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Review Talking about Trauma by Barbara Tudor

Talking About Trauma

Talking About Trauma

I was very impressed to see the cards in the “fink” series devised by Sarah Murphy, for whom I have the greatest admiration, she has suffered the dreadful aftermath of a very traumatic event herself. This set has been an introduction to “fink” for myself and I think the whole idea behind the series is inspired.

As subjects go I imagine this is surely one of the most difficult to approach and indeed practically these cards also very difficult to use. They raise the questions that so many people find almost impossible to ask and those who have been affected by a traumatic event incredibly difficult to face and begin to deal with.

Talking About Trauma

Talking About Trauma

It takes considerable courage to begin the journey out of trauma and every journey is different – the glory of the collection of a series of cards so carefully prepared and divided into useful sections offers the possibility of very many different combinations of interactions with them.

Talking About Trauma

Talking About Trauma

I would strongly endorse Sarah’s advice in terms of them being used in the presence of an empathetic professional, preferably who is known and trusted by the person who needs to work on their trauma. There is a need to enable each individual to select not only the subject that feels right to approach at certain times but also to feel completely comfortable in dealing with each question or issue in whichever way they choose at the time.

Talking About Trauma

Talking About Trauma

I can envisage many of these topics being approached on numerous occasions, by the same person, in different ways and in different combinations making the possibilities endless and their healing properties really quite profound. They enable the people using them to work at their own pace and in their own way, to be in “the driving seat” able to start and stop, twist and turn as they wish. As a part of a recovery programme they are invaluable.

Talking About Trauma

Talking About Trauma

There are relatively few professionals who work in the field of trauma caused by crime and for those of us who find ourselves often tucked away in small corners of large criminal justice organisations there is an endless need to train the wider groups of related professional around us. I spend a considerable proportion my time training and introducing others to the issues involved in working most considerately and with care with victims of crime who have suffered the most severe and critically damaging events, like Sarah, having lost a much loved family member who will always leave a completely unfillable gap in their families or having undergone a terrifying traumatic experience personally during the perpetration of a criminal offence.

Many victims, quite rightly express concern, unease and often downright anger about the way that they have been treated in their painful journey through the criminal justice system. This damage is not done deliberately but rather because workers have had little or no training about the effects of trauma and indeed are often frightened and badly affected by witnessing the agony taking place before them. These are the experiences that in fact we all dread happening to us, we naturally strive to avoid them probably in order to protect ourselves. Of course this means that at the very time that damaged and violated individuals clearly need and deserve the very best of responses they so often experience some of the worst, only serving to compound the harm. I see huge potential in using these “fink” cards as a very useful training aid, working with all those professionals working in the criminal justice system, medical services and mental health services, police, court, probation, youth offending teams, prisons G.P practices etc. In the same way that Sarah recommends their use with those in trauma themselves they could enable professionals to talk or think through what the effects and aftermath of trauma are and what needs people in such situations have, moreover how work with them can be so much more dignified, helpful and caring. Equally attention would need to be taken in supervising such activity as indeed traumatic experience is built into so many of us, often deeply buried and repressed. The wider discussion of these issues, safely undertaken can only be helpful and positive.

You can find Barbara at Escaping Victimhood

Talking About Trauma is written by Sarah Murphy. Talking About Trauma aims to help people affected by traumatic life changing events to start conversations with trained professionals and others who have had similar shared experiences. Buy the cards here.

Review of Talking About Downs Syndrome Cards

unnamedI’m excited to share this lovely review with you all of Hayley Goleniowska’s Talking About Down’s Syndrome Conversations for New Parents by Caroline Playle.

Caroline Playle is a Mum to three children. One of whom has Down’s Syndrome. When Seb was born she was shocked to be told he had Down’s syndrome. She knew nothing about the condition, aside from outdated assumptions and stereotypes, and was full of unnecessary fear of what the future had in store for her family.

The reality could not be further from that vision. Caroline and her family lead a typical life together, facing the same joys, wonders, challenges and experiences as any family. Caroline started sharing snapshot’s of their lives together to show that Seb is a typical six year old who attends mainstream school, loves reading, football, chips and ice-cream and hates having his hair washed. Caroline shares that her son is a reflection of his family and upbringing, he is not a list of characteristics in a textbook and he is more like their family than anyone else with an extra chromosome 21 .

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What I love instantly about these new Fink Cards is their simplicity. The bold, confident colours and clear font makes them very approachable.

When I was told my baby had Downs Syndrome I threw myself into researching the condition. It was utterly overwhelming, so much information to take in at the same time as becoming a new parent. These Fink cards are absolutely perfect, they are beautifully concise and the card format means they can be taken in small chunks and you choose when and what feelings you wish to explore as and when you feel ready to take on more information. Plus we all know that talking helps with coming to terms with an out of the blue diagnosis. These cards encourage talking in a really gentle way. I can imagine these being so useful at support groups of parents with new babies, getting to know one another and sharing their experiences.

