The Seven Core Issues Workbook for Parents of Traumatized Children and Teens

A Guide to Help You Explore Feelings and Overcome Emotional Challenges in Your Family

By Allison Davis Mason and Sharon Kaplan Roszia

Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2022, ISBN: 978-1-78592-823-9, 255 pages, $29.95

This new workbook is a companion to the authors’ original book, “Seven Core Issues in Adoption and Permanency.” It’s designed as a hands-on tool to guide families through the healing process as they learn what they bring to the parenting experience so that they have a deeper understanding of the children they care for. Each core issue – loss, rejection, shame and guilt, grief, identity, intimacy, mastery and control – is broken down to allow the reader to fill in various aspects of their own story. From completing the “Life Loss History Questionnaire” to “Finding Your ACE Score,” each chapter is an exploration of previous life experiences and information in an easy-to-digest manner. The book was created to help parents understand what they bring to the parenting experience so they have a deeper understanding of their “child’s journey, a more sensitive attunement to their needs and a richer attachment,” according to the authors who have years of personal and professional experience in adoption and child welfare.

Rather than ‘talking’ about using a trauma-informed approach with children in foster care, “The Seven Core Issues Workbook” helps parents understand what that means and how to truly implement those techniques in daily life. For resource parents, it’s the perfect opportunity to understand their own elements of loss and trauma and strengthen their parenting knowledge about children experiencing trauma and loss. It’s also a great resource for those considering fostering or adopting, and for parents already on their life-long parenting journey. Therapists will also find the workbook helpful in working with clients or as weekly assignments so clients can better understand what they bring to their parenting. — Reviewed by Kim Phagan-Hansel