Healing Children’s Wounds of Trauma: Facilitator’s Book

Release date: January 2014

Paperback, 124 pages
Retail price: $4.99
Trim size: 5.25 x 8.25 inches

Authors: Harriet Hill, Margaret Hill, Debbie Braaksma, Lyn Westman

About this Book

Wherever adults suffer, children suffer doubly. This book equips churches and concerned adults to help children recover after traumatic events like war or abuse. It is the leader’s guide for the Healing Hearts Club™ program, an interactive, story-centered, field-tested model of Bible-based trauma healing that provides vital mental health information for children in a biblical framework.

Using this book, lay leaders work with children aged 9–13 in small groups. Each child receives the companion volume, the HEALING HEARTS CLUB STORY & ACTIVITY BOOK (ABS Item 124164, ISBN 9781937628901). This facilitator’s book includes the stories, along with activities, games, memory verses, and clear, comprehensive, and practical guidelines on how to run an effective trauma healing program for children—whether as a week-long camp or in weekly classes. Appendixes provide guidance for working with younger children or with teenagers.

Each of the ten lessons includes a Bible story and a
composite real-life story about the experiences of “Sami and
 Rose” so children can see the effects of trauma, learn how to work through their emotional and spiritual pain, and experience God’s love for them. The book has been field tested with leaders and children from Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and independent churches and orphanages.

This book is part of the product line from the Trauma Healing Institute at American Bible Society. It uses the same approach as the adult book, Healing the Wounds of Trauma (ABS item 123541). The Institute provides ongoing support for this program, including an online resource packet with supporting material.


“Many children in today’s world are victims of, or witness, acts of violence or abuse. Those who have experienced such trauma can go on to develop long-term mental health difficulties, not only causing considerable distress but also compromising their educational and social potential.

“This program gives an opportunity to change that trajectory. By providing children with a language in which to describe their emotions, and helping them tell the story of their hurt and express their emotional pain, the program gives them the opportunity to begin a journey of recovery and healing. The facilitators’ book provides all that is needed to run children’s groups as well as train others in the methods used.

“The Healing Hearts Club program is distinctive in helping children understand that whatever happens to them, they are special to God, and can take their pain to him. In a safe environment, with God’s help, they can even begin to forgive those who have hurt them.

“I commend this book to all who seek to assist children to recover from serious emotional trauma.”

—Dr Helen Hayes, FRCPsych, Consultant in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, UK

“Now I know I am important to God. I am not rubbish, no matter what people say.” “I have learned that if I just keep bad feelings inside, they will get worse.”

—Ugandan children, responding to the question “what I learned,”
after a Healing Hearts Club camp, April 2013

Table of Contents

The goals of this book

Principles for working with children

Healing Hearts Club sessions

The lessons

1. I am important to God

2. Why do bad things happen?

3. Saying how we feel

4. Feeling lonely

5. Building our life well

6. Loss and grief

7. Bad touch

8. Taking our pain to the cross

9. Forgiveness

10. Rebuilding lives

Children’s trauma healing facilitator equipping sessions

Planning a trauma healing ministry

Assessment and feedback

Appendix 1: Supplies

Appendix 2: Working with younger children

Appendix 3: Working with teenagers

Appendix 4: Games

Appendix 5: Forms and reports

About the Authors

Harriet Hill is program director for the Trauma Healing Institute at American Bible society and a coauthor of Healing the Wounds of Trauma. She has worked internationally since 1979. She received her PhD in intercultural studies from Fuller Seminary in 2003.

Margaret Hill serves with SIL as the Scripture Engagement Coordinator for Africa. She is one of the coauthors of Healing the Wounds of Trauma and a master facilitator with the Trauma Healing institute. She received her master’s degree in education from the University of Manchester, UK.

Debbie Braaksma received her Master of Theology from the University of Edinburgh and a B.S. in social work from the University of Minnesota. She serves as the Africa Coordinator for the Presbyterian Church USA.

Lyn Westman is the Mental Health Program Consultant for Mercy Ships. An ordained minister, she earned a PhD in Psychology from Alliant University, and a master of psychiatric nursing from UCLA.

American Bible Society

About ABS | Contact Us | Log In