Category Archives: Book review

Book review: Anger is my friend

Why can it seem so difficult to engage young people in addressing their violence? Sam Ross suggests that we are starting from the wrong place. If we are to help teenagers understand that aggression is more likely to harm than help them, we have to understand why they hold on to it so tightly in the first place.

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Speaking sometimes in the voice of an adult, and sometimes as a teen, Ross has given us a collection of writings (not a manual) to reflect on, whether on your own or as part of a group for supervision or training. It is written for professionals but also valuable for parents, and takes as its central point the mantra that if you try to treat the anger you will always fail: First you must build a relationship. Continue reading

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Breaking the Cycle of child-to-parent violence and abuse

It’s always good to see new books published in this field, and so I was pleased to take a look at this “self-guided course for parents of angry, aggressive adolescents or teens” from Elaine Morgan and Laurie Reid. Published by Breaking the Cycle Consulting, Breaking the Cycle of Child-to-Parent Violence and Abuse is available direct from the authors or from Amazon.

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Learning about feelings, building resilience with Cyril Squirrel

Cyril Squirrel Finds Out About Love, by Jane Evans (2016) Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

I was very pleased to be asked to review this book, having first met Jane around the time she was starting to write the first of her books for young children. Jane is a trauma parenting specialist with many years experience in the field of domestic violence, fostering and, most recently, work on the brain responses to trauma. We met at the Oxford APV conference, and of course the experience of early trauma does seem to be a factor for many families where there is child to parent violence. If we can get things right early on with resources such as these books, then we can hopefully help parents create a healthier and more resilient environment for their children.

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Working with Adolescent Violence and Abuse Towards Parents: book review

With many papers and now two books to her name, Amanda Holt is a leading voice in the field of adolescent to parent violence and abuse (APVA), not just in the UK, but also around the world. APVA is a small but developing field, where networking provides a key method of information exchange, and it was through discussions with other academics and practitioners that the idea for this book was born. Working with Adolescent Violence and Abuse Towards Parents: Approaches and contexts for intervention explores both the different theoretical bases and approaches to the work, and the very different contexts in which it takes place. Continue reading

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When children kill their parents.

The book currently at the top of my “to read” pile is Kathleen Heide‘s Understanding Parricide. Twenty years on from her first book, Why Kids Kill Parents, this book builds on and develops the understanding from the earlier work. In this comprehensive tome, Heide relies on accounts from the literature and her own significant clinical experience, to answer the questions everyone wants to know: who, how often, what weapons, is it increasing and most of all WHY? Continue reading

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Parenting a Violent Child: book review

What do you do if you are a parent experiencing violence and abuse from your child but there is no help available where you live? So many parents speak of a lack of understanding from non-specialists, and regular parenting groups that can make the situation worse rather than better. Up until now the only recourse might have been to online message boards, helplines or friends. Now there is a “virtual group” in the shape of a step-by-step guide to understanding behaviours that can hinder or help the restoration of a healthy family relationship. Continue reading

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Adolescent Violence in the Home: Believe the Impossible!

In July I posted details of a newly published book about adolescence violence in the home from Gregg Routt and Lily Anderson. Rather belatedly, I am really pleased now to offer a review for those who have not yet had time to read their own copy.

When considering the abuse that human beings heap on one another, it can sometimes seem that we are being required to believe “as many as six impossible things before breakfast”*; and, for many people, the notion of children abusing their parents falls neatly into this category. One of the things that make the excellent new book by Routt and Anderson so accessible is the frequent use of case studies to illustrate a point, whether to further understanding of an aspect of abuse, or to demonstrate the detail of the programme they have developed. By including this level of illustration they make an important contribution to believing the impossible: Yes, this happens, and this is what it looks like, but change is possible. Continue reading

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