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Hawthorn Press Early Years Series

Healing Stories for Challenging Behaviour

May 2008
More details
  • Publisher
    Hawthorn Press
  • Published
    7th May 2008
  • ISBN 9781903458785
  • Language English
  • Pages 320 pp.

Susan Perrow is a “story doctor.” She writes, collects, and documents stories that offer a therapeutic journey for both the storyteller and listener—a positive, imaginative way of healing difficult situations.

Healing Stories for Challenging Behaviour gathers the fruits of Susan Perrow’s work in story-making. It is richly illustrated with lively anecdotes from parents and teachers who have discovered how the power of story can help resolve a variety of common childhood behaviors and situations, including separation anxiety, bullying, sibling rivalry, nightmares, and grieving.

This comprehensive resource offers:

† An overview of therapeutic storytelling
† Checklists for readers to evaluate the challenging behavior or situation and identify their desired resolution
† Guidelines for adapting stories for different age groups and cultures
† An extensive collection of new stories and traditional folk tales categorized by behavior or situation
† A story-making model to help the reader create stories directly relevant to their own circumstances.

"Susan Perrow's inspirational adventures with storytelling have grown into this inspirational book. May its pages encourage you to speak healing words that help both children and adults to flourish." —Nancy Mellon, author of Storytelling with Children 

"Susan Perrow gives us the tools to use and create stories that respond to the way children imagine their world. Practice what she teaches; it will enrich your life." —Michael Moran, storyteller and psychiatric nurse

C O N T E N T S:

Foreword by Nancy Mellon
Introduction: The Healing Light of Stories


1. From Dried Prunes to Juicy Plums: Why Use Stories?
2. Weaving Stories into the Family Fabric
3. Weaving Stories into the Teaching Fabric


4. “Story” and “Behavior”
5. A Construction Model for Story Writing
6. Different Stories for Different Ages
7. Truth and Morality
8. Story-Making Exercises


9. Bored or Whingeing
10. Dishonest or Sneaky
11. Disrespectful or Uncaring
12. Greedy or Unable to Share
13. Irritating or Impatient
14. Lazy
15. Noisy or Disruptive
16. Pinching, Hurting, or Fighting
17. Shy or Introverted
18. Teasing or Bullying
19. Uncooperative
20. Wild or Restless


21. Change or Transition
22. Tidy-up Time
23. Fear or Nightmares
24. Illness, Grieving, or Death
25. New Baby in the Home
26. Separation Anxiety


27. Storytelling and Story Reading
28. Multi-cultural Thoughts
29. Storytelling for Different Audiences and Occasions
30. Props and Presentation Ideas
31. Guidelines for Assessing Storytelling
32. Conclusion: A Story a Day

Appendix 1 – Recommended Books and Websites
Appendix 2 – Completed Story Charts

Susan Perrow

Susan Perrow, MEd, is an Australian author who works with “story medicine.” She writes, collects, and documents stories that offer a therapeutic journey for the reader—a positive and imaginative way to address challenging behaviors and traumatic situations, including environmental grief and loss. Susan has an extensive background in teaching, writing, and therapeutic storytelling. She travels nationally and internationally giving keynotes and leading seminars for teachers, parents, and therapists, offering online training and talks, as well. Her therapeutic story work has led to the publication of four resource books published by Hawthorn Press: Healing Stories for Challenging Behaviour (2008); Therapeutic Storytelling: 101 Healing Stories for Children (2012); An A–Z Collection of Behaviour Tales (2017); and Stories to Light the Night: A Grief and Loss Collection for Children, Families and Communities (2021). The first two have been translated into several languages, including Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Slovenian, Serbian, and Croatian. Perrow also has released an app—Rainbow Tales: Healing Audio Sotries for Children—a therapeutic tool for parenting, teaching, and counseling children, ages 3 to 9 (available in online app stores).