’s Place, 116

Story 40 Making and Keeping Friends, 118

Chapter 8 Managing Emotions, 121

Story 41 Heightening Pleasure: A Kid Story, 122

Story 42 Heightening Pleasure: A Teen Story, 123

Story 43 Having Fun, 125

Story 44 Cultivating Contentment, 127

Story 45 Nailing Down Anger, 129

Story 46 Helping with Humor, 131

Story 47 Flying off the Handle, 132

Story 48 Learning to Laugh, 133

Story 49 Change Your Posture, Change Your Feelings, 135

Story 50 Expressing Emotions Congruently, 136

Chapter 9 Creating Helpful Thoughts, 139

Story 51 Managing Grief: A Young Kid Story, 139

Story 52 Managing Grief: A Kid Story, 141

Story 53 An Act of Kindness, 142

Story 54 Things May Not Be What They Seem, 144

Story 55 Positive Reframing, 145

Story 56 Thoughts Determine Feelings, 146

Story 57 Finding Exceptions to Problems, 147

Story 58 Learning to Use What You Have, 149

Story 59 Learning to Discriminate, 150

Story 60 Awakening Confidence, 152

Chapter 10 Developing Life Skills, 155

Story 61 Facing a Moral Dilemma: A Kid Story, 156

Story 62 Facing a Moral Dilemma: A Teen Story, 157

Story 63 Learning about Rules, 159

Story 64 Sometimes Terrible Things Happen, 160

Story 65 Accepting What You Have, 162

Story 66 Taking Responsibility, 163

Story 67 Making Decisions, 165

Story 68 Taking a Different View, 167

Story 69 Overcoming Fear, 168

Story 70 The Secrets of Success, 170

Chapter 11 Building Problem-Solving Skills, 173

Story 71 Overcoming Adversity: A Kid Story, 174

Story 72 Overcoming Adversity: A Teen Story, 175

Story 73 Collaborative Problem-Solving, 177

Story 74 Thinking through a Problem, 178

Story 75 Solving a Problem, 180

Story 76 Acceptance, 182

Story 77 Learning to Share, 184

Story 78 Tending to the Neglected, 185

Story 79 Taking Control, 187

Story 80 Creating a Wish, 189

Chapter 12 Managing Life’s Challenging Times, 193

Story 81 Blowing Away Pain: A Kid Story, 194

Story 82 Managing Pain: A Teen Story, 195

Story 83 Beating a Bully, 196

Story 84 I Am Only Nine, 198

Story 85 Coping with Illness, 199

Story 86 Finding Solutions, 201

Story 87 Facing Challenges, 203

Story 88 Getting Back on Your Feet, 204

Story 89 Facing Thoughts of Suicide, 206

Story 90 Learning to Care for Yourself, 208

Chapter 13 Kids’ Own Healing Stories, 211

Story 91 The Ghost Who Learned to Scare, 212

Story 92 Girl, 213

Story 93 Days to Come, 214

Story 94 Mary-Jane’s Story, 216

Story 95 Sally’s Problem, 218

Story 96 My Life, 220

Story 97 My Life Story, 221

Story 98 Rock Your Way out of It, 222

Story 99 When There Is Nothing I Can Do, 223

Story 100 Lucy Mac’s Story, 225

PART III CREATING YOUR OWN HEALING STORIES FOR KIDS, 227

Chapter 14 How Can I Use Metaphors Effectively?, 229

Potential Pathways for Effective Metaphor Therapy, 229

Potential Pitfalls in Effective Metaphor Therapy, 234

Chapter 15 Where Do I Get the Ideas for Healing Stories?, 240

Metaphors Built on a Basis of Evidence, 240

Metaphors Built on Heroes, 242

Metaphors Built on Imagination, 243

Metaphors Built on Therapeutic Strategies, 244

Metaphors Built on an Idea, 246

Metaphors Built on a Child’s Own Story, 247

Metaphors Built on Humor, 249

Metaphors Built on Cross-Cultural Tales, 250

Metaphors Built on Client Cases, 251

Metaphors Built on Everyday Experiences, 252

Guidelines for Using Personal Life Stories, 253

Chapter 16 How Do I Plan and Present Healing Stories?, 255

The PRO-Approach, 255

Make an Outcome-Oriented Assessment, 256

Plan Your Metaphors, 258

Present Your Metaphors, 262

Stop, Look, and Listen, 264

Ground the Story in Reality, 264

Chapter 17 Teaching Parents to Use Healing Stories, 266

Stories for Parents and Parenting, 266

Some Values of Teaching Parents to Use Metaphors, 268

Steps for Teaching Parents Storytelling, 270

An Example of Effective Parental Storytelling, 271

Helping Parents Build Storytelling Skills, 274

. . . And the Story Continues, 275

Story 101 Will You Be My Teacher?, 277

Resources, References, and Other Sources of Metaphoric Stories, 279

Index, 295

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GEORGE W. BURNS is a clinical psychologist and Director of the Milton H. Erickson Institute of Western Australia. He is also a trainer of therapists and the author of 101 Healing Stories: Using Metaphors in Therapy (Wiley), Nature-Guided Therapy, and coauthor of Standing without Shoes: Creating Happiness, Relieving Depression, Enhancing Life.
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"Healing Stories is a rare text:  at once delightful to read, lively, informative, practical and reassuring.  Burns’ confidence in the curative power of metaphor bursts forth from the pages, demystifying the art of telling a good story in the process.  Here are wonderful tales we can tell kids, they can tell us, and we can coauthor with them.
Burns takes us through all the steps involved in building a good therapeutic narrative so even the most tongue-tied clinician can spin a useful tale."
--Martha B. Straus, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, Antioch New England Graduate School; author, No-Talk Therapy for Children and Adolescents

George Burns is a highly experienced clinician with the remarkable ability to create, discover and tell engaging stories that can teach us all the most important lessons in life. With 101 Healing Stories for Kids and Teens, he strives especially to help kids and teens learn these life lessons early on, providing them opportunities for getting help and even learning to think preventively. Burns has made an invaluable contribution to helping young people build good skills and good lives.
—Michael D. Yapko, Ph.D., Author of Breaking the Patterns of Depression and Hand-Me-Down Blues

101 Healing Stories for Children and Teens is a must read for anyone working with this age group. George Burns takes the reader on a wonderful journey, balancing metaphor, good therapeutic technique, and empirical foundations during the trip. Given that Burns utilizes all three aspects of the Confucian story referred to in the book—teaching, showing, and involving—any reader using this resource should increase their understanding of how stories can be used therapeutically.
—Richard G. Whiteside, MSW, Author of The Art of Using and Losing Control and Working with Difficult Clients

See More
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