Making Sense of Me by Diana Ketterman
Making Sense of Me is a workbook intended to help children understand and improve mental health. Ketterman’s belief is that “everyone experiences depression and anxiety at some point in life.” That said, Making Sense of Me is geared for children, ages seven to thirteen, and teaches them “how to identify emotions and to realize the power they have through the process.” Divided into twelve lessons, the design of the curriculum-based workbook suits both classroom and home environs. The first in a series of Mastering Mental Health Curriculum, this groundbreaking book paves the way to “breaking the silence and ending the shame of mental illness.”
Ketterman’s book opens with a simple reflection on flowers and how they affect the five senses. Using that as a powerful springboard, Ketterman launches into “how thoughts are made.” The lessons build on each other. By the fifth lesson Ketterman addresses how thought processes, memories, and especially emotions have positive and adverse effects on the brain. Included in each lesson are a flurry of thought-provoking activities, many of which are subjective questions that center on six reflective themes: senses, memories, thoughts, ways children can help themselves in situations, and ways to help others in situations. Ketterman shifts gear slightly in lesson nine by introducing two fictional characters, Sofia and Ethan, who have their peculiarities. Various scenarios provide opportunities for children to observe the character’s differences and develop an understanding of why they function the way they do. Ketterman rounds out the twelve lessons with a review lesson where children can apply what they’ve learned. In closing, Ketterman says it best, “It is increasingly apparent that we as a society must do something to enable children to have a voice, to teach them to identify their emotions, and to help them build resiliency in being overcomers to depression and anxiety.”
To purchase a copy of the book, click here to find it on Amazon.