YSU Professors’ book out in paperback, ebook

Staff report


“Therapeutic Storytelling for Adolescents and Young Adults,” by authors Johanna and Lee Slivinske, who both teach at Youngstown State University, is released in paperback and ebook formats.

It is published by Oxford University Press, New York, N.Y. Both authors teach at YSU’s department of social work. Lee is a professor emeritus, and Johanna is an adjunct instructor, affiliated faculty for women’s studies and a therapist at PsyCare.

The book describes the strengths approach to storytelling with teens and young adults and provides the therapeutic tools needed to enable youths to tell their stories through narrative.

Hester Doyle of Yale University wrote a foreword for the book, and photographs were taken by Carl Leet.

The book helps adolescents and young adults who are experiencing challenging life situations such as grief or divorce to express their emotions by talking about, writing about or drawing endings to stories.

The healing power of narrative and its intertwining with expressive arts enable this book to provide professionals with knowledge needed to assist adolescents and young adults to overcome personal and social issues using strengths-based storytelling.

The authors’ daughter, Ashley Slivinske, also wrote a story that was included in the book.

“Therapeutic Storytelling” may be used by various mental-health professionals including psychologists, counselors, social workers, play therapists, nurses and others.

It begins with introductory chapters that discuss instructional guidelines and strategies, a conceptual framework and evidence-based practice, the principles and processes of therapeutic storytelling, the strengths approach to storytelling and a review of adolescent and young-adult development.

Then reality-based fictional vignettes relevant to life challenges and strengths are presented.

The stories address issues involving school, illness and disability, behavioral problems, divorce, sexual assault, dating violence, trauma, grief, community violence and more.

These stories and other activities may be personalized to meet the individualized needs of clients on the accompanying website.

Color photos are available on the website and are designed to encourage therapeutic free-writing and phototherapy.

A section specifically focusing on strengths is also included.

It is available in the YSU bookstore and through various online bookstores including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Oxford University Press.

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