Charlie Vagus & the Bubbles

(1 customer review)

This book has been written for children, their parents, teachers, counsellors and therapists. Its aim is to help children to understand and befriend their own nervous systems, so as to better manage the normal stresses of life. It is based on Attachment and Polyvagal theory. The attachment  behavioural system motivates infants to seek proximity to parents at times of stress in order to be soothed and comforted. Through repeated soothing interactions with parents, children gradually learn to regulate and manage their own stress-responses. The capacity to maintain a state of emotional calm can be difficult in the modern world. Depending on their attachment profile, children who are stressed tend to become overwhelmed by emotion or so frightened by it that they become silent and withdrawn. This book describes the three basic attachment patterns, secure, anxious and avoidant in a simple way, using animal characters.

The inspiration for the book came from watching children’s use of symbols in Sandplay. Animals are symbolic of both emotions  and instincts. Secure attachment is often represented by a domestic animal, the cat ( Coolio) who is very familiar to most children and who displays both a balance of dependence and independence and an individual sense of self. Meerkats (Milo ) are often used by children who are anxious and prone to bouts of anger, while turtles and tortoises (Terry) are used more frequently by children who are prone to using avoidance and dissociation as stress responses. The more rational thinking part of the brain is Clever Charlie who has an integrating and supporting role.

The Vagus  Nerve, which connects body and brain, is described symbolically as a roadway. This conveys the idea that emotions and sensations, which are often experienced by children in the tummy and heart areas of the body, can be moved upwards towards verbal expression and consciousness.

Although this book utilises  story as a means of reaching  children emotionally, it is not actually written as a Storybook. Therefore, it is not necessary to read the entire text to the child. Younger children respond much better to image and for children under the age of 6, it may be helpful just to talk about the images and ask the child which animal reminds them of how they feel and react when they are worried or upset. For children aged 6-11, especially those who tend to become highly aroused or dissociated when stressed, reading the full text can be very helpful. It enables them to understand that they are not different from other people and that, with help and support, they can begin to change their inner landscape. Teenagers are often very verbal and descriptive and may use the book, not just to understand themselves, but also their peers. Similarly, adults may find concepts that are helpful in terms of managing stress.














ISBN: 9781912612161

Seller Bio

Sold by: Dr Helen Gogarty / Dr Marie Drumgoole
Helen Gogarty, PhD, ISST is an attachment specialist and Jungian Sandplay Therapist currently in private practice in North West Ireland. She has worked in the field of foster-care as a Senior Social Worker and Therapist since the 1980's and has developed protocols for the assessment of attachment and therapeutic programmes  to support children who have experienced trauma and disruption in their early lives. Her Jungian training  has given her a particular interest in the use of image and symbols with children who have experienced early attachment difficulties .She has represented Britain and Ireland on the International Board of the Society for Sandplay Therapy ISST. Marie Drumgoole, MD worked as a GP for close to 30 years before retiring in 2017.During her medical career she observed first hand the link between body and mind in the field of health and the impact of stress on both the nervous system and the immune system. Marie has a keen interest in Art, especially cartoon and animation .Her commissioned work includes Book Illustrations, Medical Publications and Educational programmes. Marie works  in charcoal, watercolours, acrylics as well as in digital form.                   es.        

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  1. Sinéad O’Donnell

    As a foster carer I have found this book to be an excellent resource. The use of the characters to represent the different types of attachment styles is extremely clever & has given me the skills as a carer to identify behaviours in the children I care for presently. The book is very helpful for children to understand their feelings & emotions.

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    Charlie Vagus & the Bubbles
    Charlie Vagus & the Bubbles

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