If your 2023 New Year’s Resolution is to read more trauma-informed, resilience-building books, we at the Attachment & Trauma Network have a list of some of our favorite reads that you may want to check out.
These books run the gamut of purposes, audiences, and styles. The one thing they have in common is they’re all based in solid trauma-informed theory and focused on building resiliency, relationship and regulation in children…and adults.
Connections Over Compliance: Rewiring Our Perceptions of Discipline by Lori Desautels. A book every educator should own, this trauma-informed educator book is so deeply rooted in interpersonal neuroscience, and yet, so understandable and actionable. The book is squarely focused on shifting our mindsets around discipline of children. Dr. Desautels will be the keynote at our 2023 Creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools conference for this very reason…the ability to lead us through our current systems, using current research and brain science, to show us how to transform our school cultures into one that really empowers and connects us all.
Brain-Body Parenting by Mona Delahooke. This is a book that we’re as excited about for parents as we are about the one above for teachers – it’s a book every parent should own! Dr. Delahooke frames her Beyond Behaviors concepts to focus specifically on helping parents their children’s needs and behaviors through deepening their understanding of the child’s nervous system and the latest neuroscience around behavior, even the parents’ own.
Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown. Not exactly a trauma-informed book, per se, but if you’re looking for an encyclopedia of emotions (and you should be), this is a reference book you can not live without! It’s beautifully illustrated and an incredible resource for understanding the skills and actions that help us build meaningful connections with others. We, at ATN, are huge fans of this book…it was part of our Team R&R BookClub selections last spring and is one we reference frequently.
Trauma-Informed Teaching and IEPs by Melissa Sadin. This book is an excellent resource not just for educators, but for any parent who would like help and resources for a child impacted by special needs and/or trauma. All general educators along with special education professionals will benefit from learning how trauma affects the brain and shows up in the classroom. This book explores classroom strategies and IEP goals and further provides examples and tips on modifications that will help all children be more successful in the school environment. This book gives the most effective tools to help build resilience for every child, no matter their needs.
Trauma in the Pews by Janyne McConnaughey. If you work for a faith-based organization, you NEED this book. If you attend a house of worship…you, too, NEED this book. Janyne, the consummate storyteller, uses her own story and those of others to help ministry leaders recognize and better understand the impact of widespread trauma that is present among church members. And the book takes the trauma-responsive step to answer the question “How can we better serve those suffering from the effects of trauma?” Despite a childhood of early trauma, related to her church, Janyne’s wisdom is imparted with compassion for both ministry leaders and for those struggling with the impact of trauma. It is truly a book that allows for healing and growth! (And you can do what we’ve been doing…buying it for your favorite ministry leader!)
Hello, Anger by Jessica Sinarski. This is a children’s picture book that normalizes overwhelming and confusing emotions. It’s a great resource and tool for caregivers and teachers who want to help children navigate their big feelings. This book promotes discussion about subjects that can be tricky to talk about and gives a safe space to share feelings, concerns, and what works when you are experiencing feelings like anger and fear. This book gives an easy mantra and formula to follow when kids get dysregulated. Our favorite message for children is that we aren’t alone in our difficult challenges, we all have troublesome moments! We also absolutely love the “tips for caring adults” in the back of the book. It’s a must-have book for all families and classrooms!
Other books we’d recommend you check out:
- Self-Reg Schools: A Handbook for Educators – Stuart Shanker & Susan Hopkins
- Riley the Brave Makes it to School – Jessica Sinarski
- What My Bones Know– Stephanie Foo
- The Myth of Normal – Gabor Maté & Daniel Maté
- From Trauma to Resiliency: Trauma-Informed Practices for Working with Families, Schools and Communities – edited by Shulamit Natan Ritblatt & Audrey Hokoda