'Brighter Little Minds' book series 

Author: Pamela Woodford

A note from the publisher - Orpen Press:

Pamela Woodford is a UK-based consultant psychotherapist who has developed a unique approach to treating children and adolescents suffering from conditions ranging from eating disorders, depression, low self-esteem, anger management, anxiety and self-harm to autism, sleep problems, lack of confidence and fear of the dark.

As part of her highly successful approach to treating children and adolescents, she has incorporated ‘embedded suggestion through visual imagery’ into a series of six stories – all of which she has written herself and all of which are designed to address specific emotional mental health issues, including those listed above.

The stories have universal appeal (i.e. they are not country/cultural specific). They can be used by teachers and parents or they can be used by therapists in a therapeutic setting. Each story is about 1,300 words long.

In a workshop in St Patrick’s University Hospital (in Dublin), Pamela Woodford read a selection of her stories to adults. Interestingly, all of the adults interviewed said that they ‘got it’ – all of them found the stories amusing; all said they considered them to be accessible to both parents and non-mental health professionals, and regarded them as ‘extremely useful’ for therapeutic purposes.

The stories can be easily understood by children as young as five and have been successfully used in the treatment of serious emotional health issues. One of the reasons they are so successful is that using the right story can get to the heart of the matter and bring about swift, positive change and they have proved to be a key way of addressing imperative issues.

 

The stories are enjoyable in themselves, which is the key to their effectiveness for children.

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No child can flourish unless the patterns of greater possibilities are first grasped in imagination. By imaginatively engaging young minds in her tales, [Pamela] does a great service, not only to the children themselves but to their families and the wider community.”

Ivan Tyrrell

psychotherapist, tutor and author

About the books:

 

Sid, Spark and the Signal Man;   Sortof the Snail;   Lilly and Harry;   King Giggle;   Watching Raindrops;   Ning

 

Both unique and effective, the six books in the Brighter Little Minds series are a welcome addition to both children’s and psychology literature. Children’s stories, from Hans Christian Andersen onwards, have always had a message. Equally, Pamela’s stories of King Giggle, the king who was afraid of ruling, and Sortof the Snail, who overcomes his fear of the dark, tell a wonderful story while sending out messages of encouragement to children.

Each story contains illustrations suitable to its themes and characters. Lilly and Harry contains soft, pastel-like illustrations, while Ning contains strong, bold and vibrant illustrations.

Sid, Spark and the Signal Man

“‘Chuggedy-chuggedy, chuggedy-chuggedy, chuggedychuggedy, woo-oo, woo-oo.’ That was a train named Sid.

 

“‘Chuggedy-chuggedy, chuggedy-chuggedy, chuggedychuggedy, woo-oo, woo-oo.’ And that was a train named Spark.

” Sid and Spark love travelling along their tracks, but sometimes the railway tracks need to change direction and the lines have to be properly controlled by the signal man. If the trains ignore the signals to slow down or to stop, this can cause some real problems.

Find out how Sid and Spark learn to follow the signal man’s flags to help them continue safely and happily on their journey.

Sid, Spark and the Signal Man addresses such issues as anger management, family problems, bullying, violence, learning self-control, learning rules, working together, developing empathy and much more.

Sid, Spark and the Signal Man

“‘Chuggedy-chuggedy, chuggedy-chuggedy, chuggedychuggedy, woo-oo, woo-oo.’ That was a train named Sid.

 

“‘Chuggedy-chuggedy, chuggedy-chuggedy, chuggedychuggedy, woo-oo, woo-oo.’ And that was a train named Spark.

” Sid and Spark love travelling along their tracks, but sometimes the railway tracks need to change direction and the lines have to be properly controlled by the signal man. If the trains ignore the signals to slow down or to stop, this can cause some real problems.

Find out how Sid and Spark learn to follow the signal man’s flags to help them continue safely and happily on their journey.

Sid, Spark and the Signal Man addresses such issues as anger management, family problems, bullying, violence, learning self-control, learning rules, working together, developing empathy and much more.

Sortof the Snail

“This is the tale of Sortof the snail. He was called Sortof because he was sort of this and sort of that. Mostly he was a really happy sort of snail, and then, at other times, he had a sort of worrying feeling. He was sometimes sort of scared. This was usually at night when the lights began to go out…”

 

But when Sortof begins to understand that the night-time is a very important time, especially for snails, he learns to forget about the dark being scary.

Sortof the Snail addresses such issues as fear of the dark, sleep problems, feeling safe, depression, worrying, relaxation, encouraging peaceful dreams and much more.

Sortof the Snail

“This is the tale of Sortof the snail. He was called Sortof because he was sort of this and sort of that. Mostly he was a really happy sort of snail, and then, at other times, he had a sort of worrying feeling. He was sometimes sort of scared. This was usually at night when the lights began to go out…”

 

But when Sortof begins to understand that the night-time is a very important time, especially for snails, he learns to forget about the dark being scary.

Sortof the Snail addresses such issues as fear of the dark, sleep problems, feeling safe, depression, worrying, relaxation, encouraging peaceful dreams and much more.

Lilly and Harry

Meet Lilly, the lopsided candle, and Harry the horse, who was made by a very clever glassblower in Venice.

 

Lilly was lopsided because she had been left on a windowsill in the sun and part of her had melted. She often felt useless because she couldn’t stand up properly. Harry’s family had made him into a lampshade, but he felt silly wearing a lampshade on his head.