Best of all these cards are about YOU, YOUR baby and YOUR feelings. They are not telling you what will or will not happen, they are not filling your thoughts with all sorts of scenarios that may never come to fruition and they are not limiting your child or your child’s ability. This for me is the genius part of the idea. These cards allow you to explore your thoughts whilst keeping the focus on you and your child and not anyone else with Down’s syndrome.

My biggest regret when I was told my son had an extra chromosome 21was wrongly seeing him as “Down’s syndrome” instead of seeing him as my son. These cards will go a long way to allowing parents to take on board how they are feeling and where they are heading without the unnecessary fear and pressure of a stereotypical idea of what they might otherwise have thought lay ahead. I have no doubt this resource will go a long way to making sure new parents facing a diagnosis don’t miss out on precious, early moment by fearing an outdated or unknown future.

A really fantastic resource for any new parents faced with a recent diagnosis, their families, and medical and health professionals. I have even found them useful in exploring my own feelings, 7 years down the line!

For more information about Caroline please visit her Blog or find her on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

New Fink Reviews For Family Communication

I received 2 wonderful NEW testimonials this week that I just had to share with you.

The first was from ITV’s “This Morning” Parenting Expert Sue Atkins who shared how she felt that our NEW Healthy Relationship Cards for Couples should be available to all parents on the NHS.

The second was from writer, poet and Chairman of the Happy Soul Festival, Raficq Abdulla, MBE, who got in touch to share how his family had a great time using our Original Cards. Read more

delighted to have discovered Fink Cards

We are so delighted to have discovered Fink Cards.. the other day we had a tea party with a bunch of teenagers who all suddenly found their when we got out our Fink Cards, their parents saw a whole new side to them.

Els Jolly, Dorset

so much fun with these cards

“We have had so much fun with these cards and all learnt new stuff about each other.”

“They have been a brilliant way of getting kids to want to sit and eat their tea. Sophie has taken to them so so much she wants to play them with her friends too.

They have made all of us get involved in talking to each other – such a simple idea but works fantastic. I would recommend these for all ages most definitely.

My mum asked if she can borrow them at Christmas as it would be brilliant fun with lots of us!”

Sharon Mum of 3

We saw a whole new side to our teenagers

What a clever idea!

The questions are simple and direct; the topics are thought-provoking, challenging and, most importantly, relevant.

There are no right or wrong answers. This is a really good way of raising important and diverse issues without being preachy or heavy handed.

My two teenagers enjoyed going through the questions together on their own, too, and comparing views. I think it is so important that teenagers, naturally feeling anxious and isolated, are aware that we parents acknowledge the difficulties they face and are willing to listen (without causing them too much embarrassment).

These are brilliant aids for anyone involved with groups of young people – schools, youth clubs, churches – as well as great fun for families with teenagers.

We have an autistic teenaged son and these cards got a really good response from him – he finds it difficult to maintain a topic, not of his choosing, for very long but he found this a good way to help focus his thoughts and express his views on a range of subjects.

Tester for www.asteens.co.uk

cheerful, friendly and simple

“These cards are cheerful, friendly and simple – an excellent way to bridge the generation gap without letting the adults hog the conversation. I am a language tutor and have translated these for use in my class as a prompt and to stimulate conversational skills. An excellent tool for those learning English as a second language too. We have an autistic teenager, and our family mealtimes can be fraught – these cards have been useful in allowing conversation to take place in “bite-size” controlled elements which my son can cope with and also encourage him to accept other people’s input into the conversation. They have given us a lot of laughs too.

Tester for www.asteens.co.uk

entertaining even if you don’t take them seriously

“This is one of those products that you look at and say, “Well that would be easy to make myself.” It is true. A set of cards, each with one question on it – but the design and packaging of Fink cards add something much more to it.

Bright colours, clear writing, and some nice accompanying thoughts and ideas from Lisa have made this an attractive product that would be one of those great gifts for anyone, as well as your own family.

Some of the questions use words that were new to our six-year-old, so it was an opportunity to teach her some new vocabulary, and she proves that the cards are entertaining even if you don’t take them seriously. (I won’t bore you with how many answers contained the word “fart”, followed by giggles.)”

www.ukparentslounge.com

Highly recommended

“The cards are colourful and sturdy and come with clear instructions. Questions are varied from ‘What was your favourite childhood story book and why?’ to ‘Is there something you have dreamed of doing for a long time?’  Read more

Any family would want them in their home

Review of Fink CardsFink Cards are some of the most exciting and creative ideas I’ve ever seen to stimulate family conversation and connection. Read more

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