Kids' Skills - Playful and practical solution-finding with children

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9780958018890: Kids' Skills - Playful and practical solution-finding with children

Working with children to convert problems into skills

Well-known Finnish psychotherapist and TV presenter, Ben Furman, shares the Kids' Skills model for working with children that is influencing parents, teachers, counsellors and policy makers around the world. This is a playful and practical approach to solving difficulties faced by children where practically all problems can be seen as skills that need to be developed. This method invites children to become active participants in skill-building and solution-finding. A book buzzing with ideas, stories and suggestions.

- Converting problems into skills.
- Agreeing on the skill to learn
- Naming the skill and choosing a power creature
- Gathering supporters and building confidence
- Planning the celebration and going public
- Practising the skill and creating reminders

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About the Author:

Ben Furman is a psychiatrist, psychotherapist and a prolific writer whose books have been translated worldwide. He is codirector of the Helsinki Brief Therapy Institute and hosts his own psychology-related talk show on Finnish television. Ben is the creator of the innovative method for working with children known as Kids' Skills. He teaches and consults internationally on solution-focused therapy, problem solving, children's issues, team building, systems thinking and personal development.

Review:

"Kids' Skills gives solutions back to kids - and to their parents and teachers and youth leaders. It has nothing to do with 'being positive' but is a simple, 15-step, practical approach that equips anyone to work with children to help them become the experts." --Michael Durrant, Director, Brief Therapy Institute of Sydney

Introducing Kids' Skills

WARNING!

This is a radical book. It might just change forever your views about parenting, teaching and what constitutes a child's 'problems'. Kids' Skills is a playful and practical approach to solving difficulties faced by children. At the heart of this book is one very significant notion-practically all problems can be seen as skills that need to be developed.

Kids' Skills does not blame children or parents for difficulties. Nor does it eliminate the need for childhood professionals. But it does challenge traditional concepts of the role of 'experts'.

The 15 simple steps in the Kids' Skills method show us how to convert problems into skills. These practical steps create dynamic and playful partnerships between carers and children. This method invites children to become active participants in skill-building and solution-finding.

This book is buzzing with ideas, stories and suggestions. Be prepared for refreshing and fun ways that children and adults can come together to convert problems into skills!

--strengthscafe.com

Publisher's Preface to Kids' Skills

Innovative Resources is the publishing arm of St Luke's Anglicare, one of Australia 's leading community service organisations. Our favourite term for describing ourselves is 'seriously optimistic'.
As publishers in a world so often dominated by stories of doom and gloom, we produce materials for human service workers that attempt to challenge the pervasive cultures of fatalism and loss of hope. We are optimists and we are serious about it!

It is this same sense of serious optimism that we saw in Ben Furman's work over a decade and a half ago. It is a long way between Australia and Finland but we have retained an ongoing admiration for Ben's approach to therapy. Indeed, I believe we have developed a mutual kinship and passion for pushing the boundaries of strengths-based practice.

We felt honoured when Ben offered us the opportunity of publishing an English version of Kids' Skills because of its neat fit with the four criteria we attempt to adopt in all our 'seriously optimistic' publications:

Kids' Skills is practical and immediately useable. It does not demand extensive prior training or theoretical understanding. It is creative yet clear and simple to incorporate into practice and celebrates the expertise of the client, not our own professional cleverness.
Kids' Skills is inspirational. It is a set of ideas that build creativity by suggesting new possibilities. You can choose to use the whole model or any of its parts by themselves. Or you can use the underlying ideas to create your own metaphors and activities.
Kids' Skills has a gentle, playful humour. Humour can be a powerful catalyst for change and in Kids' Skills the humour is subtle and understated, but present nonetheless. In the world of 'therapeutic' literature, which can be highly pretentious, this playful humour acts to help make sure that we don't take ourselves too seriously.
Kids' Skills is political. It may not read as polemic for social action but Kids' Skills does have a political agenda. Here in Australia, at the time of writing, we have children locked up in detention centres-read 'prisons'-simply because their parents wanted to give them a life of freedom and hope. We have children living with disabilities but still treated as second-class citizens and we have thousands of Indigenous children whose futures are being whittled away by violence, sexual abuse and the fumes of petrol and solvents. Kids' Skills represents an affirmation of the fundamentals of children's rights and makes many useful suggestions for ways to ensure our children are heard and treated respectfully.

So thanks, Ben, for your creativity and vision. Thanks also to the team at Innovative Resources for bringing Ben's manuscript to fruition at such a high aesthetic standard.

--St Luke's Innovative Resources

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Ben Furman
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