It has been 26 weeks since 26 innocent people died in the mass shooting in Newtown, CT, and the effects of this devastating trauma will be felt for many years by this community. Unfortunately there are few, if any, healing books available for middle school-aged children who have experienced some form of trauma. In My Corner On the Moon: A Story for Kids Who Experienced Trauma by Rachel Rashkin-Shoot, goes a long way to filling this void. Here is an excerpt from the foreword written by Daniel Mattila, M.Div., LCSW: “…I write this foreword from the town where I have lived for 15 years – Newtown, Connecticut. My community is dealing with trauma and grief from the shooting that happened only months ago. This book is timely and will be useful for many parents, teachers, mental health professionals, and religious leaders.”
There are millions of children in this country that experience some form of trauma each year. Trauma is defined as any credible threat to someone's sense of survival. It can be as varied as living through a tragic accident, to the loss of a parent or loved one, witnessing domestic violence, or becoming a victim of physical or sexual abuse – with consequences that can be catastrophic. These types of chronic trauma can significantly disrupt a child’s developing sense of self and impact virtually all areas of their functioning – with the result that many of these children continue to struggle well into adulthood.
Even when children are not directly affected they can experience secondary traumatization through natural disasters, school-related violence, or a host of other events. As a resident of Israel, the author has witnessed first-hand the devastating effects trauma has on children who must deal with the threat of terrorist attempts on a regular basis.
In My Corner On the Moon (PDAN Press) is a therapeutic book, gauged to fit the reading skills of 5th – 8th grade children, that can be used in a session with a therapist, or as a book read with a parent, friend, caretaker, or even alone.
Narrated by 12-year-old Abigail, the book is written in a straightforward but gentle style and has a strong psycho-educational component. The idea is to normalize the response that many children have to overwhelming events in their lives. Through Abigail’s story, trauma is put into simple terms that kids can understand and it’s done without delving into details of her own or any specific trauma, but focusing instead on responses to trauma and the healing process that follows. Interactive questions at the end of each page encourage discussion among children and the trusted adults in their lives.
Rachel Rashkin-Shoot was educated in the U.S. and earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology. She completed her pre-doctoral training in Chicago and New Orleans. Prior to her latest book, she has published two self-help books for children and teens, with a related article in the award-winning Chicago Parent magazine. Rachel currently lives in Israel with her husband and children, and maintains a private practice in Jerusalem.
The publisher, Personality Disorders Awareness Network (PDAN), is an organization dedicated to increasing public awareness about the impact of personality disorders on families, preparing families to be watchful for signs of trauma, and parent their children differently to prevent development of such disorders.
For more information on Dr. Shoot or PDAN, please visit: www.shootpsychology.com and www.PDAN.org.