Discover how Lilly and Harry find out about all their special qualities and who they really are.

Lilly and Harry addresses such issues as low self-esteem, disability, making friends, lack of confidence, developing empathy, accepting diversity, eating disorders, finding your own special qualities and much more.

King Giggle

King Giggle is no ordinary king. Sometimes when he is nervous or upset he has a “wobbly” feeling, just like jelly when it isn’t set. Other times, he gets a feeling inside his tummy like there is a butterfly flying around. And to top it all, his heart sometimes beats so fast that it feels as if he has swallowed a whole set of drums.

 

How can he be king and rule over the whole land if the jelly, butterfly and drum kit keep getting in his way?

Find out how King Giggle learns to control his wobbly feeling and become a relaxed, calm and confident king (who loves to giggle).

King Giggle addresses such issues as general anxiety disorder, panic attacks, developing autonomy, learning to relax, breathing to be calm and much more.

Watching Raindrops

“Plip-plop, whoosh ... well, oh well, brolly, brolly, broosh!”

 

You might have noticed that when it rains really hard there are puddles all over the place, puddles you can jump right into and splash about in!

But umbrellas also enjoy the rain. One day, an umbrella gets left behind in the house on a rainy day, which for an umbrella isn’t very pleasant! But soon it meets with an adventurous raindrop in search of a friend.

Discover how the umbrella opens itself up, shakes itself about and strikes up an unlikely friendship.

Watching Raindrops addresses such issues as feeling left out, developing empathy, making friends, having fun, lack of self-esteem, being fostered or adopted, accepting diversity and much more.

Ning

“Ning just loves turning things around. In fact, he even did this with his own name. He gave himself the full name of Ning-Tur, when really his name is Tur-Ning ... like the word ‘turning’ ... No wonder Ning liked to turn things around with a name like that!”

 

When Ning is feeling playful, he can turn anything around – he can turn things inside out, back to front and upside down! He can even turn a gloomy day into a sunny one.

Discover how Ning lets his imagination work and how he can turn even the biggest frown upside down and make it into a smile.

Ning addresses such issues as being accepted for who you are, thinking outside of the box, tackling perfectionism, autism, encouraging self-worth and individual ideas, and much more.

Exploring the Brighter Little Minds series

The Brighter Little Minds series, published by Orpen Press in 2013, uses stories to bring about positive psychological changes in children and young people. Now, this guide for teachers and parents provides fun activities and advice on how to build on and learn from the stories to help children dealing with issues such as anger management, bullying, fear of the dark, worrying, low self-esteem, disability, anxiety, panic attacks, making friends, accepting diversity, autism and tackling perfectionism.


With plenty of colourful pictures and original ideas, Exploring the Brighter Little Minds Series is an essential companion guide, helping teachers, parents and therapists to get the best out of these engaging and therapeutic stories.

From Pamela:

All the books have activities that aim to further embed the metaphor. Most of these can be done on a one to one basis with family or teachers, or as a group exercise. 


Many teachers are using them as part of the emotionally healthy schools programme and incorporating them into the curriculum. The exercises encourage the message in the book as well as helping children to explore and find out things for themselves.

The stories can be easily understood by children as young as five and have been successfully used in the treatment of serious emotional health issues.

 
The stories can work for all ages because they are metaphor and metaphor by-passes the brains natural resistance to change.

Using metaphor enables the brain to go on an inner search for a pattern ~ it goes on a journey of its own. 


Children are very receptive to new ways of learning, and metaphor can create new possibilities. As it can with all of us of course.

Metaphor within stories can build a sense of expectancy that the problem can be resolved. 

When using the stories with adolescents or any age adults, I just say that I would like some help, and that I would like to tell them a children’s story. . I ask them to listen to the story and tell me what they think it might be saying ~ what sort of problem is it addressing?

Then I ask them what they might think the story is suggesting that the children should do? 

A little about Metaphor:

As I have said, children are very receptive to new ways of learning, and metaphor can create new possibilities.


Metaphor within stories can build a sense of expectancy that the problem can be resolved. Restating a child’s problem with non-threatening metaphors can help them completely review the situation.

Metaphor and stories are a highly effective way to help children and adults as it bypasses the brains natural resistance to change.

When using metaphor, the brain goes on an inner search for a pattern already encoded. If the eyes are closed there is no outside information, therefore the occipital lobes go on an inner search for some pattern already stored. The imagination is then in use. I often tell the stories without showing he pictures as this encourages the use of the imagination.

A little about the Imagination:

Most children have a fantastic imagination and are very accepting of stories.


A child can employ fantasy to change or avoid an unpleasant situation; to gratify unmet needs; remember the past or invent the future.
Children want to experience life to the greatest extent possible; therefore cultivating a child’s imagination is not only appealing but can be highly effective.


Using the right story can get to the heart of the matter and bring about swift, positive change. 


The metaphorical therepuetic stories in “The Brighter Little Minds Series” contain “embedded suggestions” through visual imagery’

A little about Pattern matching:

Part of the brain is a metaphorical pattern-matching organ.


We don’t store feelings we store patterns with different senses on them.


No child can flourish unless the patterns of greater possibilities are first grasped in imagination.

T: 01225 862995  E: pamelawoodford@btinternet.com

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