Special Educational Needs Catalogue 2016

Browse our latest collection of books and resources in Special Educational Needs.
For more information on any of these titles go to www.jkp.com

Special Educational Needs and Pastoral Education Autumn 2014

Browse our latest collection of titles in special educational needs and pastoral education. For more information on any of the books inside, simply click the title or cover image to view the full book page.

Why Neuroscience for Counsellors?

Rachal Zara Wilson is a counsellor, social worker and author of the new Neuroscience for CounsellorsWe caught up with her for a quick chat about the book and why she wanted to write about such a complex topic. 

1.  Who do you think would benefit from reading this book?

Definitely counsellors, but also any other therapists as well.  The book is designed so that it has sections where the neuroscience is explained, and separate sections for counsellors and other therapists with suggestions on how to use this knowledge for the benefit of their clients in the session room.

Families of people who are experiencing mental health dysfunction may also be interested in the knowledge contained in this book, and also in the implications for how they can support their loved ones.

2.  Why did you write this book? Wilson_Neuroscience-fo_978-1-84905-488-1_colourjpg-print

I’ve always been interested in neuroscience; the brain is so fascinating and amazing, and capable of so much more than we’ve always been led to believe.  And of course, as a counsellor working with people, how the brain works has always been top of my mind.  The final motivator was having a child who was experiencing problems with their mental health, and I guess I just hoped to find something that would help him and others in a similar situation during the course of my research.

3.  So what’s so exciting about what you learned?

Probably the most exciting thing would be the brain’s capacity to change itself, known as brain plasticity.  The brain isn’t static, it’s more like a dynamic organ that is constantly changing for better or worse.  And what we do plays a huge part in how it changes.  How much stress we’re under, what we eat, the quality of our sleep, whether we exercise and how much, our living environments, and the presence or absence of early trauma in our lives are some of the things that contribute to the way our brain functions, and to its capacity for change, or plasticity.  I guess the most exciting thing is that we have control over this plasticity to a large degree, and we can therefore improve the quality of our brain function, our health and our lives.

4. Why don’t we know this stuff already?

Because neuroscience is a field in its infancy.  There’s a lot of learning coming through, but much of it’s wrapped up in scientific jargon, making it inaccessible to those of us who are not scientists.  And because there’s lots of different levels of looking at the brain, (both micro and macro,) different neuroscience specialties do not always integrate their specialist knowledge.  I think the benefit of this book is that it integrates the neuroscience into an overall big picture, while also drawing on this resource to come up with practical ways for integrating it into therapy.  It hasn’t been done before because it’s new, because it’s complex, and because integrating neuroscience with counselling and other therapies requires a knowledge of both fields.  I believe that in the future, all practitioners providing talking therapies are going to need to understand what neuroscience offers our professions, or risk becoming irrelevant.

5.  Why put it in a book?

This knowledge is meant to be shared.  All counsellors and therapeutic practitioners want best outcomes for their clients, and the more knowledge we have that can help people make positive change in their lives, the better.

6.  Is it complicated?

The neuroscience is complex, but the book is designed so that people who just want to know what it means for their practice can just read those sections, while those who want to understand how it all works can read up on the explanations for how all the scientific evidence fits together.  The book is written in the plainest English possible, and there is a glossary and diagrams at the back to help you fit it all together.

You can find out more about the book, read reviews and order your copy here.

Browse our latest collection of new and bestselling titles in counselling and psychotherapy

Here are our new and bestselling titles in counselling and psychotherapy. For more information on any of the books inside, simply click the title or cover image to view the full book page.

Robbie Woliver on Alphabet Kids – From ADD to Zellweger Syndrome

Robbie Woliver

Robbie Woliver is a New York Times best-selling author and an award-winning journalist and editor. He is currently the editor- in-chief of the Long Island Press, where he also helms the newspaper’s award-winning series “Our Children’s Brains”, and is author of the new book Alphabet Kids – From ADD to Zellweger Syndrome: A Guide to Developmental, Neurobiological and Psychological Disorders for Parents and Professionals, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

How did you become interested in Autism Spectrum Conditions?

First and foremost, there are a couple of children in my family who are on different levels of the spectrum, and the spectrum aspect of the disorder has always fascinated me. I’ve seen one high-functioning girl go misdiagnosed, while her cousin, a boy who has more classic autism, make remarkable progress because of very early intervention. Girls on the spectrum is a very interesting topic to me, because they are very often misunderstood and misdiagnosed.

I am the editor of a newspaper in New York and I started a series called “Our Children’s Brains” that included stories on autism, and the series started getting a lot of attention, and I became more involved in the world of autism as I researched ASDs.

What inspired you to write Alphabet Kids?

My daughter. We had several concerns about her development when she was younger, and it became a long, complicated journey for us. We started getting these alphabet-soup diagnoses, and even as I became more expert on the subject, it was still a confusing maze to me. I wanted to write a book to help other parents and those professionals who work with them, that would provide a roadmap that would make their journeys easier. This is really the book I wish I had when I started my research almost two decades ago. My daughter is doing really well now, by the way.

As a journalist how do you feel about the media’s coverage of autism?

I think that the media covers the topic enough; some people, in fact, think it’s become the subject du jour. But I don’t think they are always covering the right aspects of the subject like: what do the prevalence numbers really mean and how were they determined; how do girls manifest the disorder differently than boys; how some symptoms can contradict themselves (e.g., an ASD child can have no eye contact, or can have intense eye contact); the borders of behaviors of high-end and Asperger kids, the comorbidity of other disorders, etc. These are all topics I felt I had to cover in “Alphabet Kids” because the information isn’t really out there. There’s a lot for the media to cover, and it has to move beyond newspapers and magazines into TV and movies–real-life portrayals. While there is always the fear of over-exposing the subject, my feeling is, you can’t write or read about it enough.

What are your hopes for the future?

I think there are a lot of great advocacy groups out there doing amazing work, so I know awareness will not be a problem. But what people are aware of might be a problem. They need the right information. Also, better diagnostic tools must be discovered and employed so that these kids get earlier diagnoses and intervention. Whether vaccines are a cause of ASDs or not is still a raging debate, and no matter what the reality is, conventional doctors have to become more sensitive to the topic. I am not advocating against vaccines, but children should not be bombarded with them, and parents need a compassionate, knowledgeable doctor who will discuss all aspects of the subject. One recurring theme I got from parents whom I interviewed for the book was that doctors HAVE to listen to parents’ concerns and not dismiss them, whether it is about vaccines or just general (or specific) concerns about development. Doctors have to look at these interconnected, concurrent Alphabet Disorders holistically. Another big concern of mine is the educational system. I hope educators become better educated about every single subtlety regarding autism syndrome conditions, and parents need to advocate strongly for their children regarding their child’s individualized programs and plans. These are all subjects I cover in my book to help parents along their way.

Mostly, I hope that we come closer to determining the cause.

What are you reading at the moment?

I am rereading Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals, the book about Abraham Lincoln choosing his former rivals to work with during his presidency. I first read it when it came out a couple of years ago, and it was fascinating then, but now that Barack Obama seems to be using it as his playbook, it gives the book a new resonance. Working with rivals or former enemies is a very interesting concept.

Copyright © Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2009