Title: Know Me To Teach Me

Subtitle: Differentiated Discipline For Those Recovering From Adverse Childhood Experiences

Author: Louise Bombér

This book – Know Me To Teach Me – is written by an educator and is aimed at helping apply trauma theory into practice in school settings

But, even if you’re not a teacher and don’t work in education at all, you’ll get real value out of this book! As long as you have an interest in understanding troubled children better and improving your practice to help them, you’ll get good mileage from this.

I gave it 5 stars. Here’s why:


This book pulls together lots of different theoretical threads.

The author distills her own research and learning – and the expertise of many of the world’s best known trauma specialists – into understandable form with an emphasis on what to do.


– For me one of the main gains from this book was the re-statement (in a different voice) of things I already knew or had read before. Having someone else’s summary view was helpful in reinforcing and gently challenging my own slightly blinkered view of what I thought I knew already.

– Among the theoretical paradigms addressed here in summary form are:

      • Dan Hughes’ DPP (including PACE)
      • Bruce Perry’s NMT (including the 3Rs)
      • Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal theory
      • Attachment (including attunement, co-regulation, intersubjectivity and more)

– The language throughout is clear, simple, accessible and non-jargonised, whilst remaining true to the academic and clinical research that underlies it. Indeed, this is one of the points of application for me – how do we turn what we know at a cerebral level into language that can inform our practice with children? This book addresses this superbly.

– The presentation of the material is organised progressively around the bottom-up organisation of the brain and the need to address trauma-genic function in a way that reflects this.

– I loved the focus on the perspective of the child. At each stage I was encouraged to think about things from the child point of view – ‘What would it be like for this child…?’ ‘What would be most helpful for the child who is feeling xyz…’ There are ‘Voice of the Child’ sections throughout to give focus to this.

– Above all, it was the raw practicality of this book that gave the biggest satisfaction. It’s attempt to answer the key question: ‘what do I do with this knowledge’ is handled brilliantly. There are oodles of points of application throughout, each tied the to explanation of the relevant theory that informs it. Brilliant!


– The education emphasis is the common theme throughout – that’s the book’s purpose – so this may niggle some. It didn’t bother me as school is such a key place for these children and it remains part of all of our roles to liaise with colleagues in education and encourage child-centred practice there, too.

– If you’ve read a lot of trauma theory stuff before there will be repetition here. Though hearing good stuff via a different voice is always a good thing, I find…


Get the paperback  – here


Pass it on…

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© Jonny Matthew 2020


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