ALPENA — Northern Michigan consultant and author Alison Neihardt will visit Olivet Book & Gift for a book signing on Saturday, May 7. The event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Olivet, at the corner of 2nd Avenue and Chisholm. Downtown Alpena street.
Neihardt’s most recent book, “Helping Kids to Thrive, Not Just Survive, After Trauma,” offers a faith-based approach to dealing with childhood trauma. It is intended to offer guidance to parents, carers and other adults close to the child or children who have experienced trauma.
“I’m a child therapist,” she explained. “I have been counseling children for 14 years. And I saw a lot of things in my office.
Neihardt lives in Kalkaska, with his office in Traverse City.
“I felt compelled to share my knowledge with others who may never set foot in my office,” Neihardt said.
During the pandemic, she started writing, as she was stuck at home 24/7.
“I just started writing books,” Neihardt said. “I started self-publishing on Amazon, and felt like I wasn’t getting the full results I wanted, so I decided to go through a publisher.”
She chose Mission Point Press because they are local to Traverse City.
“I wanted to support local businesses, and I also wanted someone I could meet in person, if I needed to,” she noted. “It was wonderful to work with them. I would recommend them to anyone.
So far she has written 10 books and three course books.
She advises children from 3 years old to young adults.
“I’ve worked with homeless kids, I’ve worked with abused kids, divorced kids, and domestic violence kids, and all those things,” she said. “I felt the need to share what I learned about trauma with others in the hope that I could help someone else.”
His book is faith-based for a reason.
“I’m very much promoting this healing that only comes from God,” Neihardt said. “When it comes to trauma, God is the only one who can heal it…God is the ultimate healer.”
She also cares for grieving children and young adults.
“I’ve worked with children who have a deceased parent or a deceased close grandparent,” Neihardt said. “Grief can take many different forms and come from many different things. Divorce is seen as a grieving process because it is a big loss… foster care can be seen as a loss because they are removed from what they thought was normal family life. It is very traumatic for children when they are taken from their parents and placed in foster care.
She said more and more people needed mental health care over the past two years.
“I’ve definitely seen a huge increase in the need for mental health services,” she said. “My workload is about double or even triple what it normally is. I’ve never had so many kids on my workload, ever.
She saw the need and is trying to help fill it with counseling services and her new book.
Fittingly, his visit is also scheduled for May, National Mental Health Awareness Month.
The best advice she has for parents is to simply listen to their children and help validate their feelings.